If you have an intense pain at the bottom of your spine upon arising from a sitting position to standing, you may have a bruised, broken or inflamed tailbone or Coccyx, a condition called Coccydynia.
Causes of Tailbone Pain
Sometimes it’s hard to determine just how it happened. The usual cause is a fall backwards that bends the tailbone under, bruising or chipping the bones. The coccyx is actually the remnants of a a vestigial tail from our ancestors and is there primarily for support along with the sitbones when we sit down. The bones are connected by small ligaments that have a little movement and are attached to the sacrum by a vestigial disc.
Injuries to the tailbone often occur while skiing, skateboarding, or playing football and may happen for no reason at all. Damage to the tailbone can occur in childbirth as the baby’s head passes over that area. More women than men have tailbone pain because the pelvis is broader and more pressure is created in the center. Another reason for tailbone pain is a job that requires sitting for long hours. One way to tell if you have an inflamed tailbone is to gently touch the end and around it and you will find that it is exquisitely sensitive. There will be no doubt that it’s the tailbone and not lower back pain or sacral pain The pain has often been described as sitting on a knife or sitting on a marble that keeps moving around.
Most of the time tailbone pain resolves without treatment, but if it doesn’t, it needs to be cared for. It is a good idea to start with an x-ray to determine the extent of injury and to rule out a tumor or infection. The next step is to consult an acupuncturist and a chiropractor who specializes in using the activator method.
I know you can’t imagine needles anywhere near your tailbone, but the way the needles are placed along side the tailbone in the muscle should give you no concern. It’s painless. Acupuncture will decrease the pain and inflammation and start the healing process by moving stagnant qi and blood. Chinese medicine is known for treating conditions distally, or far away from the actual problem. And in this case, there is an acupuncture point an inch above the elbow call Xinmen that treats tailbone pain and it usually works. By the second or third treatment, you should be much better and the residual pain should fade away.
Chiropractic for Tailbone Pain?
As I mentioned, an activator chiropractor is very important to this process. With activator chiropractic there is no manipulation, just the click of a small instrument that provides just enough pressure to move the bone or ligament to the proper position and reduce any pressure on the nerves. If the tailbone is curved under making a very sharp beak, he will use the activator to gently move it back to its original position by pressing upward on the ligaments that connect the bones. This is also painless. The combination of these two therapies work beautifully and are a complement to each other.
Ease Your Tailbone Pain at Home Naturally
Natural inflammatories like Curcumin, a derivative of the spice turmeric, are excellent for pain and inflammation. As always, hot Epsom Salts baths are a must for tailbone pain. If you can’t sit on a pillow in the bathtub, soak folded towels in hot Espom salts and make compresses for the area. Another way to reduce pain is to lean slightly forward when sitting to take the pressure off the tip. You will find that sitting on a well padded chair will cause more intense pain on arising while one with moderate padding will not cause as much pain. This is because the padding pushes up between the sit bones and increases pressure on the tailbone making the condition worse.
I encourage you to go on Amazon and order a pillow from Tush Cush. By sitting on the pillow instead of a surface that will aggravate the bones, there will be less pressure on the tailbone while you are in therapy and while you are healing. By applying all of the above therapies, you should heal quickly.
Here is an anatomy site that gives an excellent visual of the tailbone. You can see that the tailbone is fairly straight but has a forward angle. When it is damaged it may be curled under from an impact of some kind. http://tailbonedoctor.com/coccyx-tailbone-images/
If you still have questions about tailbone pain, please feel free to call or email me.