What is a corky?

A corky is a bruised muscle that results in bleeding into the muscle. As with a skin wound with ongoing bleeding, the treatment of choice is compression with an elastic bandage – not a crepe bandage as they do not maintain pressure.

When applying ice it is important to maintain the compression component as this is the single most important factor when attempting to reduce the bleeding of a soft tissue injury. The main DON’T’S are heat and massage. Heat should not be applied, particularly in the first 24 hours.

This includes hot packs, spas, baths, and creams. Massage should also be avoided as it can cause further bleeding and inflammation. Your physiotherapist can advise you when to start specific exercises and stretches, running and most importantly when to play basketball again.

Most corkys settle in a week but it is important not to go back too early as irritation can result in extended time off playing and in certain cases bone forming in the area of the bleed. Corkys that do not settle within a week may be more than a simple bruised muscle and it is recommended that the area be assessed for tissue damage.