Tailbone Trouble

Coccyx - A.K.A Tailbone Pain - Diagnosis, Treatment, and Home Care

Having trouble with your backside? Learn about common problems associated with tailbone pain along with treatments and home care.

Tailbone Trouble

Coccyx - A.K.A Tailbone Pain - Diagnosis, Treatment, and Home Care

Having trouble with your backside? Learn about common problems associated with tailbone pain along with treatments and home care.

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Tailbone pain is most often referred to as coccydynia in clinical settings. In most cases, it’s the result of a bruise, fracture or dislocation of the coccyx or the tailbone. Of course, a fracture is the trickiest condition of them all. Despite all that, even bruises and dislocations can cause major problems.

There is a reason why tailbone pain is something tricky. It can’t be avoided. The tailbone is always under pressure. Whether it be walking, sitting or lying down – you can’t avoid aggravating it. It requires the utmost care even in the slightest cases. One might use a coccyx pillow to treat and ease the tailbone pain.

In this article, we aim to uncover the facts about this of this fairly lesser-known injury. In order to know how to deal with it, you have to understand what it is first. Let’s get to the bottom of the diagnosis, treatment and home care for coccyx pain.

Diagnosis

Tailbone pain is tricky because it doesn’t have to start right away. When you fall, you might not feel a thing. Whilst thinking it’s nothing serious, you might aggravate the injury further. Of course, when the pain starts, you should abandon every form of physical activity. A visit to the doctor is of the utmost importance.

It’s important to know that the majority of coccyx injuries are sustained by women. They have a broader pelvis, which leaves the coccyx exposed. That’s just a minor factor. It doesn’t mean that men can’t suffer tailbone pain from an injury.

The pain itself may be the result of the following occurrences

  • A fall against a hard surface in the seating position
  • A direct blow. It usually happens during contact sports
  • In some cases, the coccyx might get injured during childbirth
  • Repetitive straining or friction. Rowing, riding a bicycle and horse riding are the major causes of pain because of the constant strain.
  • Bone spurs, compression of nerve roots and spine injuries. These causes of pain are very, very rare and are easy to notice.

If you’ve happened to be in one of these situations, you know the cause. The doctor will ask you to lie down, using a coccyx pillow under your stomach. He will look for bruising and apply pressure to the general area. You will have to tell him if you have trouble during bowel movements. Other stressful actions may be intercourse or doing sit-ups.

According to Nabil Ebraheim, MD Chairman of Orthopaedics at the University of Toledo, “Dull aching pain symptoms are associated with coccydynia. The pain becomes sharp during siting or when getting up from sitting, pain originating in the middle just above the anus, pain improves while leaning forward or to the side, and local tenderness over the area. Pain will increased during sex, defecation and menstruating.”

You will most likely have to get an X-ray too, just in case. After the doctor gathers all the necessary data, you will be issued a form of treatment.

Treatment

When the doctor tells you what’s going on, the procedure will be quite simple. First, you will most likely have to look for some good coccyx pillow reviews. You will need support for your lower back region. This is a must, in order to prevent many dangerous aggravations.

Most patients make the injury even worse because of a lack of care. The coccyx is the most sensitive bone in the body. It’s not the weakest, but it suffers the most strain out of the entire skeleton, aside from the femur. It’s not as nearly as strong as the femur, so it can get messy if injured.

There are a few cases and varieties of tailbone pain treatment. Each one depends on the cause of the injury. Although the procedures aren’t all that different, they are to be applied with extreme care. The treatments go as following:

For a Fracture

This is the worst-case scenario. If the coccyx is fractured so badly, you will most likely need surgery. The good news is that you will notice a fracture right away. You wouldn’t be able to move from the pain. The surgery is followed by a long stay in a hospital, along with some meds. Home treatment is what comes next, but we will cover it in the very next section.

For a Dislocation

A dislocation of the coccyx is far more common than the actual fracture. You will most likely get referred to a chiropractor. Some exercise, rest and a few sessions will do the trick. Some people are too happy that they didn’t fracture it and decide to disregard the severity. Dislocations are dangerous too. If you’re not resting, you can cause even more problems.

For a Bruise

If your tailbone pain is caused by a bruise, you can rest easy. Literally. The only thing you will need to do is rest for a while and let the bone heal. You might also have to drink some slight pain meds, but nothing too serious. Bruises can also be aggravated by the movement or sports, so be careful.

Home Care

Home care is an integral part of tailbone pain treatment. The doctor can only help you with advice, the rest is one you. Since the coccyx is so fragile, you will need to pay extra attention. This means no extra movement and activity. The first thing you should do is search for some good coccyx pillow reviews.
They will help you with easing the pressure on the bone. Tailbone pain is mostly due to the strain and pressure we feel when lying down. A soft surface designed for your lower back just might do the trick. It’s specially designed to adapt anatomically. It might save you a lot of pain and a lot of money for meds.
All in all, home care is pretty easy.

The hard part is adapting to the new regime of life for a week or two. Aside from being tentative, the rest is easy:

  • If you have to sit down, avoid doing so for a long time. Don’t even drive or sit at work without your coccyx pillow.
  • If the pain is that tough, take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS. Aspirin and ibuprofen should do the trick.“On examination, the physician can usually reproduce the symptoms through direct pressure on the tailbone. Initial treatment is conservative, using nonsteroidal pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen; protection of the area with a donut or wedge pillow; and alternating applications of heat and cold packs.” according to Dr. Otis Brawley, CNN Health Conditions Expert.
  • Eat foods high in fiber. The coccyx is near the bowels and the pain can cause constipation. You will want softer and more abundant stools. Bread and veggies should be on your menu from now on.

SOURCES:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3963058/
https://www.physio-pedia.com/Coccygodynia_(Coccydynia,_Coccalgia,_Tailbone_Pain)
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/tailbone_coccyx_injury/page4_em.htm

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