Bruises, or ecchymoses, are a discoloration and tenderness of the skin or mucous membranes due to the leakage of blood from an injured blood vessel into the tissues.
There are three types of bruises:
1. Subcutaneous -- beneath the skin,
2. Intramuscular -- within the belly of the underlying muscle
3. Periosteal -- bone bruise
Bruises can last from days to months, with the bone bruise being the most severe and painful.
Bruises change colours over time in a predictable pattern, so that it is possible to estimate when an injury occurred by the colour of the bruise. Initially, a bruise will be reddish, the colour of the blood under the skin. After one to two days, the red blood cells begin to break down, and the bruise will darken to a blue or purplish colour. This fades to green at about day six. Around the eighth or ninth day, the skin over the bruised area will have a brown or yellowish appearance, and it will gradually diminish back to its normal colour.
Causes & symptoms
Most pole inflicted bruises are pretty superficial and clear up quickly. Just try not to aggravate the damaged area. Allow your body to repair itself. Bruising can be a common problem, particularly when students are just starting out pole fitness and dancing and are more focused on the tricks and advanced spins. Pole dancing relies substantially on soft parts of the body that aren’t designed for heavy pressure or to suspend your total body weight off the floor in beautiful poses. Healthy people may develop bruises from any injury that doesn't break through the skin. Vigorous exercise may also cause bruises due to bringing about small tears in blood vessels walls. In a condition known as purpura simplex, there is a tendency to bruise easily due to an increased fragility of the blood vessels.
Bruises also develop easily in the elderly, because the skin and blood vessels have a tendency to become thinner and more fragile with aging, and there is an increased use of medications that interfere with the blood clotting system. In the condition known as purpura senilis, the elderly develop bruises from minimal contact that may take up to several months to completely heal.
Check a students medical history
The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) may lead to increased bruising. Aspirin, antidepressants, asthma medications, and cortisone medications also have this effect. The anti-clotting medications also known as blood thinners, especially the drug warfarin (Coumadin), may be the cause of particularly severe bruising.
Sometimes bruises are connected with more serious illnesses. There are a number of diseases that cause excessive bleeding or bleeding from injuries too slight to have consequences in healthy people. An abnormal tendency to bleed may be due to hereditary bleeding disorders, certain prescription medications, diseases of the blood such as leukemia, and diseases that increase the fragility of blood vessels. If there are large areas of bruising or bruises develop very easily, this may herald a problem. Other causes that should be ruled out include liver disease, alcoholism, drug addiction, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Bruising is usually a minor problem, which does not require a medical diagnosis. However, faced with extensive bruising, bruising with no apparent cause, or bruising in certain locations, a physician will pursue an evaluation that will include a number of blood tests. If the area of the bruise becomes hard, an x ray may be required.
1. Place ice on the bruise to help it heal faster and to reduce swelling. Place the ice in a cloth -- DO NOT place ice directly on the skin. Apply the ice for up to 15 minutes per hour.
2. Keep the bruised area raised above the heart, if practical. This helps keep blood from pooling in the bruised tissue.
3. If needed, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help reduce pain.
Treatment of your pole bruises
Several types of topical applications are usually recommend to speed healing and to reduce the pain associated with bruises.
1. Vitamin K cream can be applied directly to the site of injury.
2. Astringent herbs such as witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, can be used. This will tighten the tissues and therefore diminish the bruising.
3. Arnica montana,The homeopathic remedy, can be applied as a cream or gel to unbroken skin.
4. Try to rest the bruised body part by not overworking your muscles in that area
5. If your bruising is more severe, place an ice pack on the affected area to reduce pain and swelling. Leave it on for up to 15 minutes per hour, several times a day.
The human skin and tissue is not specifically designed for pressure that sometimes pole technique requires and what is more it is difficult to wear much protective clothing too as it is your skin that keeps you stuck to the pole.
Luckily bruising does decrease as you get better at pole dancing, and the tips below should help reduce the problem.
Practice, like in any other form of exercise, makes perfect, whereby preventing injury. The more you practice the easier it is to get into pole positions without putting stresses on the body. Skin and underlying muscles become slightly toughened and thicker without any visual physical changes.
How to avoid bruises when pole dancing
Here are some tips for avoiding, or at least reducing, bruising on and around a pole.
• Take it slowly. Repeating the same move again and again is much more likely to bruise an areas you maybe stressing. Vary the moves you are learning so your body has a chance to recover.
• Never Jump into a move if possible to prevent force and that initial knock
• Carefully study each new move closely before you ‘leap’ on to the pole. If possible place your arms, legs and body in position, identify your pole grips and pressure points first.
• If you are learning a new move, try walking it through slowly first. If it’s an invert, see whether you can practice it on the ground by placing you upper back on the floor and place your legs around the pole, to identify where your body should be positioned.
• Hold very tightly on the pole with your hand and leg grip when you’re learning a new move. If you don’t hold on tightly enough you may start to slide which will cause bruising
• Make sure the pole is slip free when you are practicing a new move to secure your strong grip.
• Long boots help to prevent bruising by protecting the skin on the pole
Is bruising a problem?
No as long as you follow the instruction of your Qualified Pole Instructor. Visually the bruise can look unsightly so remember go slow and never train with bruising.