Bruise to Skin Treatment
The treatment for a contusion depends on the location and severity of injury. Initial treatment for a contusion includes rest, cold compresses, elevation, and an elastic wrap for the first 24 to 48 hours. A sling or crutches may be required for moderate to severe contusions. Acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication helps to reduce pain.
For severe contusions, physical therapy is started when swelling has resolved and movement does not cause pain. Physical therapy helps restore function and flexibility, and reduces recovery time. Minor contusions usually resolve within 10 to 14 days, while severe contusions may require months of therapy.
Treatment for a contusion may include:
- Elevate the injury:
- Above the heart if possible
- Cold compresses:
- Apply for 20 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times per day
- Elastic wrap
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
Bruise to Skin Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat contusions:
Continue to Bruise to Skin Home Care
- Beiner JM, Jokl P. Muscle contusion injuries: current treatment options. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2001 Jul-Aug;9(4):227-37. 
- Berg E. Deep muscle contusion complicated by myositis ossificans (a.k.a. heterotopic bone). Orthop Nurs. 2000 Nov-Dec;19(6):66-7. 
- Centeno CJ, Freeman M, Elkins WL. A review of the literature refuting the concept of minor impact soft tissue injury. Pain Res Manag. 2005 Summer;10(2):71-4. 
- Guzman J, Yassi A, Cooper JE, Khokhar J. Return to work after occupational injury. Family physicians' perspectives on soft-tissue injuries. Can Fam Physician. 2002 Dec;48:1912-9. 
- Tull F, Borrelli J Jr. Soft-tissue injury associated with closed fractures: evaluation and management. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2003 Nov-Dec;11(6):431-8.