Recently, I was reinspired by the “back to basics” physiotherapy treatment of a hematoma after a patient had an unfair match with a flight of stairs, cut to the end of the story … the stairs won.  She sustained a massive hematoma to her right hip area. OUCH!

 So what is a hematoma?

 Have you ever fallen so hard that you were left with a bruise that first turned  blue, then black, then purple, then green and my personal favourite, yellow? This bruise is called a hematoma.  It forms due to direct contact of the trauma or injury.  In other words, a loud ‘poof’ onto the floor causing you to erupt the most ‘colourful’ words from your mouth, leading to a hematoma. 

 How is a hematoma formed?

 The bruise occurs due an injury to the wall of our blood vessels, prompting blood to seep out of the blood vessels into the surrounding tissue.  This blood usually clots and causes the bruise. Sounds rather dramatic. So how does one manage this, especially on a large scale like the pictures!

 Treatment by a physiotherapist for hematomas can consist of:

 – K-Tape

– Ultrasound 

– Rest and Ice

– Gentle massage techniques to assist the drainage of the excessive fluid

 The above is based on the scientific concept (fancy) aiming to assist the blood cloths (caused by the fall) to break down and be drained into the body’s lymph system. If this is not assisted this may cause the prolonged healing of the injury, leading to other side effects.  The hematoma can harden and cause tremendous amounts of pain and difficulty with mobility, which in turn leads to compensation patterns.  

 Other causes of hematomas:

– Motor vehicle accidents

– Tearing of muscles and/ ligaments

If you have fallen, had any trauma leading to a severe hematoma to form then seek the services of a physiotherapist or medical doctor to get the help you need to ensure a full recovery.

Stay safe, and remember to look twice when you approach a staircase!