Bruised Tailbone: What You Can Do To Help You Heal

When you bruise your tailbone, sitting down can become uncomfortable and painful. Not only will sitting cause you tenderness and pain, but it can also distract you from your work. You may be less motivated and have trouble remaining focused on the task at hand. 

Uncomfortable office chairs are often linked to low productivity, as they don’t provide any support to the body, causing a variety of different types of pain, including pain in the tailbone, hips, thighs, and lower back. 

When left untreated, pain can become chronic, so it’s important to upgrade your office chair if it’s not providing you with the essential support that your body needs. Unfortunately, upgrading to an ergonomic office chair can be expensive, and it still might not provide the support that your spine and body need. 

Instead of spending several hundred dollars on an upgraded chair that may or may not offer the support you’re looking for, you should enhance your existing chair with the help of cushions and pillows. 

We offer many different types of seat cushions, such as cushions with coccyx cutouts, lumbar back support cushions, footrests, and more. Find the combination of seat cushions that works best for you in order to prevent future pain as well as provide relief to the pain that you’re already experiencing. 

Causes of Tailbone Injury

The tailbone (also referred to as the coccyx) can be injured in many different ways, including trauma and overuse. Common causes of tailbone injury are as follows: 

  • Falling onto the tailbone and landing in a seated position. This is the most common cause of tailbone injury. 
  • Sports injuries (usually from contact sports) or other trauma that causes a direct blow to the coccyx. 
  • Childbirth may cause the coccyx to become fractured or otherwise injured. 
  • Repetitive straining of the coccyx may also cause injury, such as in bicycling, rowing, or similar physical activity. 
  • Bone spurs and the compression of nerves can also cause pain to occur. 
  • Less common causes include tumors and localized infection. 
  • Tailbone pain may also occur without any specific accident to look back on. For example, it may bruise because of prolonged sitting on hard or uncomfortable surfaces. 
  • Obesity can also cause tailbone pain, as more pressure is being placed on the coccyx when sitting down. 
  • Being underweight can also cause pain, as those who are underweight don’t have enough fat in their buttocks to prevent the coccyx from rubbing against muscles, tendons, ligaments, causing inflammation. 

Types of Tailbone Injuries

There are three distinct events that can cause a tailbone injury to occur. Breaking down each event further allows us to look at the different types of injuries and ways that the tailbone can become damaged. 

  1. External Trauma 
    • Breaks
    • Bruises
    • Dislocation

      2. Internal Trauma
    • Prolonged sitting
    • Childbirth

      3. Other
    • Infection
    • Abscess
    • Tumors

    For a third of people with coccydynia (pain in the coccyx), the cause of the pain is unknown. This means that while they are experiencing tailbone pain, they likely don’t know what happened. They could be forgetting a fall, or the pain could have come out of nowhere. If you have a job that requires you to sit for longer periods of time, it’s likely that your coccydynia stems from prolonged sitting. 

    Symptoms of Tailbone Injury

    How you injure your tailbone will determine what symptoms you experience, as a tailbone that’s broken will have much more severe symptoms than a tailbone that is bruised. Symptoms of tailbone injury include: 

    • Pain that is achy or piercing. It may radiate from the tailbone. 
    • More severe pain when moving from sitting to standing up. 
    • More severe pain when sitting for a long period of time. 
    • Painful bowel movements.
    • Painful sex. 

    An injured tailbone may also cause some symptoms that aren’t physical, like a harder time sleeping and increased depression and anxiety. Mental health issues are common with prolonged pain, especially if that pain makes you feel like you’re incapable of carrying out your daily routine. 

    You may also experience pain in other areas, like in the lower back and buttocks. This is often true of injuries that occur because of prolonged sitting. Not only one area is affected by an uncomfortable or hard surface. Damage may also be done to the back and hips. 

    Tailbone Injury Treatment

    In some cases, medical treatment may be required for a tailbone injury. With a bruised tailbone, you likely won’t require any kind of medical intervention. Your health care provider may treat you with the use of prescription-strength pain relievers, stool softeners (to prevent bowel movement pain and constipation), injections of local anesthetics, and surgery after performing a physical exam, MRI, or diagnostic x-rays. 

    Local anesthesia is often only used when pain is severe and recurring. If your pain doesn’t react to over-the-counter medications or even prescription pain relievers, local anesthesia may be required on a scheduled basis to prevent intense pain from interrupting your daily life. 

    In rare situations, you may also require surgery. The tailbone can be surgically removed if it causes you too much pain. Some people have a tailbone that is curved instead of straight. When the curve is too strong, it can cause additional pain. 

    Home Remedies for Tailbone Pain

    If your tailbone pain is minor, such as bruising, it can usually be treated at home. There are many different treatment options for tailbone pain, but here are a few of the most helpful: 

    • Avoid sitting down for prolonged periods of time. Sitting down on hard surfaces can exacerbate the pain, making it harder to deal with. 
    • Ice the area three to four times a day for 15 to 20 minutes each time for a few days after the injury. You can switch to heat every few hours as well. 
    • Take NSAIDs such as aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce the pain that you’re experiencing. If you have kidney disease or are on blood thinners, take acetaminophen instead. Acetaminophen (like Tylenol) is safer, but it doesn’t help to reduce inflammation. 
    • Purchase a seat cushion or pillow to sit on for when you absolutely need to be sitting down.
    • If you’re experiencing pain in other places, such as the lower back and hips, you should try stretching or doing yoga to stretch out your muscles and reduce all-over pain. 

    How Long Does a Bruised Tailbone Take to Heal?

    A tailbone injury can take between eight and twelve weeks to fully heal. However, if you’re only experiencing pain related to the bruising of your tailbone, you can expect it to go away with four weeks. If it doesn’t dissipate within that time, you may want to speak to a doctor about your injury, as it could be more than a bruise. 

    How a Seat Cushion Can Help Prevent Tailbone Bruising

    To ensure that you don’t experience any further pain when sitting down and help prevent the bruising of your tailbone again in the future (or for the first time), you should purchase an affordable seat cushion. 

    Here at Everlasting Comfort, we want to help you live your most comfortable life. We offer seat cushions that are made of memory foam and gel. Memory foam provides support that’s contoured to your body, while gel helps keep you cool throughout the day. 

    Our seat cushion with a coccyx cutout is great for providing relief to a bruised tailbone. We also offer many other products that can help to improve your daily comfort levels.

    Sources:

    Tailbone (Coccyx) Injury: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments | Web MD

    Tailbone Pain (Coccydynia): Causes, Treatment & Pain Relief | Cleveland Clinic

    Tailbone trauma - aftercare | Medline Plus

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