There are natural remedies for cheerleader’s small injuries which can keep them from interfering with the enjoyment of this sport. First, we will need to know how bruises form. When you hit a body part, perhaps by falling during a cheer routine, small blood vessels break and leak blood underneath the skin. The blood pools and shows through the skin. This is the source of the discoloration that shows as a bruise.
Bruise that hurt
This can be painful. Even if the bruise does not hurt much, cheerleading is a performance art as well as a sport, so we want to eliminate the discoloration as quickly as possible.
As the body heals itself, the blood cells that have gathered under the skin break down and wash off. You can observe the process as the bruise changes color and disappears. It may take days or even weeks for a bruise to heal completely, and there are a number of factors that affect the length of time involved.
Some immediate actions
- A cold compress may slow down the blood circulation to the area and keep the bruise from getting bigger.
- Raising the bruised body part above the head lets gravity keep the blood from flowing into the area.
Some natural remedies
- Bromelain, a natural fruit enzyme found in pineapples, has been proven in medical studies to accelerate the healing of bruises. Since bromelain is found mostly in the stems and leaves of this plant, taking the enzyme in medical form is more effective than just eating more pineapple.
- Papain is another fruit enzyme, found in papaya. Papain has been demonstrated in clinical trials to be effective in treatment of edema and inflammation, and to accelerate the healing of wounds.
- Arnica is an herb, used broadly to accelerate healing. While it shouldn’t be taken internally, topical application of creams or balms containing arnica has a vasodilating effect. This means that it enlarges the blood vessels beneath the skin, making it much easier to carry away the blood and fluids that build up in a bruise.
Bruises can be painful and unsightly, and for athletes they may not be preventable, but they are treatable.