To care for a bruise naturally, rest and protect the affected area, apply ice or compression and elevate the bruised limb, according to WebMD. Massaging the bruise gently can alleviate pain and promote blood flow.
You can care for mild bruises that do not need treatment by a health care provider at home to reduce pain, swelling and stiffness, notes WebMD. Put an ice pack on the bruise for 10 to 20 minutes three times daily until it fully heals. Avoid hot showers, hot packs and alcoholic drinks within the first 48 hours of getting a bruise to prevent the swelling from getting bigger.
If swelling disappears after 48 to 72 hours, start doing simple exercises while applying damp heat to improve flexibility, suggests WebMD. Alternating between cold and hot treatment methods is recommended.
Use an elastic bandage to wrap the bruised region, but avoid wrapping the bruise tightly or uncomfortably to prevent further swelling around the affected area, says WebMD. Signs and symptoms of a very tight bandage include a tingling or numb sensation, swelling below the bandage, coolness or worse pain. If you need to use a wrap on a bruise for more than 72 hours, consult a doctor, as there may be a severe problem associated with the bruise.