Even minor tailbone injuries can cause major discomfort. And while you might be tempted to just rest and wait for your pain to go away, there are some excellent treatments that can relieve your pain and help you heal faster.
Why suffer any longer than you need to? A Pembroke Pines chiropractor can help you accelerate your tailbone injury healing today.
In the meantime, here are some of the most common questions we get about tailbone injuries and chiropractic treatment.
What Causes Tailbone Pain (Coccydynia)?
The tailbone, or coccyx, is a small triangular bone that sits at the bottom of the spine. Because of its position in the body, it is highly susceptible to bruising, dislocation, and even fractures.
Tailbone pain is typically made worse by sitting, but you may be able to find relief by standing and walking slowly.
However, they can also occur from internal trauma, from simple actions like sitting too long every day to challenging circumstances like childbirth.
In some rare cases, tailbone pain may be a symptom of an infection or a tumor, but these are far less common than the other two causes.
While it can be helpful to know the root source of your tailbone pain, we’re often able to provide relief even without knowing the specific cause. In other cases, we can diagnose the cause with X-Rays and careful examination. So, if you’re not sure why your tailbone is hurting, don’t worry!
Common Symptoms of Tailbone Pain
Tailbone pain, or coccydynia, may present as a throbbing, a sharp, stabbing pain, or a persistent dull ache. It typically worsens when you sit, though your exact triggers may vary based on the type and severity of the injury.
If you’re experiencing coccydynia, you may also notice pain during bowel movements or during sex. The pain in your tailbone may also affect your quality of sleep and cause additional pain in your buttocks and back.
What are the Most Common Tailbone (Coccyx) Injuries?
Many tailbone injuries have similar symptoms, so one of the best ways to figure out which type of injury you may be experiencing is to try to trace it back to the root cause.
Many tailbone injuries are best treated with a combination of chiropractic care and simple home remedies. Here are some of the most common causes of tailbone pain:
- Bruises, Dislocations, and Fractures
If you’ve ever fallen backwards and landed in the seated position, you’ve probably experienced the pain of a bruised tailbone. And if your fall is especially severe — such as falling off a ladder or colliding with someone during a contact sport — or you land in just the right position, you may even fracture or dislocate your tailbone.
- Repetitive Strain Injury
If you frequently ride a bike or participate in a sport like rowing, your tailbone pain might indicate that you have a repetitive strain injury. The motion and seated position of biking and rowing places stress on the muscles and ligaments around your tailbone, and over time, this may cause tissue inflammation and pain.
- Obesity and Weight Gain
When you gain excess weight, it places additional pressure on the tailbone. Over time, this can cause the coccyx to move out of position.
- Weight Loss
If you lose a significant amount of weight, or you’re underweight, your tailbone may not have enough fat surrounding it as a cushion. It will then rub against the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons, which causes inflammation.
You may notice that tailbone pain worsens during menstruation, especially if you have a pre-existing injury.
Tailbone Pain and Pregnancy
When a person is pregnant, the body will naturally soften the area around the tailbone, so that it can move during childbirth. Sometimes, the softening will cause a painful stretching of the muscles and ligaments attached to the tailbone.
The fetus’ weight will also put pressure on your pelvic area, which can cause pain and soreness as it grows.
While tailbone pain during pregnancy is completely normal, there are things you can do to reduce your pain, like sleeping on your side and sitting on a “donut pillow” or coccyx cushion.
In some cases, a difficult childbirth can also bruise the tailbone or even cause a fracture. If this happens, know that there are treatment options available to you, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re in pain!
How to Sit Comfortably with an Injured Tailbone
The most common, and often most frustrating, symptom of tailbone injuries is pain while sitting. If you work a desk job or have to drive frequently, tailbone pain can be incredibly disruptive.
While you should try to minimize the time you spend sitting if you’re experiencing tailbone pain, there are a few ways to make yourself more comfortable.
First, try sitting on a coccyx cushion or “donut pillow”. This takes pressure off the tailbone while also cushioning the surrounding bones and muscles. If you don’t have a donut pillow, sitting on a regular small pillow and leaning slightly forward may provide some level of relief.
If possible, you should also take frequent breaks from sitting to stand and walk around.
How are Tailbone Injuries Diagnosed?
If home remedies aren’t providing the pain relief you need, or your injury just doesn’t seem to be getting better over time, a chiropractor can help.
When you visit a chiropractor for a tailbone injury, they will first work with you to understand the cause of your pain. At Rush Chiropractic, we’re committed to using X-Rays ethically and only when absolutely necessary. We can often diagnose tailbone pain with an examination of the area and a conversation about when and how your symptoms started.
If needed, we’ll take an X-ray to check for a fracture, or we’ll send you for an MRI or bone scan if we suspect there might be a tumor or infection at play.
Can Chiropractic Help with Tailbone Pain?
Based on their diagnosis, your chiropractor will then come up with a treatment plan that can either speed up the healing process, provide pain relief, or often some combination of the two.
Those treatments may include:
Chiropractic Adjustment: Applying controlled force to the joints can help with a variety of tailbone injuries. If your tailbone is out of place because of dislocation, obesity, or even because you were born that way, chiropractic adjustment can help realign the vertebrae and relieve stress on the surrounding tissues.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation: At Rush Chiropractic, we use electrical muscle stimulation to help loosen muscles and reduce tissue inflammation. This in turn can cause your tailbone injury to heal more quickly, while also reducing your pain in the meantime.
Exercise and Nutritional Advice: Whether you need a few stretches to help strengthen the muscles in your lower back, or you’re hoping to lose weight to help ease your tailbone pain, our team at Rush Chiropractic can provide practical advice about lifestyle changes that may help you find long-term relief.
Massage Therapy: If you’re dealing with pain from a bruised tailbone, repetitive strain injury, or pain from pregnancy, massage therapy can complement your other treatments and provide temporary pain relief.
How to Reduce Your Tailbone Pain with At-Home Remedies
A great chiropractor can also share some strategies you can use to reduce your tailbone pain in your daily life, while you wait for your coccyx to heal itself.
For example, ice or heat can help reduce swelling or relax sore muscles and tendons, depending on the type of injury you’re experiencing.
We can also recommend things like sleeping and sitting positions that place less pressure on your tailbone, or using a “donut pillow” while sitting.
When it’s helpful, we’ll even educate you about stretches and other exercises you can use to relieve your tailbone pain in the moment and strengthen the surrounding muscles to avoid future injuries.
With this combination of chiropractic care and at-home treatment, many tailbone injuries will fully heal, without causing any long-term complications or ongoing pain.
How to Sleep with Tailbone Pain
For many people, one of the most debilitating parts of tailbone pain is not the pain itself, but the way it makes sleeping difficult.
And while some primary care doctors will be quick to prescribe pain or sleep medication — which may have significant side effects and won’t address the root problem — there are certain things you can try to relieve your pain naturally.
For example, you may find that sleeping on your side and placing a pillow between your knees takes most of the pressure off of your tailbone. Using ice or heat before you go to bed can also provide temporary relief that allows you to fall asleep more easily.
If tailbone pain is keeping you up at night, make sure to mention it to your chiropractor! They can probably provide some tips that will help you get the rest you need.
When Should You Go to the Emergency Room for Tailbone Pain?
While most tailbone injuries will heal with a combination of at-home remedies and chiropractic care, there are some instances when tailbone pain might be a symptom of a spinal cord injury.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should call 911 or go to the emergency room as quickly as possible:
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Paralysis in any part of the body
- Severe neck or back pain
- Tingling in your legs
- Weakness in your legs or arms
Don’t Let Tailbone Pain Hold You Back
It’s true that tailbone pain will often heal on its own, but that can take weeks or even months. A Pembroke Pines chiropractor, on the other hand, may be able to provide pain relief from your very first visit.
Plus, they can provide you with strengthening exercises and other strategies you can use to reduce your risk of future injury.
Why prolong your healing process any longer than you need to? If you’re experiencing tailbone pain in the Pembroke Pines area, Rush Chiropractic is here for you.
Give us a call today at 954-432-5006 to schedule a consultation and start your journey back to health.
Dr. Rush is a 1994 graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Sports Science and Wellness.
Dr. Rush earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Life University in 2000 where he was honored with magna cum laude. Dr. Rush was born and raised in South Florida where he returned after graduation. He currently practices in Pembroke Pines where he owns and operates Rush Chiropractic and Rehab.