A bruised palm is generally treated by taking anti-inflammatory medications to relieve discomfort and swelling. Elevating the hand higher than the heart also can improves blood flow and circulation, which helps promote healing. Many people believe that the application of a hot pack or heating pad is beneficial in relieving pain, however, heat can make pain and swelling worse. Ice packs will dramatically bring down swelling and reduce pain, so they should be applied four times a day, until symptoms subside.
A bruised palm is generally caused by an impact or traumatic injury to the soft tissue. The pain from the injury can range from mild to severe. However, with proper treatment, pain generally subsides within one week. In addition to bruising and pain, this condition can produce inflammation, loss of movement, numbness, and warmth over the affected area. To rule out broken bones, ligament damage, or tendon damage, the health care provider may recommend an x-ray, ultrasound, or MRI examination. Rarely, a bruised palm can be the result of a bleeding disorder or anticoagulant medications.
Occasionally, the health care provider will recommend the affected hand be immobilized with a hand splint. Too much movement immediately following the injury can aggravate the injury and promote further bleeding into the tissues. Sometimes, the pain from a bruised palm is severe enough to warrant prescription pain medications. These medications frequently are a combination of codeine and acetaminophen, and although highly effective in treating moderate to severe pain, they do not help to reduce swelling.
Taking prescription pain medications to treat a bruised palm can cause significant side effects. These include drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, and blurred vision. Also, nausea, headache, constipation, and urinary retention can occur. Codeine-based analgesics should only be taken when pain is severe, and only under the strict supervision of the health care professional, as these medications can be highly addictive. Driving a motor vehicle or operating dangerous machinery should also be avoided when taken prescription pain relievers to avoid accidents.
In instances where pain is persistent and prolonged, the health care provider might recommend that the individual receive physical or occupational therapy. Rehabilitative services can help restore mobility, improve circulation, and reduce pain. A standard session of occupational therapy for a hand injury is generally about six weeks in duration. Although the individual may not notice an improvement right away, as time goes by, he will gradually notice an improvement in mobility, pain, and inflammation.