Bruise Maintenance

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I bruise very easily.  For example: the day before the OC Half Marathon I bumped my left knee on the dashboard of my husband’s car as I was getting out at the expo.  By the following morning, I had a bruise visibly ripening. I was aware of it throughout most of the race (it hurt!) and you could even see it in race pics!

OC Half Marathon
Bruise on my left knee, sustained from a bump the previous afternoon.

Other bruises show up without any knowledge on my part as to where it came from.  I’m healing up from two bruises on each of my thighs, identical twins on opposite sides of my body that I have no clue where they came from!  But sure enough, you can see it!

Running Friends
Lovely bruise on my right leg of unknown origin. (Pictured with Charlene & Casey)

(I do own other running clothes… it just so happens that I’m wearing the EXACT SAME THING in these two pictures. Ooops…)

I see advice commonly given is to immediately apply ice on bumps to promote healing and minimize bruising.  That’s rarely a reality for me, especially when bruises show up rather surprisingly.  So here are a couple things that I’ve been incorporating the past several months:

Vitamin C:
I started taking a daily vitamin C when I had my PRK surgery to correct my vision.  But it also seemed to have a positive impact on my bruises. Vitamin C helps to build collagen so that blood vessels are better able to stand-up to impact.

I first started using just a simple Arnica gel on bruises about a year ago.  Arnica is an herb with anti-inflammatory properties.  But a couple months ago Naturopathica* sent me some of their arnica muscle gel.  This gel has menthol in it in addition to the arnica, so you get a pleasant cooling effect.  I rub this into bruises morning and evening as soon as I spot them.  The healing process seems to have sped up with this addition.

Grape Seed Extract:
I read on Mighty Girl that she takes grape seed extract to help reduce bruising at the advice of her doctor.  So I decided to throw it into my repertoire.  This is the point where I REALLY noticed a difference.  I have about 75% fewer bruises of unknown origin since I started taking this.  Plus, since I order my supplements from Swanson Vitamins** it’s hardly an expense.

* The Naturopathica gel is also AMAZING for sprains. When I hurt my ankle in the clumsy Elliptigo experiment, rubbing this gel into the ankle made an immediate impact.  It felt so much better within moments.

** I truly do buy my supplements from Swanson and they did not ask me to post their name.  I’ve been buying from them for years and years.  Way back to when their website was really crummy looking… and even back to when it was all through a print catalog.  I’m hard-pressed to think of any reason to not use them! They have great deals and a wide selection.  I also buy my Chia seeds from them!

Side Note: I did receive the Naturopathica gel for free to review on my site. I had kind of figured I would just write a standard review of the properties, but after figuring how how it helped me in real life application, I thought I would share that in this format!


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