The coccyx sits at the very bottom portion of the sacral spine. It is called the tailbone because it represents a vestigial tail. The tailbone consists of 3-5 separate or fused vertebrae. It was initially thought that the tailbone is always fused together so that there is no movement between the coccygeal vertebrae. However, it is now understood that the entire coccyx is not one solid bone and that there is some limited movement between the bones.
Tailbone injuries are most often caused by trauma to the coccyx area, such as:
- Most commonly, falling directly on the coccyx in a seated position and landing against a hard surface.
- A sports injury that causes a direct blow to land on the coccyx.
- A fracture or injury during
- Repetitive friction or straining against the tailbone common in rowing and bicycling can bruise or injure the coccyx.
- Bone spurs, compressed nerve roots, and injuries to other parts of the sacral spine, local infections, and tumors can also cause tailbone injuries.
Sometimes, the cause of coccyx injuries cannot be determined.
Tailbone Injury Symptoms
- Severe pain and tenderness in the coccyx area.
- A bruise may be visible in the coccyx area in cases of traumatic injury.
- The pain is worse with prolonged sitting or direct pressure to the tailbone area.
- Bowel movements are painful.
- Some women experience pain during sexual intercourse.
When to Seek Medical Care
If you know you have incurred a tailbone injury, or you have unexplained discomfort in your coccyx, contact a medical professional. It is important that you find out the extent of the injury, or if the symptoms are caused by more serious problems.
ChiroCare doctors provide chiropractic therapy for anyone who has suffered an injury to their coccyx. Our experienced doctors will use techniques that are comfortable for you and can help you get back to everyday life.
Call 1-877-DRRIGHT to schedule a visit with a ChiroCare doctor closest to you.