The coccyx (more commonly referred to as the tailbone) sits at the base of the spine, just below where the vertebrae meet the pelvis. In such a prominent and vulnerable position, your tailbone is particularly susceptible to injury, especially after a nasty fall. Tailbone injuries can be extremely painful, and you may find yourself unable to walk, sit, or stand comfortably for quite a while afterward. So what should you do after a tailbone injury, and how can chiropractic help expedite the recovery process? Read on for the answers to these questions and more.
Immediately after injury, you should treat the area and practice first aid techniques.
- Take a Break. Stop all physical activity and any movement that causes pain. It’s critical that you not exacerbate the injury and cause further damage to your tailbone. The sooner you rest, the sooner you’ll begin to heal.
- Hot & Cold. It is recommended that you apply ice or a cold compress for 15–20 minutes, four times a day, for the first few days after your injury. After 2–3 days of consistent icing, you may add heat to the rotation. Consider even taking a warm bath to soothe the pain.
- Use a Padding. Avoid sitting directly on hard or un-cushioned surfaces. Your tailbone will be hypersensitive, so relieve as much pressure as possible. When sitting, put a cushion or donut under the tailbone to prevent direct contact with anything that may cause pain.
- Pain Medication. For severe injuries of the tailbone, you may be desperate enough to take a medication to ease the pain. Ibuprofen or naproxen can help relive symptoms, but avoid taking them within 24 hours of your initial injury. This could increase your risk of bleeding.
After the initial shock wears off and you’ve given your tailbone proper first aid treatment, it’s time to think about correcting any damage that was done. Fortunately, chiropractic care is here to help! Because the tailbone is part of the spinal column, it may be misaligned (and re-aligned) just like other vertebrae. A licensed chiropractor can perform an adjustment to prevent contact with nearby nerves and tissues. They can also recommend stretches and exercises that will ease the pain and promote quick healing.
If you’ve suffered a tailbone injury, we invite you to come in for an examination and consultation. Our staff here at Wirth Chiropractic in Greenville, NC look forward to guiding you on the path to healing. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!