Are you experiencing coccyx contusion? Are you feeling discomfort near your lower back? Do you want to know more about it keep reading everything related to coccyx contusion is explained below.
Coccyx contusion Injuries may result in a bruise, dislocation, or fracture of the coccyx. The coccyx is the triangle shaped bony structure located at the bottom of the vertebral column. It is made up of three to five bony segments held in place by some joints and ligaments. The coccyx pain may radiate to the hips, thighs, or even to rectum. It can make normal functions difficult like sitting , painful exercise , and may even disrupt sleep. With right treatment, as well as some home management strategies, it can be managed well
The majority of coccyx injuries usually occur in women, because the female pelvis is broader so the coccyx is more exposed to injury.
What is coccyx contusion?
Coccyx contusion also know as Tailbone Injury. Coccyx injury results in severe pain and discomfort in the tailbone area this condition is called coccydynia as well . These types of injuries may result in a bruise, dislocation, or fracture of the coccyx. Although they can be slow to heal, the majority of coccyx injuries can be managed well with cautious treatment.
What are causes of coccyx contusion?
Mostly coccyx injuries are caused by trauma to the coccyx area.
- A blow:
This could be to the Coccyx or the surrounding muscles. Example, falling from a bicycle may injure the coccyx, while running into the wall might cause pain radiating from other muscles to the coccyx. A fall onto the coccyx in the seated position, usually against a hard surface, is the most common cause of coccyx injury. A direct blow to the coccyx, such as those which occur during contact sports, can injure it. Repeated strain or friction against the coccyx (as happens during bicycling or rowing) can injure the coccyx.
- Trauma during childbirth:
The coccyx can be injured or even fractured during childbirth.
- Levator syndrome:
This is a situation that causes spasms in the muscles of anus. The pain may radiate to the coccyx, hips, or even other nearby areas.
This could be due to continuous severe constipation or even hemorrhoids.
But many times the cause of coccyx injuries is unknown.
- Sitting down:
Especially for long periods of time, or in awkward uncomfortable positions.
when degeneration happens to nerves or joints near coccyx it can lead to pain as well .
This can happen when nerves are compressed due to high pressure during pregnancy.
- Pelvic floor dysfunction:
Often seen in women due to childbirth.
- Problems with spine:
Example a spinal surgery or a degenerative lumbar disc disease.
- Infections, tumours, bone spurs, or growths:
Rarely, these can be the reason for coccyx pain.
- Seronegative spondyloarthropathy:
is a group of chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases which mostly affect the axial skeleton. Involvement of sacroiliac joint is a hallmark for diagnosis of seronegative spondyloarthropathy and is commonly the first manifestation of this condition. It is essential for the radiologist to know the CT and MRI ,features of spondyloarthropathy-related sacroiliitis as these images play an important role in diagnosis and evaluation for treatment. In this disease one can have pain in lower back which can be confused with coccyx contusion. There are few less common causes of coccyx injuries which include bone spurs, compression of nerve roots, injuries to other parts of the spine, local infections, and tumours.
- A herniated disk:
is a problem where one of the disks that sits between the individual bones i.e. vertebrae that stack to make your spine slides away. Mostly herniated disks occur in the lower back, although they can also occur in the neck as well. Signs and symptoms depend on where the disk has took place and whether the disk is pressing on a nerve or not. If it happens in lower back it can lead to pain in that region which can feel like tailbone pain or coccyx pain.
- Pilonidal sinus:
is a small hole or tunnel in skin. It can fill with pus, leading to the formation of a cyst or abscess. It mostly occurs in the cleft at the top of buttocks. Pilonidal cyst usually contains hair, dirt, and even debris. It may cause severe pain and may often become infected. The signs of an infection include following:
- pain while sitting or standing
- red, sore skin around the area
- pus or even blood draining from the abscess, causing a foul odour.
- hair protrusion from the lesion
What are the symptoms of Coccyx contusion?
Localized pain and severe tenderness may be felt in the coccyx area.
If the injury is traumatic, bruise can be visible in the area.
The pain is generally gets worse by sitting for long period of time, Or sometimes even with direct pressure to the coccyx area.
Bowel movements can get painful.
Straining movements are also often painful.
Some females can experience pain during sexual intercourse.
When to see a doctor for coccyx contusion?
- If the signs and symptoms of a coccyx injury or unexplained discomfort in the coccyx area are present, a doctor should be consulted. It may be necessary for the doctor to decide whether the injury is traumatic or is it the pain that is caused by some other more serious problems.
- Injuries to this region of the coccyx rarely require a visit to the emergency department but, if one is concerned about symptoms, it is better to call a doctor or even visit the nearest hospital’s emergency department.
Seeing a doctor is must if following happen,
- Loss of sensation
- Extensive bruising.
- Change in movements or in coordination.
- Tingling in surrounding areas of Coccyx area could mean the bone or a nearby structure is broken.
- If pain does not improve after a week or two.
- If pain improves but then returns again.
- If the home treatment makes the pain worse.
- If pain is accompanied by other unexplained symptoms like if fever develops.
How to diagnose coccyx contusion?
The causeof coccyx injuries is mostly determined based on a good medical history and a proper physical exam. Sometimes, X-rays are taken. The entire spine may be examined through an x-ray. Neurologic exam can be performed.
- Rectal exam may also be performed to rule out some problems. For this examination, doctor inserts a finger into the rectum to feel the area of the coccyx and to determine if there is any dislocation or any fracture that can be felt and also if direct pressure against the coccyx reproduces the pain.
- Rarely, if the cause of discomfort is not known, local anaesthetic can be injected into the coccyx area to determine whether the origin of the pain is from the coccyx or is it from another part of the spine.
- X-rays can be taken to determine whether there is any fracture or any dislocation. But, X-rays occasionally may not reveal any injuries. Many doctors recommend X-rays to be taken in both the standing and seated positions for better determination of the presence of a fracture or dislocation.
What are home remedies for coccyx contusion?
Coccyx contusions are often extremely painful, so home remedies aim to help in control of pain and avoid further irritation to the area
- Avoid sitting down for prolonged period of time. When seated, avoid sitting on surfaces that are hard and also alternate sitting on each side of buttocks.
- Also, while sitting lean forward and direct your weight away from the coccyx.
- For traumatic injuries, apply ice cubes to the coccyx area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day, after the injury for first few days .
- Take otc drugs for pain like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce the amount of pain and to improve your ability to move around. Do not take NSAIDS if you have any kidney disease, or a history of gastrointestinal bleeding, or if you are also taking a blood thinner , without first talking with to the doctor.
In that case, it is a safer option to take acetaminophen, which helps in decreasing the pain but does not reduce inflammation on other side.
- You can purchase a cushion or pillow called “doughnut” to sit on. This cushion has a hole in the centre which prevents the coccyx from contacting the flat surface.
- Also Eat foods high in fibre to soften stools and which will help in avoiding constipation hence less pain
What is medical treatment for coccyx contusion?
With home remedies, doctor may be able to givefurther relief of pain with other medical and surgical interventions if needed.
Much Stronger pain medications may be prescribed if pain doesn’t go away by normal pain medications.
Stool softeners can be prescribed also to prevent constipation.
Injections of local anaesthetic’s into the coccyx are sometimes required if pain is continuing .
Rarely, very rarely the coccyx may be surgically removed if pain is that severe.
What is the follow up for coccyx contusion?
Follow-up is recommended at choice of your doctor and depends mostly on the severity of the injury and on the progress you are making with the treatment.
Usually most people do not require follow-up if their coccyx injury is improving with the given treatment.
People with chronic coccyx pain, for whom medical therapy does not work, require more frequent follow-up and may be referred to other medical or surgical specialists for further treatment.
How to prevent coccyx contusion?
- Most coccyx injuries are accidental like a slip on ice etc. and therefore cannot be entirely avoided.
- You should wear proper protective padding when participating in contact sports that can potentially lead to such injuries
The prognosis for coccyx contusion depends on many factors.
The original cause of the problem be it from a fall or other trauma, tumours, or infection.
If traumatic, the severity of the injury can vary from a bruise, fracture to even dislocation.
The majority of cases in which there is traumatic coccyx injury get better within several weeks of the injury with proper medical care.
A few people may suffer from chronic discomfort despite proper medical care. Sometimes this can be an extremely frustrating and debilitating issue.