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How to manage tailbone injury

A tailbone injury can cause pain and discomfort in the tailbone area which is also called coccydynia. These injuries can be due to a bruise, dislocation or fracture on the coccyx.

The coccyx is a triangular structure that is found at the bottom of the vertebral column and it is composed of three to five segments that are connected by joints and ligaments. Women are more susceptible to this condition due to their broader pelvis and it is more exposed.

Causes of tailbone injury

  • A direct blow to the tailbone when playing contact sports can cause injury to the coccyx.
  • Constant straining or friction that is caused to the coccyx such as in bicycling and rowing can damage the coccyx.
  • A fall onto the tailbone in the seated position especially on a hard surface is the most common reason why tailbone injuries occur.
  • During childbirth, it can also cause tailbone injury.
  • Bone spurs as well as compression of nerve roots, injuries to the other parts of the spine and some localized infections and tumors.
Tailbone injury

A direct blow to the tailbone when playing contact sports can cause injury to the coccyx.

Symptoms of tailbone injuries

  • During a traumatic tailbone injury, a bruise can be seen in the affected area.
  • Severe pain and tenderness can be felt in the tailbone areas.
  • Severe pain when sitting for long periods of time or there is direct pressure to the tailbone area.
  • Bowel movements and straining that are sometimes painful
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.

It is best to enroll in a course on first aid today so that you are prepared to manage the symptoms and ease the discomfort caused by this injury.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Minimize sitting down for prolonged periods. When seated, do not sit on hard surfaces and alternate sitting on each side of the buttocks and lean forward and keep weight away from the tailbone.
  • For traumatic injuries of the tailbone, apply an ice pack to the tailbone area for 15-20 minutes at least four times a day for the first few days after the injury.
  • Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen to minimize pain and improve the ability in moving around.
  • Look for a donut-shaped cushion or pillow to sit on. This pillow has a hole in the center that works by preventing the tailbone from touching the flat surface.
  • Eat high fiber foods in order to soften the stools and prevent constipation.
  • Walk daily for 30 minutes at a time or do some low-impact aerobic activities in order to stimulate flow of blood and fast healing.

Prevention of tailbone injuries

Most tailbone injuries are caused by accidental slipping on ice, slipping on a hard surface, falling from a high chair or bed, playing contact sports such as basketball and football. With this in mind, it is important to wear proper protective padding when playing contact sports at all times.

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