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Traumatic Coccyx Injuries: A Literal Pain in the Butt

Have you ever slipped on ice and landed on your butt? Its very possible that you injured your coccyx, or more commonly known as the tailbone. 

 

                                                                               Worker with yellow helmet  falling from aluminium ladder

From these hard, impactful injuries you could have bruised the coccyx, flexed it, or even fractured it! Coccyx injuries can be very painful and incredibly frustrating! 



How to manage symptoms at home? 

 

-Right after the initial injury, ice! 48-72 hours is the peak inflammatory phase. 
-If sitting, especially on hard surfaces is painful, check out a special seat cushion. They are designed to keep pressure off the sacrum. Like this one
-Happy baby pose; it's a great stretch for the pelvic floor which is easily implicated in coccyx injuries. 

                               IMG-9926

What if it's not getting any better? 

If your symptoms don't seem to be improving, despite trying some of these different tools at home, time to go see your physical therapist! 


How can a physical therapist help with coccyx pain? 

External manual work to the tissues surrounding the coccyx. You  might notice your gluteal muscles are very tense and sore. There may also be some residual swelling around the tailbone. We can work externally to these areas to help decrease tenderness and promote healing. 

External work to the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor has a close relationship to the coccyx, especially if it ends up flexed in this type of injury. We can release the pelvic floor externally through the perineum. 

Internal work to the pelvic floor, specifically through the rectum. We are able to palpate the coccyx internally and externally at the same time, which would allow us to help with releasing the soft tissue structures around the coccyx but also mobilize a flexed coccyx back towards its original position. It doesn't just "pop" back in place though. 

Stretches to the hips and pelvic floor that help release tension in the entire area. The goal is to reduce as much pull on the structures surrounding the coccyx as possible. 

                                                                               Pelvis (3)

All this to say, that healing the coccyx after an injury like this can be slow, especially if you fractured it. If you landed on your elbow with the same amount of force, it's going to be sore for a little while and so will the tailbone. 

 

If you've injured your tailbone recently, reach out to our office and get started with physical therapy today!