Have you had a recent fall and noticed that it hurts every time you sit down now? Does your tailbone ache, especially after you’ve been at your desk for a long time? If this sounds familiar, you may have an injured tailbone.
Coccyx injuries can be painful, and the recovery process can take months. Coccyx cushions can make it easier for your tailbone to heal and you to get back to your normal life. Read on to learn more about coccyx injuries and how the right cushion can help you.
Basic Spinal Anatomy
Before we dive into what coccyx cushions are and how they help, let’s talk some about the anatomy of your spine. At the top of your spine, you have your cervical vertebrae, the vertebrae that make up your neck. From the top of your shoulders to just below your ribs are your thoracic vertebrae.
Your lumbar vertebrae sit in the curve of your low back, from the bottom of your ribs down to your hips. And at the very base of your spine, you have your sacrum and coccygeal vertebrae. Your coccyx sits at the very base of your coccygeal vertebrae at the base of your spine.
What Is Your Coccyx?
Your coccyx is the very last bone at the base of your spine, and you may be surprised to learn you probably already know about it. “Coccyx” is the official medical term for your tailbone. As the name suggests, this bone is all that remains of the tails we once had in the womb.
Your coccyx is a small, triangular bone that’s actually a fusion of a pair of smaller bones. Along with your hipbones, it bears most of your weight when you sit down. And because of this role, it’s easy to wind up bruising or even fracturing your coccyx.
Coccyx Injury Causes
There are a number of common causes of coccyx injuries, beginning with long-term stress injuries. When you sit in a chair without enough cushioning every day, your tailbone can become bruised. Over time, it may even develop small stress fractures that can be painful and can take a long time to heal.
Of course, many people also injure their tailbones during falls or other traumatic incidents. If you slipped on ice, fell down in the shower, or slid a little too hard into home base, you may have fractured your tailbone. Long hours sitting on exceptionally hard seating, such as bleachers, can also leave your coccyx bruised and tender.
There are a few symptoms that may clue you in that you have a broken coccyx. The biggest sign is a consistent aching or piercing pain around your tailbone. This pain may be worse when you’re transitioning from sitting down to standing up, or vice versa.
You may also notice that your tailbone hurts more during certain other activities. You may have more severe pain when you’re sitting for long periods of time, especially on unpadded surfaces. You may also notice pain in your tailbone region when you’re having a bowel movement or during sex.
Impact of Chronic Pain
Many of us may think that having an achy tailbone for a little while is no big deal, right? And when it comes to short-term pain, that may be true. But coccyx injuries can take a long time to heal, and chronic pain can have a much more serious impact on your daily life.
When your tailbone hurts all the time, you may not want to go engage in the same activities you used to. You may start to withdraw from your family and friends, and you might even have trouble keeping up at work. This can leave you at higher risk for anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.
Recovering from a tailbone injury can be a long, painful, and tedious process. Every time you sit down, you’re placing more strain on your already injured coccyx, making it harder to heal up. But an injured tailbone can take anywhere from one to three months to heal, depending on the severity of the injury.
You obviously can’t avoid sitting down for three months, so how do you give your tailbone the time it needs to heal? Ice and painkillers can help to control your symptoms, and avoiding sitting on hard surfaces like bleachers or unpadded chairs helps to protect your coccyx while it heals. But one of the biggest aids to your recovery process will be a good coccyx cushion.
What Is a Coccyx Cushion?
A coccyx cushion is a specialized type of seat cushion that has a notch cut out where your tailbone sits. These cushions are usually u-shaped and may have a ridge on the front to help support your thighs. In addition to helping to protect your tailbone, a coccyx cushion can also help to correct your posture and ease any other back pain you may be experiencing.
Because a coccyx cushion has a notch where your tailbone sits, it removes all pressure from your coccyx while it heals. This enables you to sit down without causing further damage, shortening your recovery time. It can also reduce the amount of pain you’re in and keep you on lighter doses of painkillers.
Preventing Coccyx Injuries
When it comes to coccyx injuries, the phrase, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is very true. If you can avoid injuring your coccyx in the first place, you’ll be better off than trying to cushion it while you heal up. A coccyx cushion can be a great way to stop tailbone strain and injuries before they ever start.
Using a coccyx cushion every day can help keep your coccyx from becoming bruised or developing stress fractures. Keeping your tailbone in better shape could also help to protect you in the event of a fall or traumatic injury.
Who Needs a Coccyx Cushion
If you sit down for more than eight hours a day, you could probably benefit from having a coccyx cushion. Most office chairs, even those that claim to be ergonomic, don’t have enough padding to protect your tailbone. Extended pressure can cause long-term stress fractures and bruising on your coccyx.
A coccyx cushion is also a good idea for anyone who has had a previous tailbone injury, no matter how long ago it was. A previous injury can leave you vulnerable to future bruising or breaks, and you want to make sure your tailbone is under as little strain as possible. And if your coccyx is still healing, these cushions can make your recovery shorter and less painful.
When to Use a Coccyx Cushion
In general, it’s a good idea for you to use a coccyx cushion any time you plan to sit down somewhere for more than three or four hours. If you’ve had a previous coccyx injury or are still recovering from one, you may want to use your cushion any time you sit for more than one or two hours. Your office will naturally be the first place you should use a coccyx cushion.
In addition to using a coccyx cushion at your office, you should also consider getting one for your car, especially if you have a long commute. It’s a good idea to have one in your favorite chair at home, especially if you’re recovering from an injury. And you may want to bring one with you when you travel, to sporting events, and even when you go to social gatherings.
What to Look For
When you’re shopping for a coccyx cushion, there are a few features you want to look for. First, get a cushion with a removable, washable cover to make laundering it easier. You should also make sure the cushion has a good no-slip base to make sure it stays in place on your seat.
You may want to look for a coccyx cushion with a lifetime replacement guarantee. Cushions may wear out after a few years of daily use, but good providers will send you a new one if something happens to yours, free of charge. And most importantly, make sure your coccyx cushion is made of memory foam.
What Is Memory Foam?
We’ve all heard of memory foam before, but what is it really? Memory foam is a dense polymer foam that can be molded into a variety of different shapes. You may hear it referred to as “viscoelastic foam,” but that’s just a fancy way of referring to memory foam’s most remarkable properties.
Memory foam has the amazing ability to both give way under your weight (elastic) and maintain enough structure to provide the support you need (visco). It’s also designed to soften as it absorbs your body heat. This allows it to give way under points of highest pressure, redistributing your weight more evenly across your entire seat.
Benefits of Memory Foam
Memory foam can have a variety of benefits for a seat cushion. For one thing, thanks to its softening properties, memory foam can help to remove pressure from your hipbones and other areas of high strain. This can be important for people living with osteoporosis and arthritis.
Memory foam can also help to improve your blood circulation. Because it redistributes your weight evenly, it can prevent blood vessels in high-pressure areas from being compressed or closed off entirely. This can reduce your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, a serious clotting disorder that can lead to a stroke or even pulmonary embolism.
How to Clean Memory Foam
Although having a removable, washable cover on your cushion will make routine laundering easier, you will still need to clean the cushion itself from time to time. Start by running a sink or tub full of lukewarm – not hot – water and mixing in some gentle laundry detergent. Immerse your pillow in the water, squeezing it to ensure it’s completely soaked.
Once your cushion is fully soaked, drain the sink or tub and run it full of cold, clean water. Rinse your pillow until the water runs clear, and then wrap your cushion in a towel. Squeeze it to remove any excess water, and then allow your cushion to dry for at least twenty-four hours.
Other Support Cushions
In addition to a good coccyx pillow, there are some other cushions you may want to consider getting for your office setup. If you’re on the smaller side, you may want to consider getting a footrest. A coccyx cushion can raise your hips a few inches, and you don’t want to leave your feet dangling, placing extra pressure on your knees.
You may also want to consider getting a lumbar support for your office chair. This can help to improve your posture and support your back. A neck cushion can also keep your spine properly aligned and can support the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Discover the Benefits of Coccyx Cushions
If you’ve injured your tailbone, a coccyx cushion can be an amazing aid as you heal and recover. And whether or not you’ve been injured, coccyx cushions can help to prevent strains and fractures before they occur. Make sure you look for a cushion made of memory foam to keep your workdays as comfortable and healthy as possible.
If you’d like to find the best products for living a pain-free life, check out the rest of our site at Everlasting Comfort. We offer everything from memory foam pillows and cushions to essential oil diffusers and humidifiers. Shop our collections today and discover what your most comfortable life can look like.