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(Tailbone Fracture; Broken Tailbone)
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- Childbirth, which may result in a newborn breaking the mother's coccyx
- Advancing age
- Certain diseases or conditions that result in bone or mineral loss, such as abnormal or absent menstrual cycles, or post- menopause
- Decreased muscle mass
- Certain congenital bone conditions
- Participating in certain activities, such as skating or contact sports that may lead to falls in a seated position
- Pain that increases with sitting or getting up from a chair
- Pain that increases during a bowel movement
- Tenderness over the tailbone
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
- Analgesics, such as acetaminophen
- Prescription medications
- Local anesthetic injections
- Rarely, local steroid injections
- Massage the tailbone area in a circular motion. Use a styrofoam cup filled with ice. Do this for 15-20 minutes at at time.
- Sitz baths can help relieve muscle spasms. A sitz bath involves soaking the anal area in warm water for 10-20 minutes.
- Sit on an air cushion or doughnut pad.
- Alternate between sitting on one side of the buttock or the other.
- Avoid sitting on soft surfaces. Sinking into a soft chair sometimes increases the pressure on the coccyx.
- Slouch to move your weight forward and off the coccyx. (This only helps until you are well enough to sit properly again.)
- Sit on a large book, with the area of the coccyx hanging off the posterior portion of the book.
- Do not put yourself at risk for trauma to the bone.
- Build strong muscles to prevent falls.
- Wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports or activities.
- Clean spills and slippery areas right away
- Remove tripping hazards such as loose cords, rugs, and clutter
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower
- Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower or tub
- Put in handrails on both sides of stairways
- Walk only in well-lit rooms, stairs, and halls
- Keep flashlights on hand in case of a power outage
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Acute low back pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated June 26, 2013. Accessed September16, 2013.
Coccydynia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated June 28, 2010. Accessed September 16, 2013.
Fractured coccyx. Cure Back Pain website. Available at: http://www.cure-back-pain.org/fractured-coccyx.html . Updated June 21, 2013. Accessed September 16, 2013.
Low back pain. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00311 . Updated May 2009. Accessed September 16, 2013.
Spinal cord injury—acute management. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated January 23, 2013. Accessed September16, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013