Nurse who suffers chronic tailbone pain

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I am a Registered Nurse who has suffered with tailbone pain for over 8 years. Like all chronic pain, it is essential that sufferers get the correct support, diagnosis and treatment appropriate for them as an individual. This blog follows my journey with chronic pain, it expresses my personal opinions and thoughts. It is not intended as a replacement for advice or treatment from your normal Healthcare Provider.

Friday, 3 April 2015

What is a bruised tailbone?

I often look on Twitter, and search #tailbone, #tailbonepain, #coccyx, #coccyxpain, #lowerbackpain, #pelvicpain. Such is my life now! :-)

Most frequent hashtags seem to be #bruised and #tailbone 

There must be many more sufferers who are not on Twitter, or do not have access to social media.

I have mentioned before that coccydynia, tailbone pain and/or injury is considered rare. I have also said that I strongly disagree. It seems that every minute, of every hour, of every day someone tweets about injuring their tailbone/coccyx. Correct me if I am wrong- but I do not think this makes it rare!

On Twitter, there is a lot of humour and joking about falling and 'bruising' tailbones. Perhaps initially people think it is funny and try and make a joke of the injury. They may think it is not serious, maybe for the lucky few they are correct. Perhaps they try and distance themselves by the use of humour. I also think people are just too embarrassed to see a health professional about it. It is easier to laugh about it, than to seek professional advice. The trouble is that in ignoring the potential seriousness of their injury, they risk it becoming a life long problem. They risk the pain worsening and haunting them for the rest of their lives. I think that the fact people tweet about it shows it is actually really bothering them. What these tweets show is that we are not alone, it is a very common injury, and it's impact should not be underestimated by anyone. 

Early intervention will help prevent this becoming a chronic condition. But even then there are no guarantees. It may well come back and bite you on the arse later in life (no pun intended!)

So what is a bruised tailbone?

Put simply, a 'bruised tailbone' is a tailbone injury. Tailbone injuries can cause bruising, dislocation and sometimes fracture.

Picture courtesy of coccyx.org

The coccyx- as I am sure everyone looking on this blog is now painfully aware- is the last part of our vertebral column. It can consist of between 3-5 small bones. In some people the bones are separate, in some they are fused together.


Picture from lookdiagnosis.com

If we fall backwards our tailbone often takes the full force of the impact. The resulting pain can be directly over your tailbone, and/or the surrounding buttocks and lower back. You may get pain when sitting, you may get numbness or burning sensations. Some people get pelvic pain. You may of course have bruising. Unfortunately for women, we are more at risk as our pelvis is wider, and our tailbones are more exposed.

If you are lucky (!) the bruising and pain may go within 4 weeks, a fracture may take up to 8 weeks to heal.

Please see my post and page on First Aid for a tailbone injury. Always seek advice  from a healthcare professional. Always get your injury looked at. What may seem a small, embarrassing injury at the time, may go on to become a chronic and life long condition. Always call your healthcare provider if you get any numbness or tingling, weakness, or change in bladder and bowel activity after tailbone trauma.

I have also created pages on 'causes of coccydynia' and 'what to ask your healthcare provider'.

So for all you fellow #tailbone #coccyx #coccydynia #tailboneinjury #bruisedtailbone #lowerbackinjury lovely people I wish you luck and a speedy recovery!!

To all you 'PITAS'- pain in the arse sufferers - keep tweeting!

5 comments:

  1. Well i am lucky that i found your post on coccyx.org and i am not on Twitter , so there are lots of others out there that do not post , it is good that you are sharing this "THANKS", i wonder what the real number out there that has tail bone problems ?? There are so many professionals out there that are in the dark , hearing about the coccyx in anatomy class does not make them a expert , even if they think they are. Thanks for all the links .

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    1. Thankyou. Yes, lots and lots of us out here! The coccyx gets ignored a lot which is so annoying. I had to have two MRI's because they kept missing it off- apparently they don't normally include it in X-rays and MRI's unless you make sure they do- that says a lot in itself! Are you on Facebook? Their Support Group is really good too. 'Coccyx Pain Support Group'. Good luck, hope you're not suffering too much.

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  2. I don't understand why people think there's something embarrassing about the issue. I just said to my neurologist: "My tailbone hurts, is there something that can be done about it?" He mentioned steroid injections, but the pain hasn't been so bad that I'd want to resort to that. I think it's related to my MS and all the nerve pain that comes with that as it comes and goes, lasting from a few days to a couple of weeks.

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    1. No, that's how I feel. If people were honest about it, we'd get true numbers and it wouldn't be considered 'rare', or wrongly labelled as 'lower back pain'. Hope you carry on managing yours. Mines been bad for over 7 years now, but the severity comes and goes, with no particular reason sometimes. Thanks for taking the time to contact me.

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  3. Yes my coccyx was not included in 3 lumbosacral MRI's , my GP thought it was , but the specialists didn't include it , i recently asked a radiologist why was the coccyx is not included in a lumbosacral MRI , he said it is anther part of the body ? and it takes a extra 10 min to include it ?$$ I wonder if the specialists know it is not part of the lumbosacral MRI ??
    Should we have ask for it to be included ??? I am not in the medical profession. Should it be up to us ??

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