Blunt injuries such as bruises and sprains can quickly occur during sports, in the household or on the road. This health tip explains how injuries occur, how to provide first aid, and when to see a doctor.
Bruises Painful bruises often result from impacts or falls. Soft tissues and muscles are bruised and swollen. This creates pain. If blood vessels are injured, hematomas (bruises) can form. Inflammatory reactions often occur in injured tissue, which increases pain and swelling.
A sprain affects the joints, most commonly the ankle (if you twist your foot), the knee, and the joints in your fingers. Ligaments, tendons and muscles are suddenly overstretched. In extreme cases, ligaments or the joint capsule can tear. Typical symptoms of a sprain include swelling and pain in the affected joint. The mobility of the joint is usually severely restricted. A sprain should not be confused with a dislocation in which the joint is dislocated.
For bruises and sprains, quick first aid can prevent severe swelling and relieve pain. A good rule of thumb is the PECH scheme:
Take a break
- Ice : Immediate cooling for at least 20 minutes dampens the inflammatory response. Cool packs or wet envelopes are well suited. Cool packs from the freezer should always be wrapped in a cloth to prevent tissue damage.
- Compression: An elastic compression bandage can reduce bruising.
- H : Elevation relieves the affected body part and allows the swelling to subside more quickly.
When is a doctor’s visit required?
In many cases, a bruise or sprain can be treated well with these first aid measures. However, in some cases, a doctor’s visit can be useful. This is the case, for example, when misaligned limbs indicate a fracture, pain is very severe or lasts for days and joints feel very unstable. Severe functional limitations or sensory disturbances in the affected parts of the body should also be clarified by a doctor as soon as possible.
In some cases, you can take an active role in avoiding blunt injuries. In the household, it is often improvised climbing aids such as wobbly chairs that lead to falls. Stable ladders and step stools are a better alternative. It is best to only climb if you are not alone in the room.
When exercising, it is advisable to start training with warm-up exercises in order to avoid overstressing the muscles. Older people in particular should pay attention to possible tripping hazards in their home, such as carpet edges, and have handholds installed in important places. So can z. B. Significantly reduce accidents when getting out of the bathtub.