How do I Treat a Bruised Coccyx?

Meshell Powell

The tailbone, which is also referred to as the coccyx, is a triangle-shaped group of bones found at the bottom of the spinal column. A bruised coccyx is a fairly common occurrence, particularly among women. Symptoms of a bruised coccyx include discomfort and pain in the area of the tailbone. Lower back pain often occurs with this type of injury as well. Treatment options are generally conservative in nature and include the use of ice on the affected area, non-prescription pain medication, and supportive devices.

A bruised coccyx also causes lower back pain.
A bruised coccyx also causes lower back pain.

For the first several days after experiencing a bruised coccyx, the use of ice therapy is often helpful. It is generally recommended that the patient applies ice to the affected area for about 15 minutes at a time. This should be repeated three to four times per day, as this method often helps to ease the pain and reduce any swelling that may have occurred as a result of the injury. It is important for the patient to remember not to place the ice directly on the skin and to stop if this type of therapy becomes uncomfortable.

The tailbone, or coccyx, is the lowest segment of the spinal column.
The tailbone, or coccyx, is the lowest segment of the spinal column.

Non-prescription medications are often sufficient when used with other treatment methods to reduce pain from a bruised coccyx. Ibuprofen is generally the preferred medication. This is due to the fact that this type of medication can help to reduce inflammation as well as provide some degree of pain relief. If this type of medication is not sufficient, doctors may sometimes prescribe stronger pain medications to help relieve the discomfort during the healing process.

A bruised coccyx is fairly common, especially among women.
A bruised coccyx is fairly common, especially among women.

Mild lifestyle changes can greatly improve the comfort of the patient suffering from a bruised coccyx. For instance, avoiding long periods of time in the seated position reduces pain and gives the area time to heal without experiencing constant pressure. When the patient must sit, it is often helpful to shift body weight from one side of the buttocks to the other, thus keeping pressure off of the bruised coccyx. Leaning forward can help avoid direct pressure on the tailbone as well.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as ibuprofen, can be used to treat a bruised coccyx.
Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as ibuprofen, can be used to treat a bruised coccyx.

Supportive devices such as special cushions often assist the healing process when a patient is suffering from a bruised coccyx. Doughnut-shaped cushions are the most popular because they allow the patient to sit relatively normally while keeping pressure off of the tailbone. There are several types of cushions available, so the patient should choose the style that provides the most comfort.

Ice therapy may help treat a bruised coccyx.
Ice therapy may help treat a bruised coccyx.
Strong pain medication may be necessary if over-the-counter medications aren't enough to sooth a bruised coccyx.
Strong pain medication may be necessary if over-the-counter medications aren't enough to sooth a bruised coccyx.

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