Bruises and strains – causes

Bruises and strains - causes

A stumbling block on the forest path, a wrong step on the stairs, an unfavourable movement during sports – sprained ankles, strained ligaments, bruised muscles quickly. Even if the injury is not always visible, it almost always causes pain. What you should do after a bruise or strain is explained in the following article.

Bruises and strains: blunt injuries

The doctor describes injuries that are not accompanied by external bleeding and open wounds as “blunt injuries”. They occur particularly frequently in the musculoskeletal system – i.e. the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones – as bruises, strains, dislocations, contusions or broken bones (although the latter two can also occur as open injuries).


Causes of bruises and strains

Bruises and strains can have different causes, as the following definitions show:

  • Bruise (Contusion): A bruise is caused by blunt force trauma, i.e. a fall, blow, impact or impact. A typical sports injury is the contusion of muscles, ribs and joints. However, the bruise can also affect abdominal organs, the eyeballs, and the brain.
  • Strain refers to damage caused by overstretching or tiny tears in fibre structures. If the capsule-ligament portion of a joint is affected, one speaks of ligament strain, ligament strain or sprain (distortion), otherwise of muscle strain.
  • The ligament strain occurs when the natural mobility limits of the joint are exceeded, usually when the ankle is twisted (“cramped foot”, “sprained foot”), but often also in the knee, elbow, wrist and shoulder area. It cannot always be distinguished from a ruptured ligament, although the stabilizing function of the capsular ligament apparatus is retained when a ligament is stretched.
  • The muscle strain usually occurs when the muscles are not sufficiently warmed up and suddenly tense. Sports such as squash, short-distance running or football, where you have to accelerate or stop abruptly, are therefore particularly predestined. Even untrained muscle groups are more prone to sudden overstretching. It is also often not easy to differentiate from a muscle fibre tear.
  • Dislocation (dislocation): This joint injury occurs when the bone ends to form a coordinated move against each other – usually due to pronounced violence such as a fall or a strong pull on the joint. If there is no longer any contact between the bone ends, the physician speaks of luxation or a subluxation if they are still touching. In most cases, a dislocation also damages the joint capsule and ligaments as well as the cartilage of the joint surfaces. A relatively common particular form is elbow dislocation in young children (Chaissaignac’s palsy), which occurs when an adult suddenly pulls on the child’s outstretched arm (for example, to hold on to it if it stumbles).


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