We get a bruise from time to time, unfortunately when we least expect it. But when this happens after sessions of physical therapy or deep tissue massage, clients can be completely surprised. And why not? The bruise appears days after their appointment.
Well not to fear, friends. Bruising during physical therapy and deep tissue massage is actually fairly common. After all, when you’re body’s moved around, tissues cause your blood to rise, causing the unsightly bruising.
Or it can be a sign of a medical issue.
That’s why you should tell your physician if you bruise easily. Your health professional needs to know of any pre-existing condition that may cause heavier bruising.
Tissue Bruising: Causes and Effects
Why does bruising occur?
Discoloration happens because of a reaction known as ecchymosis, which can form bruises. These are due to injured blood vessels.
While this usually happens after an injury, any kind of tissue stimulation can cause the breakage of capillaries. Otherwise, these are several reasons a bruise appears after therapy:
1. High level of pressure after deep tissue massage.
2. Great force exerted to loosen tight muscles through hypertonic massage.
3. Seniors are more likely to bruise as a result of weakened capillary walls or thin, aged skin.
4. Certain medications.
Note that during a deep tissue massage, pressure is applied to your muscles and the connective tissue underneath, that’s why your masseur or masseuse should be trained before they do this.
Unfortunately, the tissue gets stuck sometimes, creating knots that require excessive pressure to loosen and release. At this point, the right amount of pressure and proper technique is crucial to avoid bruising.
In addition, bruising can occur because of physical factors such as age, genetics, bleeding or clotting disorders, vitamin deficiencies, or excessive sun exposure.
Given this, you also have to tell your therapist that this happens. This way, he or she can apply less pressure to avoid further bruising.
Medications contribute to bruising
Tell your therapist if you’re taking any of the following medications to be sure of what may happen once the massage is complete:
Blood Thinners: these include Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil), or Naproxen (Aleve). These cause the smallest of capillary damage to bleed profusely if mishandled.
Dietary Aids and/or Supplements: natural herbs or supplements like fish oil, ginkgo, dang gui and garlic aids in blood thinning.
Corticosteroids: examples such as cortisone, hydrocortisone, and methylprednisolone. These are usually administered to halt the inflammation, potentially causing the skin to thin, leaving it vulnerable to bruising.
Despite the pain and bruising, a light massage is worth it for the body. But before having one, best to tell your physician your medical history.
If you experienced bruising or discoloration, the best treatment is to utilise cold compresses and/or ice packs on the affected region. This aids in reducing blood flow to injured blood vessels, resulting in less bleeding overall.
Swelling and inflammation can also be taken care of by ice packs, best to use within the first 48 hours. After this, you can apply a hot compress.
With this, you should be mindful not to put pressure on the area that can potentially worsen the injury.
If the ice pack or a hot compress isn’t cutting it, you can try prescribed painkillers. But consult your doctor or healthcare professional before taking any medication.
Given that bruising is common when excessive pressure is applied or if you bumped into something and that the solution is fairly simple, there’s nothing to worry about. Unless this happens frequently and no pressure was applied or the affected area did not get bumped to cause the bruise. In this case, best to see your doctor.