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Home :: Arm Contusion, Upper Arm

Arm Contusion, Upper Arm Injury

Bruising of the skin, muscle and underlying tissues of the upper arm due to a direct blow. Contusions cause bleeding from ruptured small capillaries, allowing blood to infiltrate muscles, tendons or other soft tissue. Muscle tissue is damaged most by a contusion in this area.

BODY PARTS INVOLVED

  • Upper arm, particularly the biceps and triceps muscles.
  • Other soft tissues, including blood vessels, tendons, nerves, covering to bone (periosteum) and connective tissue.

Causes

Direct blow to the upper arm, usually from a blunt object.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Local swelling-either superficial or deep.
  • Pain and tenderness over the bruised area.
  • Feeling of firmness when pressure is exerted on the injured area. Discoloration under the skin, beginning with redness and progressing to the characteristic "black and blue" bruise.
  • Restricted arm activity proportional to the extent of injury.

Treatment

Follow your doctor's instructions. These instructions are supplemental.

  • Wrap felt or sheet wadding over the injured, then wrap the arm with an elasticized bandage from armpit to fingertips. Keep the area compressed for about 72 hours.
  • Continue Ice massage. Fill a large Styrofoam cup with water and freeze. Tear a small amount of foam from the top so ice protrudes. Massage gently over the Injured area in a circle about the size of a softball. Do this for 15 minutes at a time, 3 or 4 times a day, and before workouts or competition.
  • After 72 hours, apply heat instead of ice if it feels better. Use heat lamps, hot soaks, hot showers, heating pads, heat liniments or ointments, or whirlpool treatments.
  • Massage gently and often to provide comfort and decrease swelling.

Home Diet

During recovery, eat a well-balanced diet that includes extra protein, such as meat, fish, poultry, cheese, milk and eggs. Your doctor may prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements to promote healing.
Prevention

Wear appropriate protective gear and equipment, such as foam-rubber or felt pads, during competition or other athletic activity if there is risk of an upper-arm contusion.

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