Did you know that the scientific term for tailbone is coccyx? Even those who suffer a tailbone injury may be unaware of how important this part of the body is.
Although small, the coccyx is the insertion site for several ligaments, tendons, and muscles. When in the seated position, the tailbone provides weight-bearing support.
Despite its importance, many don’t know what to do after succumbing to a tailbone injury. Read on to learn more.
After a tailbone injury, you’ll want to relieve your symptoms the best way you can. Your health care provider should provide you with tips for tailbone protection while you recover.
The instructions you get to relieve symptoms should be followed for days or weeks depending on the severity of your injury. Here are the steps:
- Stop physical activity
- Ice your tailbone 2 to 3 times per day
- Use a gel donut or cushion when sitting
- Avoid sitting a lot
The main thing you can do for your tailbone injury is to get a lot of rest. When resting, lie on your stomach. However, sleeping on your stomach is never a good idea.
Prolonged time on your belly can actually increase pain in those with a tailbone injury. When sleeping, try laying on your side.
There are easy tailbone pain remedies you can follow as well. Over-the-counter pain medications like Advil and even Aleve may work for your symptoms.
It’s common for those with a tailbone injury to become constipated and feel pain while using the restroom. Be sure to eat fiber and drink enough fluids to avoid this. You can also use a stool softener if necessary.
When Can You Start Physical Activity?
Doctors that know how to treat coccydynia will tell you that you can begin light physical activity as the pain fades away. However, you should still follow these tips until your tailbone is fully healed:
- Don’t sit for long periods of time
- Don’t sit on a hard surface
- Keep using a cushion or gel donut when sitting
- Ice after activity when you feel discomfort
Don’t rush into any physical activity even when it is light. Walking and sitting should be the first thing you do more often as pain goes away.
Visiting a Health Care Provider
For common tailbone injuries, you may not need to see a healthcare provider at all. If the injury does not heal as you expect it to or it is too severe, you’ll want to visit your doctor. Chronic tailbone pain is another reason to seek medical care.
Likewise, if you feel one or both of your legs numbing, tingling, or feeling weak, call your provider. The same goes if you feel an increase in swelling or pain that occurred all of the sudden.
Protecting Yourself After a Tailbone Injury
Protecting yourself after a tailbone injury involves getting enough rest and allowing your body to heal properly. You’ll need to follow up with your medical provider if the injury is severe enough.
After a tailbone injury, follow the instructions from your doctor and follow the additional tips in this guide. Now, get to healing!
For more articles on health, check out the other posts on our blog.