How To Treat a Tail Bone Injury

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By Dr. Sender Deutsch
Published on August 22, 2013

How to treat a tail bone injury.A tailbone injury, also referred to as a coccyx injury, is usually the result of a trauma, fall, or degenerative changes to the buttocks region. In women a coccyx injury can also result from pregnancy and labor.

The coccyx is a triangular-shaped small bone at the end of your sacrum. You can feel this bone when sitting on a hard surface or by placing your hand into the crevice of your buttocks region. Curved in the shape of a “C”, the tail bone is typically the fusion of 3-5 small vertebrae at the end of the spine. Since it serves as an attachment site for several ligaments and muscles and since this area as well as the genitalia area are highly innervated with nerves that exit the spine, this region is especially sensitive.

Tailbone Pain

Pain in the tailbone is often referred to as coccydynia. Tailbone pain can be so severe that it impairs sitting and the area becomes highly sensitive to pressure and touch. Since the region cannot be immobilized and yet is involved in all of your daily movements, from walking to sitting to bathroom breaks, a tailbone facture can take a particularly long time to heal.

Tailbone Injury Treatment

Treatment of a coccyx fracture or coccyx injury should consist of rest, ice, and alleviating pressure. To help alleviate pressure, use a “donut” seat cushion to prevent compressing the area. Avoid leaning back when sitting since this places extra pressure on the tailbone. Some people find it more comfortable to sit in a forward position with their donut seat in order to alleviate pressure.

Ideally, tailbone injury treatment should consist of an integrated model of care which combines manual therapy, acupuncture for pain, and inflammation relief. Soft tissue therapy and massage therapy are also effective in easing tail bone pain, while mobilization of the sacrum may also be helpful. In addition, you can gain relief from tailbone injuries by stretching the posterior chain – that is, the hamstrings, flutes, and low back.

If your tailbone pain or pain from your tailbone fracture gets worse, or if there is no root cause for your pain, schedule a medical checkup as soon as possible. Your physician may do a rectal examination or imaging to rule other conditions which may be causing your coccyx pain.


5 thoughts on “How To Treat a Tail Bone Injury

  1. Fairly good post. I just discovered your blog site plus desired to express that I have actually enjoyed shopping your blog site blogposts. At any rate I am registering to ones rss feed and I’m wanting you are writing one more time shortly!

  2. I really want more info for my tailbone back and neck injury, had a car accident and I’ve been having injections steroids since 2001 and it don’t even help anymore.Please help me thank you

    • Hi Stella,

      Chronic back pain following a motor vehicle accident is best treated utilizing an integrated approach consisting of exercise and movement therapy which is the most important in re-educating your mind and body on how to move correctly, cognitive behavioral therapy also known as CBT to help retrain the brain, manual therapy to assist with proper sensory and motor programming in conjunction with medications/injections as overseen by your chronic pain physician to allow you to do the active component with the goals of slowly reducing to the minimum effective dosages.

      Make sure your clinical team is not just advocating a passive approach but an active approach that includes spinal stabilization exercises and non-impact aerobic exercise like swimming, walking or elliptical work to help rehabilitate your body.

      All the best,
      Sender Deutsch, D.C.

  3. I fractured my tailings and pelvis in1999 after falling down 3steps. I still have pain there today. To add to it i also have arthritis in my spine since my fall. Walking and standing for any length of time is impossible. I am overweight but unable to do many exercises due to pain. Am on numerous meds for pain. It does help but doesnt last . How would you treat this problem.?

    • Thank you very much for the excellent question.

      Tail bone injuries take a long time to heal because for the poor blood supply to the area the sensitivity of the structures surrounding it. The tailbone is a very small bone and becomes extremely sensitive.

      The key to rehabilitating tailbone injuries is through the integration of various physical therapy techniques including manual therapy, electro-modalities, acupuncture, etc. in conjunction with exercises to strengthen the surrounding core muscles.
      There are also specialized chiropractors and physiotherapists that will internally examine and provide manual therapy to the tailbone area following a proper assessment of the area.

      It is also important to remember not to aggravate the area and avoid sitting as much as possible by creating a standing workstation. If you need to sit make sure to do so by purchasing an ObusForme soft pillow, donut seat or sitting disc to prevent direct pressure on the area.

      Also remember every extra pound is 5 pounds of pressure to your joints. So we encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle and reduce your weight to prevent excessive pain and pressure to the area.

      Keep moving as much as possible without pain. Motion is lotion and will help heal the injury much faster.

      Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

      Best of luck.

      Sender Deutsch, D.C.

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