The tailbone, formally known as the coccyx, is three to five vertebrae at the bottom of the spinal column. The triangle-shaped coccyx connects to the sacrum and helps serve as an anchor point for tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the lower back and pelvic area. These few vertebrae play an important role in helping provide a proper upright posture for the spine and stabilizing it when in the sitting position.
When an injury occurs to the coccyx or tailbone area, daily activities as simple as walking and sitting can become painful and debilitating. The symptoms often associated with tailbone injury include
- Pain and tenderness of the lower back
- Numbness when sitting
- Difficulty adjusting from the sitting to the standing position
- Pain during bowel movements
- Pain during intercourse
- Swelling of the lower back
If gone untreated, pain often increases in frequency and longevity. Therefore, it is recommended that tailbone injuries receive treatment soon after noticed issue(s).
How Do Tailbone Injuries Occur?
Tailbone injuries are not uncommon and often impact athletes. Due to the role the tailbone plays in functional movement, a direct injury to the coccyx and surrounding area can greatly diminish the quality of life an individual has. It is often easier and quicker to resolve a tailbone injury soon after an incident takes place.
Common causes for tailbone injury or pain include:
- Sports-related incidents
- Falling onto the lower back/coccyx area
- Repetitive activities involving sitting and lower back strain
- Direct impact into the lower back/coccyx area
How a Chiropractic Treats Tailbone Injuries
The two biggest issues surrounding the tailbone after an injury are stiff muscles and inflammation. Seeing a chiropractor is one of the best methods to relieving pain and fixing the root issue with a tailbone injury. Depending on your case, a chiropractor might recommend a variety of options such as spinal manipulation, physical therapy, massage therapy, and more.
Since the tailbone is part of the spine, realignment might be necessary to readjust the current resting place of the coccyx. In doing so, the tailbone can return to its original state, and the surrounding nerves can begin to heal and function once again. Coupled with targeted exercises for the lower back, the muscles surrounding the tailbone will begin to strengthen and stretch, eliminating strain and discomfort in the area. This will dramatically help improve the ease of everyday activities like walking and sitting.
Other general tips to take care of the tailbone during an injury include:
- Using a soft cushion or donut pillow to sit on
- Avoiding sitting as much as possible
- Do not lift heavy objects
- Ice the affected area
- Sleep on your stomach
- Take OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen
Need to See a Chiropractor?
Contact Dr. Goodbinder to schedule an appointment to examine your current health status. Tailbone pain is common and can be addressed without the need for harmful prescription medications or invasive surgery. Learn how we can help address your health concerns, and adjust for a healthier life moving forward.
Dr. Jay Goodbinder ND DC DABCI is a doctor in Overland Park, KS who serves patients in surrounding Kansas City areas, cities across the United States, and in several countries around the world.