A tailbone, also known as ‘coccyx’, is a triangular bony structure located at the extreme lower point of the vertebral column. The tailbone consists of three to five bony segments held in place by joints and ligaments. Any injury or trauma such as accidental falling, tripping, rigorous and excessive physical exercise, and activities like biking and cycling can cause the tailbone to bruise or even break. Pregnancy and childbirth are other factors that can lead to bruised tailbone in women. This results in a lot of intense pain and discomfort, thereby making sitting or sleeping uncomfortable for quite a few days. Medically known as coccydynia, a bruised tailbone can take considerable time to heal completely. A bruised tailbone is five times more common in women than men, since women have a broader pelvic region. Though a bruised tailbone takes time to heal, but with conservative treatment, it can be managed. Read on further to know the signs and treatment of a bruised tailbone.
Signs Of A Bruised Tailbone
- The first and most common symptom of a bruised tailbone is pain in the coccyx area. The coccyx area is the lower part of the back where the tailbone is located.
- The pain can be persistent, making it difficult for you to sit, stand or walk normally. On the whole, any movement will cause pain and discomfort in the coccyx area.
- The pain experienced in a bruised tailbone can move from the coccyx area to the legs. Thus, pain can be felt in the legs also.
- On touching the injured tailbone, deep aches can be felt and the area can become sensitive to pressure, increasing with time.
- Activities that put heavy pressure on the coccyx area can also cause an acute and intense pain in the tailbone. Such activities include bowel movement and sexual intercourse.
- Swelling is another symptom of a bruised tailbone. Since the tissues of the coccyx are injured, the tailbone area can cause mild to moderate swelling, at the base of the spine. This can easily be noticed by the puffiness or enlargement of the skin.
- Since a bruised tailbone can cause inflammation in the lower back, it is likely to affect the intestinal tract also. As a result, a person can experience constipation accompanied with abdominal pain, bloating or cramping.
Treatment For A Bruised Tailbone
- A bruised tailbone can take a few weeks to heal completely. Consult a doctor and take the prescribed pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medicines.
- Do not sleep on extremely soft beds that have sponge in them. By doing so, the pain can increase. Hence, it is advisable to sleep on hard surfaces.
- Sit on a doughnut cushion during the period of pain, since this will speed up the healing process.
- Place an icepack on the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes and repeat after every 3 hours. This will make the area numb, thereby reducing the pain. Continue with this treatment, until the pain has completely vanished.
- Include lots of fiber and fluids in your diet to overcome constipation. Also, these nutrients will provide sufficient relief from the bruised tailbone.
- Wear comfortable footwear to induce faster healing. Avoid wearing heels or stilettos.