Paintball welts and bruises are the bane of speedball players and can often discourage newer players from ever enjoying the sport. The task of treading paintball marks is a tedious yet necessary procedure for anyone who plays paintball regularly.
The effects of paintball marks can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks, so it is vital to tend to your paintball injuries and prevent them as much as possible.
Here is a list of helpful methods that ease pain and reduce inflammation to promote quicker recovery times from paintball welts and bruises.
After a match, it's essential to take the appropriate steps to alleviate and reduce the pain and marks of welts/ bruises as quickly as possible. It's always a healthy choice to wash all impacted areas.
Especially if all or a few happen to have broken skin, sterilizing an open bruise with alcohol can work, but it's unnecessary and stings more than water. So, weigh your choices as you will. On the bruise or welt, apply small dabs with a clean, dry cloth or paper after washing to prevent further agitation or breaking of the skin.
For welts, the inflammation and the majority of the lingering pain can be reduced with the use of an ice-pack within a couple of hours.
While with bruises, you will need to use an ice-pack on and off throughout the first day to prevent further discoloration from occurring. The ice pack can further reduce the pain as optimally as possible.
To use the ice-pack, place the pack on the bruise for ten minutes, then off for twenty-minutes and repeat. This regiment, 10 minutes on 20 minutes off, will prevent the blood vessels from constricting too tightly from the cold, which would, in turn, delay your healing time.
After applying cold-packs during the first twenty-four hours, begin to apply warm towels or compresses for the next couple of days using the same procedure as the ice-pack.
Using Tylenol during this process is another viable step to take in tandem with the afore-mentioned procedures since it acts to reduce swelling. For the next couple of days, you can enjoy regularly taking warm showers to relax your muscles and to reduce the inflammation of your sore appendages.
An excellent remedy to inhibit muscle aches or inflamed portions of the body is to soak in a warm bath mixed with Epsom Salt.
Just don't do it if you have an open wound or if a bruise was broken. The magnesium sulfate comprising Epsom Salt will end up aggravating the already painful injury (though it won't promote infection in any way).
It's also helpful to lay on soft pillows or, if possible, raise the affected appendage to prevent further agitation when you're lounging or sleeping.
To prevent paintball bruises or welts, you can wear the appropriate gear to protect your body and vital organs. Wear the following:
The first and most important piece of equipment that you should have is a mask. I wouldn't step onto the paintball field without one! Never play paintball without a mask. It's just not smart. A paintball could easily damage your eyes, keep them safe!
Wear a loose fitted, thicker fabric shirt and pants, as your first defense against bruising. Under your shirt, a decent chest protector will give you added protection if you are hit in the upper body.
Not all players wear a neck guard, but this will protect your neck and throat area from an unseen shot.
You should have adequate protection by wearing a loose pair of pants with knee pads and shin pads underneath. A pair of padded Paintball pants are the best option, but if this is just your first couple of times playing, you may not want to invest in paintball pants just yet.
Elbow pads will give your arms some protection and allow you to get down on the ground to make yourself a more difficult target and potentially ambush your enemy.
I've written a couple of articles about the best gear for paintball:
As I mentioned before, a mask is a must. All speedball tournaments require paintball goggles and head/eye protection and paintball arenas, be sure to make sure that your piece is suitable for play according to your tournament's regulations.
Take the necessary precautions to avoid getting shot at distances under eighty-feet. If you stumble into an enemy player within that range, do not shoot or open yourself up in any way that might reveal sensitive areas on your body.
Shin-guards can help prevent bludgeons to the shins when you're sliding or maneuvering in tight areas, while thick gloves that reach beyond the wrist can reduce the impact of paintballs on your hands.
I've seen players who wear sock hats and thick, collared jackets underneath their gear to protect their neck area. I would suggest a neck guard, as I mentioned earlier. It's easy to take on and off and will give you more flexibility than wearing a collared jacket.
For woodsball players, the optimal set of attire would be thicker wind-jackets that can't be soaked by rain (especially during colder games). There is nothing more dismal nor agitating than a wet bruise in the colder seasons.
Layers also work well. Lighter waterproof jacket, sweatshirt, and chest protector are a nice combo as well.
For woodsball, especially, wearing boots or shoes with ankle supports will help protect you from tripping over obstacles and spraining or twisting your ankle.
Boots with full-coverage jeans or cargo-pants can provide more protection to your lower legs and feet.
Another option is to be the sniper. You typically don't get as close to the enemy and you can take out your enemy from a safe distance.
Paintball can hurt when you are hit by a paintball at close range. When hit from longer range, you will feel the sting but it will quickly fade without any bruise. Most paintball fields have "safety first" etiquette that include safe firing distance and no head shots.
I might sound like a broken record, but always wear a paintball mask. I don't know of any field that doesn't require a mask to be worn at all times.
Don't shoot at anyone pointblank. That is, if your enemy is within 10 feet or 3 meters, don't shoot. Many games will have a mercy rule, the player will leave the field without being shot to prevent undue injury.
Don't aim as someone's head. For some fields, a head shot doesn't count. A paintball helmet is a good idea and protects you against an errand paintball shot, but don't hit someone in the head if you can help it.
A paintball welt will last for two to three hours, while a paintball bruise will last a few weeks, the bruise will change from red and brown to blue and black within a week; and will proceed to noticeably blend in with your natural skin tone by the end of the second week.
If pain or discoloration remains for over two weeks, speak with your doctors to find the healthiest way to recover.
Paintball is an intense and demanding sport that requires quick reaction speeds, a tactical aptitude, and stubborn persistence.
There's no easy way to overcome the fear of getting tagged, except through experience. Soccer players often start with drills that require head-on, physical contact with the ball to undermine the natural human response of cowering away from quickly moving objects.
Of course, that's not intended to encourage new players to go out and get pelted. Instead of worrying about getting hit, focus the movements of your team and the enemy. Invest yourself in the strategy of it all and have fun. This way, you'll see the shots coming and be more prepared for the impacts.
Trust your gear. If you have the appropriate goggles and are wearing enough layers or some protection, there is nothing to worry about.
Hopefully, I've given you some strategies to avoid the "pain and bruising" associated with paintball. Paintballs is fun. You can certainly reduce the potential for getting hit and having bruises. With some of the strategies discussed here, you can even avoid bruising all together!
Now, find a paintball game and have some fun!