We’re awfully fond of bruises in roller derby. They’ve become a symbol that you’ve worked hard or done something epic or made a spectacle of yourself in some way. In fact the roller derby community loves showing off their bruises so much someone has even created an online space to share pictures of them.
http://derbybruises.tumblr.com/ check out these corkers! If you think that’s bonkers; artist Riikka Hyvonen created a series of pop art pictures dedicated to derby women who have been bruised playing the sport – have a look at her blog; she sells these images as artwork. http://riikkahyvonen.com/roller-derby-kisses/
So let’s get technical. A bruise is bleeding under the skin caused when capillaries are forcibly broken. The blood leaks into the soft tissue causing discolouration. This will start off black or purple in colour and gradually fade to green or yellow. Usually in roller derby most bruises are caused by falling over, hitting (legally), blocking and just generally as a result from being involved in a contact sport on wheels!
But let’s face it, if you get bruised and I mean really bruised, they can flippin’ hurt. So after you’ve posted a picture to social media to make you look bad-ass (that’s what people do right?) how should you care for your bruise? There’s lots of different theories out there but it’s recommended that in the first instance you should hold a cold compress or ice pack to the area for 10-20 minutes. This will reduce swelling and speed up the healing process. After 48 hours apply heat, in the form of a warm flannel, for 10 minutes a few times a day. This will increase blood flow and allow the skin to reabsorb the blood (from the bruise) more quickly.
So now you know; skate, bruise, selfie, cold, heat, repeat!
Remember, stay safe out there and look out for your teamies.