Common muscle injuries: What is a contusion?

A contusion occurs if a muscle sustained a direct blow or strike. The usual site for this injury is the quadriceps muscle but can occur in any muscle including the calf and hamstring muscles.

After a strong impact, it results to localized muscular damage and bleeding as the muscle is compressed against the underlying bone. A contusion is a common injury in contact sports.

What are the indications?

  • Pain in the affected area
    Contusion

    After a strong impact, it results to localized muscular damage and bleeding as the muscle is compressed against the underlying bone.

  • Swelling and bruising are common
  • Diminished movement
  • Pain is triggered if the affected muscle is contracted

Proper care for a contusion

The treatment for a contusion must be carried out carefully. If the individual continues to play after the injury, undergoes aggressive treatment or early application of heat or massage, it can result to myositis ossificans. In this condition, the hematoma becomes calcified and a bony growth forms inside the muscle. This growth can affect the muscular function on a lasting basis.

The initial treatment involves rest and application of ice. The injured part must be raised and a compression bandage or support is applied to reduce the bleeding and swelling. This should be continued until the bleeding ceases. Once this is certain, other treatments involving heat can be started.

The treatment can be progressed carefully which might include electrotherapy such as ultrasound and soft tissue therapy. The stretching exercises must be started if there is diminished movement.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a contusion is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage muscle injuries, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.

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