If you have ever gone roller or ice skating, fallen, and landed directly on your buttocks, chances are you have experienced a tailbone injury. The pain you experience landing on your buttocks directly on the floor or ice is unforgettable. Just picking yourself up and going to sit down and rest may likely aggravate the situation. Taking some ibuprofen may help you ease and deal with the pain. However, how do you really know exactly when you have a tailbone injury and how to treat it?
Experience a trauma to the tailbone
Simply falling onto your buttocks may not be enough to cause a tailbone injury. As children, we all experienced bouncing down the stairs on our buttocks. However, we were not bouncing from great lengths, so chances are we did not injure ourselves. Falling directly onto your buttocks from riding a bicycle or falling when roller or ice skating is likely hard enough to cause injury to your tailbone. If you experience moderate to extreme pain after falling, chances are you injured your tailbone.
Bruising in the buttocks area or base of the spine
If you notice bruising in your buttocks area or the base of your spine after falling onto your buttocks. Chance are you have experienced an injury to your tailbone. Sitting with an ice pack near the bruised area will likely reduce any possible swelling. You should seek medical attention if you still experience tenderness or pain after sitting with the ice pack near the bruising for several minutes. Only a trained medical professional can distinguish between a serious and a not so serious injury.
If you have recently fallen onto your buttocks and are experiencing pain while sitting, lifting your legs, walking up or down stairs, or simply touching the area, chances are you could have a broken tailbone. If the pain is severe, you may want to seek medical attention at an emergency room or urgent care clinic. An MRI may be conducted to see if it is broken. Anti-inflammatory and pain medications will help reduce the swelling and pain. Your doctor will recommend rest and icing the area several times a day. Using a donut or soft pillow will take direct pressure off the tailbone.
Childbirth tailbone injuries
Most women experience moderate to severe pain when giving birth. It is very important to be able to tell the difference between the types of pain you are experiencing. It is not uncommon for women to break their tailbone during childbirth. Be sure to tell your doctor if your buttocks or lower spine area begins to hurt during childbirth. There may be precautions your doctor can take to prevent further injury. It may be possible for the doctor to place a donut or soft pillow under your buttocks to lessen the strain on your tailbone.
Constipation adds strain to tailbone injuries
After experiencing a tailbone injury, you will want to be sure to get the right amount of fiber into your diet to keep your bowel movements regular. You will also want to be sure to drink eight to ten glasses of water per day. Any type of constipation or straining during a bowel movement will tend to make tailbone injuries worse. If eating a balanced diet and drinking several glasses of water have not kept your bowel movements regular, you may want to consider laxatives or other alternatives to keeping yourself regular.
Repetitive straining or friction
People who love to ride a bicycle or participate in rowing sports may be prone to tailbone injuries, as the repetitive straining or friction experienced during these activities puts extra stress on your buttocks or lower spine areas. Doing these types of activities every day without a rest or break will make you more vulnerable to tailbone injuries. Know your body’s limits. If you start to experience strain or pain, take a break. The body can heal itself when you take proper care of yourself.
A chiropractor can help tailbone adjustment
Technically, the tailbone is very close to your spinal cord. If your spine can go out of alignment, it is highly possible that your tailbone can too. Just like you visit your chiropractor to adjust your spine, you can also visit to adjust your tailbone. Your chiropractor will likely tell you to avoid the activities that are most likely to knock your tailbone out of alignment. If you cannot avoid these activities during the course of your week, anti-inflammatory medication can help you deal with any swelling or pain before your chiropractor appointment.
Women prone to tailbone injuries
The majority of tailbone injuries happen to women. This is because the female pelvis is broader than a male’s and more of the tailbone is exposed. Women are also more prone to osteoporosis and other disorders that can weaken the bones. Check with your medical professional about conducting bone density test to see how strong your bones are. Be sure to ask your doctor about the vitamins you can take and the foods you can include in your diet to keep your bones strong and healthy.
Any type of contact sport can prove dangerous to your tailbone. A heavy check into the boards during a hockey game can knock you on your buttocks. A heavy tackle to the ground can put a lot of strain on your tailbone. Anytime you fall on your buttocks during a sporting event; you should seek medical attention. Your uniform likely does not include padding for your tailbone, and you can never be too careful. If you cannot avoid the strong check or tackle, make sure you have not severely injured your tailbone.
Lower back pain or tenderness
Even if you have not fallen directly onto your buttocks, lower back pain or tenderness can spell trouble for your tailbone. If you have been in an automobile accident or experienced a traumatic incident that has banged around your lower back or spine, you will want to be examined for an injury to your tailbone.