The tailbone is a protruding section of the spine, right above our butts. It’s a triangular bony structure composed of three to five bony segments held in place by joints and ligaments. Medically, it is referred to as the coccyx, but because it looks like a tail, it is more commonly called as the tailbone.

Causes of Tailbone Injury

Tailbone injury is called coccydynia, and may be caused by a bruise, a dislocation, or a break or fracture of the coccyx. Most coccyx injuries are caused by direct trauma to the tailbone area. The page on tailbone injury at lists the following as probable causes:

  • A fall onto the tailbone in the seated position, usually against a hard surface, is the most common cause of tailbone injuries.
  • A direct blow to the tailbone, such as those that occur during contact sports, can injure the tailbone.
  • The tailbone can be injured or fractured during childbirth.
  • Repetitive straining or friction against the tailbone (as happens in bicycling or rowing) can injure the bone.
  • Sometimes, the cause of tailbone injuries is unknown.
  • Less common causes of tailbone discomfort include bone spurs, compression of nerve roots or injuries to other parts of the spine, local infections, and tumors.

Tailbone Hurt Why Does My Tailbone Hurt?

Majority of tailbone injuries occur in women because the female pelvis is broader, and the tailbone is more exposed. Pregnant women will most likely feel tailbone pain. If women aren’t pregnant, but were injured in the tailbone, they will feel pain during sex.

The pain is generally worse when sitting for prolonged periods of time, or with direct pressure to the tailbone area, especially when straining during bowel movements.

Treatment of Tailbone Injury

Depending on its severity and the cause, tailbone injuries are usually treated through a combination of medication, and physical therapy. Surgery is rarely done to take out the tailbone. For home care, these steps from may be applied to ease the pain:

  • Avoid sitting down for long periods of time. When seated, sit on hard surfaces and alternate sitting on each side of the buttocks. Also, lean forward and direct your weight away from the tailbone.
  • For traumatic injuries, apply ice to the tailbone area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day, for the first few days after the injury.
  • Use ibuprofen (Advil), or a similar pain medicine, as directed on the label for pain control.
  • You can purchase a “doughnut” cushion or pillow to sit on. This cushion has a hole in the middle of it to prevent the tailbone from contacting the flat surface.
  • Eat foods high in fiber to soften stools and avoid constipation.

Most tailbone injuries are accidental, such as a slip on a slippery floor. It’s not entirely avoidable, except when we engage in contact sports where we can wear padding and protective gear.

Categories: Health

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