Shoulder contusion


A bruise, medically called a contusion, is one of the most common injuries in sports. In this case, the application of blunt force causes a bruise of the tissue. The violence can take the form of blows, kicks or impacts after falls.

Visible injuries to the skin are often absent. Muscles and tendons in the shoulder area can also be affected. Shoulder contusions are among the typical injuries in a variety of sports.


Shoulder contusions are often the result of shocks, blows, falls or collisions. Blunt force trauma leads to injury to vessels by crushing soft tissue. This causes fluid and blood to leak, which can lead to swelling and bruising.

The sensitivity to pain in the affected area is increased by the inflammatory processes in the affected tissue. Shoulder contusions are particularly common during contact sports such as soccer, handball or rugby. Bruises from blows are also common in martial arts. Falling from a great height can lead to shoulder bruises even with skilful rolling techniques, such as when riding. Falls in winter sports or while climbing can also lead to shoulder bruises.


A shoulder contusion is usually diagnosed when the accident is described. A thorough examination can also support the diagnosis. Often accompanied by pain in the shoulder area, bruising and swelling of the affected shoulder occur.

To exclude bone fractures in the shoulder area, an X-ray can be taken. If there is a contusion of the shoulder, this is inconspicuous. Injuries to the so-called rotator cuff must also be excluded. The rotator cuff is a unit of muscles and tendons that allow the arm to move. This is evaluated by means of an ultrasound examination.


Immediately after the impact or collision, the patient feels pain in the shoulder, which limits any further activity. Lifting the arm alone can make the pain worse. The patient typically adopts a relieving posture.

The skin is usually intact when blunt force is applied. Injury to blood vessels results in swelling, warming and reddening in the affected area. Bruising can occur.

They are also known as bruises, hematomas or bounce marks. This is caused by the leakage of fluid and blood into the surrounding tissue. In the course of healing, the bruises then take on various discolorations. They can disappear before they are painless or even disappear completely.