Biking Through a Bruise

My fingers next to the bruise give an idea of its size.
My fingers next to the bruise give an idea of its size.

I’m still feeling the effects of that fall I had a week ago. I’ve got the biggest bruise on my hip that I’ve ever had, and it was quite painful to start with. However, one nice aspect of our sport is that it seems to help in recovery from these kinds of injuries.

The crash was odd in that I wasn’t moving all that fast. In fact, I was just slowing to make a turn when the rear wheel slid out from under me. But the full force of the impact fell on my left hip. I must have hit the pavement a lot harder than it first seemed, because two days after the crash, I had trouble rising from a chair. It felt like the whole left torso was bruised as well, although I could find no marks.

How did I treat the big bruise? It turns out that I did everything wrong. The recommended treatment for a bruise is to stretch and ice the affected area after the workout. In my case, I felt so good after riding this week that I did nothing except shower. For pain, acetaminophen is the recommended treatment — not ibuprofen. I gobbled ibuprofen two or three times a day.

Sitting for awhile, while watching TV, exacerbated the pain. Moving eased it. Except for Sunday, the day after the crash, I have been on the bike every day — sometimes pushing myself to climb a small hill a little bit faster, or do some intervals. Without fail, I felt better once I got home.

In one regard, I was lucky. I wasn’t bruised anywhere that came into contact with the bike. So when I ride, I feel like a normal person. It’s only after I’ve been stationary for an hour or more that pain becomes a problem.

Bruises heal themselves in seven to 10 days. My bruise is still impressive, in terms of the area it covers, but I can tell the coloring is already starting to fade. I expect to be back to normal in another couple of days. But in the meantime, I think I’ve healed a little faster by exercising those muscles under the bruise than I would have if I’d done nothing.


  1. says

    Ouch, that looks like it smarts. The treatment is very similar to my hip, and I usually don’t feel it now when riding, although sometimes I do afterward. Heal up soon.

    • says

      I have a hip pointer. It wasn’t apparent the first few days after the crash, but I can sure feel it now when I move my left leg the wrong way. It doesn’t affect normal pedaling motion, and I did a nice 32-miler this morning.

  2. says

    We had 2 crashes in our bunch rides this weekend. And sometimes the injuries are a little harder to get over. Sounds like yours was a single incident, only you involved. In one of ours there was 5 people who went down. Not pretty.

    A bike is a heap of fun, but you need to be very careful cycling, both on your own and in a bunch.

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