Blunt Trauma

You have been evaluated for injuries. You have been examined and your caregiver has not found injuries serious enough to require hospitalization.

It is common to have multiple bruises and sore muscles following an accident. These tend to feel worse for the first 24 hours. You will feel more stiffness and soreness over the next several hours and worse when you wake up the first morning after your accident. After this point, you should begin to improve with each passing day. The amount of improvement depends on the amount of damage done in the accident.

Following your accident, if some part of your body does not work as it should, or if the pain in any area continues to increase, you should return to the Emergency Department for re-evaluation.


Routine care for sore areas should include:

  • Ice to sore areas every 2 hours for 20 minutes while awake for the next 2 days.

  • Drink extra fluids (not alcohol).

  • Take a hot or warm shower or bath once or twice a day to increase blood flow to sore muscles. This will help you "limber up".

  • Activity as tolerated. Lifting may aggravate neck or back pain.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver. Do not use aspirin. This may increase bruising or increase bleeding if there are small areas where this is happening.


  • Numbness, tingling, weakness, or problem with the use of your arms or legs.

  • A severe headache is not relieved with medications.

  • There is a change in bowel or bladder control.

  • Increasing pain in any areas of the body.

  • Short of breath or dizzy.

  • Nauseated, vomiting, or sweating.

  • Increasing belly (abdominal) discomfort.

  • Blood in urine, stool, or vomiting blood.

  • Pain in either shoulder in an area where a shoulder strap would be.

  • Feelings of lightheadedness or if you have a fainting episode.

Sometimes it is not possible to identify all injuries immediately after the trauma. It is important that you continue to monitor your condition after the emergency department visit. If you feel you are not improving, or improving more slowly than should be expected, call your physician. If you feel your symptoms (problems) are worsening, return to the Emergency Department immediately.