The tailbone (also known as the coccyx) is a group of 3-5 fused bones at the base of the spine. This is the remainder of a tail and has no real function in humans!
Symptoms of a bruised tailbone
Bruised coccyx symptoms include pain at the very base of the spine. Bruising usually develops in moderate to severe cases. There will be pain when sitting down and walking may be uncomfortable. Pain may develop higher up the back due to the sudden jolt or compression when landing. Pain is occasionally felt on bowel movements in some cases.
Causes of a bruised tailbone
The Coccyx can become bruised as a result of a fall onto the backside. An impact such as this compresses the soft tissue in between the coccyx and the surface which is landed on!
Occasionally the tailbone is actually fractured as the result of a fall. In this case, the symptoms described below are usually more marked than if it is simply bruised and so moderate to severe coccyx injuries should be checked by a Doctor.
Treatment of a bruised tailbone
Treatment should involve rest from activity including sitting or putting pressure on it. Use a doughnut or ring cushion when sitting to ease pressure on the coccyx bone. Apply ice or cold therapy to reduce pain and inflammation. Rest is usually sufficient, although time scales for healing vary greatly from a few days to several weeks. Surgery is considered in cases which do not resolve with conservative treatment. This is more common with a fracture than bruising.