The last bone in the spinal cord is the coccyx or the tailbone. There are about 3 to 5 bones that make up a tail bone. If a force is applied to the tailbone during a hard fall or impact during a sport, it could lead to an injury and possibly a fracture. A fracture or dislocation of the tailbone are not common injuries. When a patient feels a lot of pain at the base of the spine, the doctor may suspect a fracture
It may even occur during childbirth, if the joint between the coccyx and sacrum joint are sprained. Repetitive straining due to continuous cycling or rowing boats may also lead to tailbone bruising and fracture. In many cases, the cause is idiopathic. One cannot place a cast to help the bone heal. There are other methods that help in broken tailbone healing. Let us have a look at how to treat a broken tailbone in detail.
How to Fix a Broken Tailbone?
A broken tailbone causes severe pain and tenderness in the area where the tailbone is located. One may even find bruises surrounding the area. The person finds it very difficult to sit for long periods or carry out any activity that puts direct pressure on the tailbone. During bowel movement, the pain becomes very severe as well as during sexual intercourse, especially in women.
It may even lead to pain in legs and feet with time. The bruising, pain, swelling and even constipation at times, make life very difficult for the patient. Thus, one needs to know what can be done for a broken tailbone and find some ways to heal the bone quickly. Some of the methods that will help you get some relief are discussed below.
The doctor will recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications like ibuprofen or aspirin to help reduce the pain and swelling on the coccyx. He may even suggest injections that help in reducing the inflammation and pain, especially if the patient is suffering from a lot of discomfort.
The patient is asked to place ice compress on the tailbone within 48 hours of injury. This helps decrease the inflammation as well as injury to the coccyx. One should apply ice wrapped in a towel for about 15 minutes on the injury.
Repeat it about 6 times a day. After 48 hours of the injury, one should take a warm bath or place a warm compress on the injury. This is because cold compress will not be helpful after 48 hours but warm compress will help relieve the swelling and injury of the tailbone.
One should avoid placing excessive pressure on their fractured tailbone. This means that the patient should avoid sitting in the same position for a long time as well as sleeping on their back. One should sit on a firm, hard surface as soft cushions will make the pain worse. It is important to lean forward as it helps shift the pressure away from the tailbone.
One can visit a drug store and purchase special 'donut' cushions. These cushions are specially designed to help prevent any contact of the coccyx with the surface on which the patient sits. Thus, those who have to sit for long hours to complete their work will find this remedy very beneficial.
If the patient suffers from persistent pain that is making life difficult, then the doctor may suggest surgery. A broken tailbone surgery is advised only when all treatments fail. The coccyx is removed during the surgery. However, broken tailbone surgery is very rare.
Broken Tailbone Recovery
The recovery time is about 4 to 6 weeks. The broken tailbone heals by itself with time. One needs to avoid wearing high heels. Also, one should sleep on the side or on the stomach, lean forward to reduce pressure on the tailbone and sit on 'donut' cushions. This will help reduce the broken tailbone recovery time.
If one experiences any of the symptoms of broken tailbone, he/she should seek medical help. It is important to get the broken tailbone treated on time so that it will avoid further complications. There is not much to do, but just a few precautions and care to be taken during the recovery period, which will help heal a fractured coccyx.