Tailbone pain can be caused by anomalies in the structure and by falling. The area between the buttocks that lies above the anus is the tailbone or coccyx and when this bone becomes inflamed there is tenderness and pain in the area. This can also be caused by prolonged sitting. Sometimes, a severe pain can be felt when moving from sitting to standing and during bowel movements.
Symptoms of tailbone pain
- The affected area is tender to touch and severe pain
- Sometimes, bruises can develop in the area
- Severe pain with prolonged sitting or applying direct stress on the tailbone area.
- Severe pain during bowel movements
- Pain becomes minimized when sitting on legs or only on one buttock.
- Falling while sitting and hitting the back on a hard surface.
- Direct impact on the tailbone especially during playing contact sports
- Playing sports such as rowing, cycling and bowling
- Extra growth in the bone called bone spur can cause pain in the tailbone
- Infections at the bottom of the spine and cause buildup of pus.
- Apply an ice pack on the tailbone for at least 20 minutes at a time to lessen pain and inflammation on the first 48 hours every hour. Avoid applying the pack directly on the skin to prevent frostbite and worsen the condition. Wrap ice pack using a towel or small cloth before placing to the affected area.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to lessen swelling and pain.
- Maintain a good posture to lessen symptoms of tailbone pain. Sit upright, neck straight and back is slightly arched. If there is pain when getting up, lean forward and arch the back before getting up from sitting position.
- Place cushion on the seat that is shaped like a doughnut to relieve pain on the tailbone when sitting down.
- Apply heat such as heating pad on the tailbone area to lessen pain. Apply heat on the area for at least 20 minutes each time, four times every day. Another alternative, use warm compress or taking a hot bath is also good for the condition.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements. Avoid constipation by consuming plenty of fiber and drinking plenty fluids in the diet. Another option is taking a prescribed mild stool softener while the area is in the healing process.
- In a bathtub filled with warm water, mix it with 2 cups of Epsom salts. Mix them until salt is totally dissolved. Soak the body in the water for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Epsom salts lessen pain in the tailbone and shrink the cyst effectively.
- Wear proper protective gear when participating in physical sports.
- Be careful on stepping on water spills and slipping on glossy ice.