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How Can I Treat a Bruised Palm?

By Madeleine A.
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

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.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon941864 — On Mar 24, 2014

This was helpful! I slipped wearing sneakers with near no tread (big mistake) and smashed my palm on the concrete floor. Its an inner palm injury. I'm taking a break from the weight room for r.i.c.e treatment. I should have done so from the get go but the injury proved more serious than initially anticipated. It's a hard habit to kick training with injuries, fitness addiction.

By healthy4life — On Aug 11, 2012

I can't tolerate strong pain pills, so I just had to make do with ice packs and OTC analgesics when I had a bruised palm. Pain pills make me very sick at my stomach, and I get itchy all over.

I suppose this means I'm allergic to them. I'm just glad that I can take OTC medicine, because it would be hard to have nothing at all to relieve the pain.

By StarJo — On Aug 11, 2012

@kylee07drg – I know how easy it is to hurt a bruised palm over and over. When I bruised mine after falling on the concrete in the carport, I figured out quickly that I needed to protect it as it healed.

I stuffed a cotton glove with extra padding and wore it on the injured hand. I did get some strange looks while wearing this, because it was the middle of the summer, but it offered good protection from further pain.

By seag47 — On Aug 10, 2012

It's easy to bruise your palm when you are angry. I tend to smack my hands against tabletops and countertops when I'm trying to drive my point home, and I forget exactly how much this is going to hurt until it's too late.

I bruised my left palm badly like this last year. I had some pain killers left over from another injury, so I took those for the first night. After that, the pain lessened, and over-the-counter pain medication worked fine.

By kylee07drg — On Aug 10, 2012

I injured the palm of my hand by thrusting it at a brick wall in the dark. I didn't know how close I was to the wall, and I had shot forth my hand to feel my way around.

I immediately felt throbbing pain in my hand. I put a bag of ice on it right away, because I knew that this would keep the swelling to a minimum.

For about a week after this incident, my palm would hurt a lot if it bumped into anything even gently. I would forget that it was injured until something pressed up against it, and then, I was painfully reminded.

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