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When a painful "end" is in sight

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Some injuries to our bodies can be a real pain in the you-know-what….literally. An injured coccyx, or tailbone, is most notably one of them. Fortunately, treating an injured “hindquarters” region is not very complicated.

Most coccyx injuries are sustained by direct trauma to the tailbone area, according to sources at www.emedicinehealth.com/tailbone_coccyx_injury. Injury to this area can occur if you were to fall directly onto your tailbone in the seated position right against a hard surface.

Involvement with contact sports that may allow for a direct blow to the area can injure the coccyx. Even childbirth can create problems for the coccyx. If you are an avid cyclist or rowing enthusiast, the repetitive straining and friction can lead to severe discomfort and pain in your tailbone.

Less common sources of pain and discomfort to this area of the body can be introduced through bone spurs, compression of nerve roots, injuries to other areas of the spine, infections, or tumors.

One of the most tell-tale signs that indicates you have injured your tailbone is highly intense and localized pain that can be felt in that region. If the injury is quite traumatic, you may notice bruising in that area. The pain may intensify if you have to sit for long periods of time or if you apply direct pressure to the area. The simple act of having a bowel movement can cause great pain. Some women may even notice unusual pain during intercourse.

If you notice any signs of injury or discomfort to your tailbone, be sure to consult a doctor. He or she can ascertain if the pain is related to a direct blow or trauma to the area or if the pain is related to other more serious issues.

Coccyx injuries rarely require a feverish dash to the emergency room. However, if you cannot reach your doctor or simply have no doctor and are in significant pain or have great concerns about your injury, then it would be advisable to visit the nearest emergency room.

These types of injuries can be quite painful, so all home care techniques are specifically designed to reduce that pain and to prevent further irritation to the coccyx.

Among the home care treatment options, it is advisable to not sit down for extended periods of time. When you are seated, sit on a hard surface and alternate sitting on each side of your derriere. Further, lean forward to allow your weight to shift away from the tailbone.

You may want to apply ice to the tailbone area for up to twenty minutes, four times per day, at least for the first few days after the injury was sustained. You can use ibuprofen or similar pain relievers per the directions on the package.

Another great treatment option is to buy one of those “doughnut” ring cushions or a pillow on which to sit. The hole in the middle of the cushion serves to prevent the tailbone from coming into contact with the flat surface.

Finally, to avoid constipation that might result in straining, eat a diet high in fiber to help loosen your stools.

Your doctor may be able to provide even further relief through the prescription of stronger pain medications and stool softeners. He or she may even administer injections of local anesthesia or corticosteroids to the tailbone region to alleviate the consistent pain.
Although quite rare, in some cases, the coccyx might be surgically removed.

When it comes to treating a painful tailbone injury, you just have to get your rear in gear and treat it properly. No one wants a painful “ending!”

Add a Comment3 Comments

Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Ann - I slipped on an icy sidewalk in Chicago many years ago and injured my coccyx (tailbone) and the pain was excruciating. Shortly afterwards I decided to move to a state that didn't have ice or snow, and I haven't looked back.
Thanks for posting this information.
Take good care,

October 9, 2009 - 5:57pm
(reply to Pat Elliott)

Thanks, Pat! I can only imagine the pain! I am glad you are some place warm! I am jealous! I live in the Kansas City area....ice is prevelant in the winter!

October 9, 2009 - 6:33pm

I hurt myself this way once while playing college tennis and never again do I want to experience that pain!

October 7, 2009 - 7:08pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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