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How Get Rid of (and Prevent) Bruises

By on December 8, 2017

No matter where you are in your pole journey, you’re bound to have experienced your fair share of bruises. You’ve probably found yourself rethinking outfits and opting for pants because let’s admit it: black-and-blue speckled legs can draw some questionable looks. And apart from how they look, bruises are downright painful. But don’t fret, there are plenty of ways to treat and prevent bruises.

Illustration by Leen Isabel. leenisabel.com

We get bruises when a blow to part of our body breaks or damages blood vessels under our skin. Blood leaks from the damaged blood cells into the tissues under our skin, trapping the blood and giving us a purple or black-and-blue spot. So, the next time you learn a new grip or spot a bruise, here’s what you can do:

Ice it: A cold pack or bag of frozen veggies will do the trick. Wrap your ice pack of choice in a towel and apply it to the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes to reduce swelling.

Elevate it: This isn’t always possible, but it can come in handy for those leg bruises. Elevating it on a pillow can reduce pressure to the injured area.

Take acetaminophen: Take as directed on the bottle if the pain is intense. (First-time shoulder mount bruises, we’re talking to you.) Avoid aspirin or ibuprofen because they slow the blood from clotting and can prolong the bleeding.

Use arnica gel: This stuff works miracles. It’s a non-greasy, non-sticky (and paraben-free) gel that helps relieve muscle pain and stiffness, and it reduces pain, swelling and discoloration from bruises. Plus, you can snag it for less than $10 from pharmacies, Target, or Amazon.

Eat well: Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and K, bioflavonoids, and folate to help heal and prevent bruises.

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale provide vitamin C and K and promote healthy blood clotting.
  • Fruits like oranges and berries provide vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which work together to strengthen the connective tissues that make up blood vessels. Fresh pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that can help dissolve blood clots and fade bruises. Bananas and oranges (along with legumes and fortified breads and pastas) provide folic acid, a nutrient that’s essential for cell division.
  • Essential fats found in nuts, avocados, vegetable oil and fatty fish such as salmon and albacore tuna help keep capillaries flexible and less prone to damage.
  • Lean protein such as fish, eggs, and poultry are also important for strong capillaries.

Heat it up (eventually): After the first few days, you can apply a warm compress like a heating pad to boost circulation and increase blood flow. Do this for 15 minutes, three times a day. Soaking in a hot Epsom salt bath is another option.

Watch your form: This should be self-evident but we often get so excited to learn a new trick that we might forget about proper form. Be gentle with your body and don’t go for tricks that you know you aren’t ready for.

While bruising is unavoidable at times, it’s important to remember that bruises can also be a sign of a more serious injury or medical problem. See a doctor if the bruise doesn’t fade in two or three weeks, if you seem to be bruising excessively, or if you’re experiencing severe pain.

 

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