ZocdocAnswersMy tailbone hurts, what should I do?

Question

My tailbone hurts, what should I do?

Last Saturday, I went practice for cheerleading. And when I came home, I tried to do my heel stretch with my socks on and I slipped and fell on my bum. It didn't hurt until that night, it started hurting a little bit. I thought it would go away but it didn't. On Sunday night, it hurt so bad I couldn't stand up, but it started getting better on Thursday. I thought I could continue on my stratches I did splitsfor nine minutes, and I then I had to sit and reach. A friend of mine had to sit on my back. When I got up, it didn't hurt so bad. The next day, (Friday) It started hurting again. It wasn't that painful, but it still was. And still is now. The problem is, I have my cheer competition this Sunday!! I can walk and all, but is there anyway I can recover then? Please help! :(

Answer

I recommend visiting your primary care doctor who can physically examine you. Generally speaking, in most cases, coccydynia, or tailbone pain is caused by or associated with an injury in or around the bony structure at the bottom of the spine (coccyx) during the fall (as in your case). Treatment of tailbone pain initially focuses on relieving the inflammation with the use of over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc) or aspirin. In the meantime, it is important to prevent further injury of your tailbone. The pain is often worsened by sitting. You should use a doughnut-shaped pillow or wedge (V-shaped) cushion to relieve the pressure when you sit. You should sit completely upright (keeping your back firmly against the chair and feet flat on the floor). It's also important to take more frequent breaks to stand up and stretch. In any case, I recommend that you visit your primary care doctor who can physically examine you and make additional recommendations, which might include referral to a spine doctor for steroid injections. If you have chronic coccydynia, your doctor might also recommend using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to find out if you have a fracture. Good luck.

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