The phrase “learn a new move, get a new bruise” is something you will regularly hear at pole dancing classes. And anyone who pole dances for fun and fitness will be able to confirm that this is true.
Why Do We Get Pole Bruises?
Polers are used to the black and blue, brownish or purple bruises. In general, they change color as they fade, often without the need to treat them.
Basically the bruise is simply a discoloration of the skin due to an injury to the skin or tissue. When we press our limbs agianst the pole so that we can grip the pole it damages the blood vessels underneath the skin, causing them to leak.
It is the blood pooling under the skin that causes the skin to change color.
According to Medical News Today, “a fall, blow, or anything else that puts sudden high pressure on the skin can cause a bruise” and pole fitness certainly does put pressure on the skin. When we squeeze our legs together around the pole, apple pressure with our arm or abs to stay on the pole the pressure applied to the smooth metal pole is enough to cause bruising.
Common places for polers to get bruises are the top of the foot, between the thighs, waist, side of the hip, upper inside arm and the wrists.
The good news is that as we perfect the pole move we stop getting bruised by it. I guess the area gets used to the pressure being applied to it and as we get used to the move we might not need to grip so intensely.
How To Prevent Pole Bruises?
The good news is that as we perfect pole moves we get lessed bruyised by them. It is known that those that don;t have a healthy diet may be more susceptible to bruising so make sure that you get enough vitamin C in your diet or as a last resort take a supplement. Take try to consume at least 75 to 100 mg of Vitamin C daily.
Another vitamin which can help you stop bruises is vitamin K.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that comes from fruits and vegetables. Eating a diet full of citrus fruits, red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and greens will help to ensure you get enough in your diet.
As well as being an antioxidant, Vitamin C is important for your skin, bones, and connective tissue. It promotes healing and helps the body absorb iron according to Medline.
It is a water-soluble vitamin i.e it dissolves in water and is delivered to the body’s tissues but is not well stored, so it must be consumed daily.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults 19 years and older is 90 mg daily for men and 75 mg for women. The upper tolerance level is 2000 mg, consuming more than this can be toxic.
Vitamin C is required for collagen production and is involved in wound healing, so if you don’t have enough in your diet and you bruise easily on the pole consuming vitamin C supplements could help.
If you don’t get enough vitamin C in your diet try adding a small glass of OJ to your meal or take a good quality supplement.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient that is essential for blood clotting. According to Life Extension, topical vitamin K cream is an excellent therapy to promote the rapid resolution of black and blue marks.
Topical vitamin K has been found to speed the healing of bruises. Its effects are even greater when used in combination with topical arnica (see below).
If you want to ensure you get enough vitamin K in your diet ensure it is full of leafy greens Collard greens, Spinach, Spinach, Broccoli and Soy Beans.
If you don’t get enough on your diet, try a supplement.
Invest in a Vitamin K cream to speed up the healing process.
How To Manage or Treat Pole bruises?
Usually pole bruises don’t need any treatment and will fade away quite quickly. However, if you have quite large bruises then there are a few steps that you can take to help them heel faster.
Some polers, including myself find Arnica, Aloe Vera and Icing useful when we need bruises to go quickly.
Apply ice to bruises causes the damaged blood vessels to constrict. It reduces the pain and swelling of the bruise.
- Give the affected body part a rest from the pole for a while.
- Apply ice packs for the first 24 to 48 hours after injury. Put it on every 15-minute for the first couple of hours or until the swelling recedes then
- Apply a heating pad or warm compress to the injured area after two days.
- If they are painful paracetamol or Tylenol should help.
Arnica and Pole Bruises
According to healthline, Arnica Montana is also known as Mountain tobacco, Leopard’s Bane, Wolf’s bane and Mountain arnica. The flowers from the Arnica plant have been used for hundreds of years.
There were a couple of studies conducted during 2000 that looked at the effects of homeopathic Arnica on bruises. The 2006 study found that homeopathic arnica may reduce the severity of bruising. Then a study in 2010 found that topical arnica reduced bruising.
Arnica can be applied topically to the affected area using gels or lotion form. Homeopathic arnica comes in the form of pills so can be swallowed. The Arnica plant has been given an FDA poison status, so don’t try to eat the plant 🙂 .
There is lots of Arnica available to buy and you can probably pick it up in your local drug store or chemists but take a look at our page on Arnica if you want to buy it straight away and get it delivered.
Aloe Vera For Pole Kisses
Pinhealth states that the Aloe Vera plant has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. This is has been shown to be because the plant contains large amounts of iron which can speed up the healing process and promotes haemostasis.
If you have a plant at home, benessence says to
- take a leaf and extract the pure gel;
- once this has been done, take some cotton wool or, even better, some gauze. Swab the wound until you see that bleeding stops;
- then, in order to ensure healing, apply the Aloe gel extracted from the leaf to the wound daily.
Apply a generous amount to the bruised area throughout the day.
If you don’t have a plant at home you could buy some Aloe Vera gels from a drug store, chemist or Amazon.
Our Final Thoughts
Nobody likes being bruised after pole dancing but it’s a pain we suffer for the love of our art and fitness. If you need to wear revealing clothes after a pole class and you don’t want those pole bruises on the show you could use the tips above to speed up their disappearance and if that isn’t quick enough cover them in some foundation.
Sophie Green has been pole dancing and aerial arts at home and in studios around the world for over 13 years. She’s taken a number of instructor courses in pole and aerial. Plus attended a course on rigging. She takes part in lots of exercise.