What Are the Symptoms of a Broken Tailbone?

What Are the Symptoms of a Broken Tailbone?

Nearly every person has fallen and hit their tailbone at some point in their lives. While painful, such injuries are usually minor and require nothing more than rest and at-home treatment. Less common are individuals who fall and break their tailbone. A recent study found that an average of 25,000 people suffer a broken tailbone each year.

Like a bruised tailbone, a broken tailbone can heal on its own. However, in some cases, a broken tailbone may require medical intervention. Knowing when to get medical attention after falling on your tailbone can help speed your recovery and lessen the severity of your symptoms.

What Is Your Tailbone, and What Does It Do?

The 33 vertebrae of the spine are divided into five regions. The coccyx is the last of these regions and consists of three to five vertebrae that fuse together by adulthood. It is at the very bottom of your spine, around the area of your hips. You can find your tailbone by finding your spine and then tracing it down your back. Your tailbone is between your buttocks.

Although it may seem insignificant, your coccyx plays an important role in helping distribute your weight while you sit. Numerous nerve bundles, muscles, and ligaments are also connected to the coccyx.

Symptoms of a Broken Coccyx

If you injure your coccyx in a car accident or fall and land on your tailbone, you will likely feel immediate pain. This does not mean your tailbone is broken. You should look for other symptoms to determine whether you broke your tailbone and need medical help. 

These other symptoms include:

  • Extreme pain in your lower back and upper buttocks
  • Pain or numbness when sitting
  • Difficulty sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Pain that gets worse when going to the bathroom or during sexual intercourse
  • Sudden irregular bowel movements
  • Numbness or a “pins and needles” sensation in your legs

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and may perform a physical exam to verify your tailbone is broken. In some cases, your medical provider may also take X-rays or conduct a CT scan to understand your injury better.

Healing From a Broken Tailbone

Depending on the severity of the fracture, you and your doctor will develop a treatment plan aimed at helping you manage your symptoms while your coccyx heals. 

This treatment plan could include the following:

  • Orders to rest and avoid activities that cause pain
  • Pain medication
  • Sitting on cushions to relieve pressure 
  • Physical therapy

Many tailbone fracture cases will heal with minimal medical intervention and without any long-term complications. If your pain persists and other attempts to relieve it have failed, your doctor may discuss surgery as an option for helping you recover. Surgery for a broken tailbone is only considered after other, less-invasive treatment options have proven ineffective.

There Is Relief For Tailbone Pain After a Fall or Accident

No matter how you injured your tailbone, you do not need to live with persistent pain afterward. In fact, pain that does not improve or respond to at-home treatment is one of the telltale signs that you have fractured your coccyx. If you suspect this is the cause of your lingering pain, or if you are noticing other symptoms of a broken tailbone, visit your doctor right away.

The sooner you visit a medical professional, the sooner you can begin treatments to alleviate your tailbone pain and return to your regular activities.

Contact The Rock Hill Personal Injury Lawyers At Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys For Help Today

For more information, please contact our personal injury lawyers in South Carolina at Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation today.

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Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys – Rock Hill Office
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Rock Hill, SC 29730
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Lancaster, SC 29720
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Fort Mill, SC 29708
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