(Tailbone Fracture; Broken Tailbone)
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- Falling on the buttocks—Skating and other activities that lead to falls in a seated position
- During birth—Newborns can break their coccyx going through the birth canal
- Sex: female—A woman's broader pelvis leaves the coccyx more exposed to injury
- Increased age
- Reduced muscle mass, which may lead to poor balance and increased risk of falls
- Poor nutrition, especially low in calcium and vitamin D
- Certain congenital bone conditions
- Participating in certain activities, such as skating
- Pain that increases with sitting or getting up from a chair
- Pain that increases during a bowel movement
- Tenderness over the tailbone
- Drink plenty of fluids and eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Stool softeners may help decrease straining during bowel movements.
- Sitz baths can help relieve muscle spasms. A sitz bath involves soaking the anal area in warm water for 10-20 minutes.
- Sit on an air cushion or doughnut pad.
- Alternate between sitting on one side of the buttock or the other.
- Avoid sitting on soft surfaces. Sinking into a soft chair sometimes increases the pressure on the coccyx.
- Slouch to move your weight forward and off the coccyx. Note: This advice only helps until you are well enough to sit properly again.
- Sit on a large book, with the area of the coccyx hanging off the posterior portion of the book.
- Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.
- Do weight-bearing exercises to build strong bones.
- Build strong muscles to prevent falls.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Acute low back pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 16, 2013. Accessed January 29, 2013.
Low back pain. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00311. Updated May 2009. Accessed January 29, 2013.
- Reviewer: John C. Keel, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 01/29/2013 -