Your coccyx, commonly known as your tailbone, is the small tail-like bone at the bottom of your spine. Your tailbone can be particularly susceptible to injury during a fall, a car accident, sports impact, and childbirth. Repetitive movement or stretching the muscle for extended periods such as during cycling can also lead to soreness and tenderness in the coccyx. Luckily for most of us, sustaining an injury to your tailbone is a rare occurrence. But when it does happen, you can be immobile for days and in pain for weeks or even months. Tailbone bruising and pain is usually temporary, lasting on average about four weeks, and only rarely lifelong. To help you get healed and back on your feet as soon as possible, here are our top tips for treating a sore, bruised tailbone. (Note that these tips are for a bruised tailbone. If you suspect that yours is dislocated or broken, call your doctor immediately.)
How to take care of tailbone (coccyx) pain.
Apply cold. As soon as your back pain starts, apply an ice pack. Alternate between hot pads and ice packs for about 15 minutes, four times a day. Also apply ice after any activity that leaves you in pain. The ice will constrict your blood vessels in the area which will help lower the swelling and pain.
Apply heat. Many people will find that a heating pad, hot water bottle, or hot bath relieves the pain of a coccyx injury for hours at a time. Heat can help with healing by bringing blood to the injured area.
Rest. Avoid physical activity that causes pain, and take a break from contact sports, lifting weights, abdominal exercises with your back on the floor such as crunches, or high-intensity cardio exercise until you are healed. Gentle stretching might help, but go slowly and gauge how you feel as you are stretching. Discontinue any stretches or movements that cause you pain or discomfort.
Don’t rest too much. In contradiction to the above, sitting a lot can also exacerbate your pain. If you need to sit, make sure you are standing up to walk around regularly. Try to sleep on your stomach if possible, to relieve the pressure on your tailbone.
Sit on a donut. Whenever you must sit during the healing process, sit on a donut-shaped pillow. Donut shaped pillows are available at local drugstores. Avoid sitting on wood or other hard seats. Lean forward or alternate sides between leaning on each of your buttocks to avoid pressure on the tailbone.
Wear loose clothing. Tight pants and belts can put pressure on the spine and cause more tailbone pain. Wear looser clothing until your tailbone feels better.
Try over the counter pain medication. An NSAID such as ibuprofen or aspirin, or naproxen can help with the pain temporarily. Take pain medication according to the instructions on the package. Don’t take medications that have contraindications with any other medical conditions you may have. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Alter your diet. Constipation can affect your injury and can be particularly painful while your tailbone is bruised. To avoid constipation and ease your bowel movements, add more fiber to your diet. If you still have problems, consider using a gentle stool softener until you are healed up.
Call a doctor. If your pain doesn’t subside after a few weeks with the measures above, or if you have any concerning symptoms such as fever, increased swelling and pain, tingling, or bowel/bladder problems, contact your doctor.
If your coccyx pain is due to an accident or fall in Idaho, you may need a local personal injury attorney. If you miss work or have doctor bills piling up, an Idaho accident lawyer can help you with compensation for those expenses. The Idaho Falls personal injury attorneys, Smith, Woolf, Anderson & Wilkinson serve clients throughout the western United States from their offices in Idaho Falls and Driggs.
At SWAW, our law team has over 100 years of combined experience helping clients like you with a variety of legal cases in Idaho ranging from personal injury to family law. Our unique and diverse experience gives us an advantage over other Idaho law firms. We take ample time researching, interviewing, and doing other foundational work for every client to ensure we understand every aspect of the case. This thorough methodology puts us into a strong position to get the best outcome for you. We have confidence that whatever your case entails, we can assist.