What Causes Tailbone Pain, and Can a Chiropractor Help?

The tailbone causes excruciating pain when broken and sprained, with the injured person needing chiropractic care in Greenville. Also known as the coccyx, the tailbone consists of a small group of bones in the lower spine. The number in the body varies from person to person, but it is generally between three and five vertebrae, ending at a soft point. Tailbone pain can be unbearable sometimes.

The coccyx is usually curved, but the curvature, like the number of vertebrae, differs in people. Also, when you sit, the weight of your upper body rests on the tailbone. Therefore when injured, sitting becomes painful.

This article looks at what causes tailbone injuries, their symptoms, and ways a chiropractor can help. Our experienced Carolina Spine and Pain Center chiropractors can help you get better if you injure your tailbone. Visit us today.

Common Causes of Pain in the Tailbone

Tailbone pain (coccydynia) occurs from a dislocation or fracture (break). In addition, tailbone pain often comes from trauma to the coccyx caused by a fall or impact. Occasionally, coccyx aches happen without injury; sitting on a hard bench can trigger them.

Coccydynia is quite common in obese people because of the anatomy of the tailbone in relation to the spine and buttocks. Usually, when people sit down, their buttocks form a tripod that supports their upper body’s weight. However, when a slim or average-weight person sits, the tailbone rotates beneath the body, absorbing the weight.

However, when people with more weight sit down, the pelvis and coccyx do not rotate well enough, putting more stress on the tailbone’s tip. Consequently, such persons suffer fractures or dislocation.

Symptoms of a Broken Tailbone

Suppose you were in a traffic accident or fell from a height. The following are signs that let you know that you suffered a broken tailbone:

  • Constant dull pain in the lower back, above the buttocks
  • Worsening pain when sitting or when standing up from sitting
  • Swelling around the tailbone
  • Numbness or tingling in the leg
  • Intensified pain during bowel movement
  • Irregular bowel movement
  • Intense pain during sexual intercourse

Do Children Suffer From a Broken Tailbone? 

Children have flexible bones, which reduces their likelihood of sustaining a tailbone injury. However, they are not totally immune.

Children still suffer from broken coccyx due to high play and activity levels. Thankfully, recovery time is faster in children, and they rarely need surgery to recover.

Tailbone Pain in Pregnant Women 

According to research, women are five times more likely to experience tailbone pain than men. This high rate of coccydynia in women happens primarily because of the weight gained during pregnancy as they go through posture changes and gain a lot of weight.

Childbirth can also cause pain in the tailbone. In addition, the coccyx location makes it sensitive to injury during delivery, primarily when the woman uses instruments.

Diagnosing Tailbone Pain 

When you go to a hospital or go for chiropractic care in Greenville because of tailbone pain, your doctor will diagnose you before commencing treatment. To do this, they will conduct a physical exam and X-rays. The aim is to determine if there are other causes of coccydynia outside of a traumatic injury.

First, the doctor will feel the soft tissue around the tailbone and the lower spine. This helps to check for the pointy growth of a new bone (spicule). If there is one, it could be the cause of the pain.

Next, the doctor will look for signs of a tumor, ingrown hair cyst, or pelvic muscle spasms. The medical professional could also conduct a rectal examination by grasping the tailbone between the thumb and index finger. Finally, the doctor will move the coccyx to see if there is much or little mobility.

The standard range of motion is about 13 degrees. If it is above this number or lesser, there could be a problem with the tailbone. In such a case, the doctor will order X-rays to get an image of the coccyx.

The X-rays are conducted with you standing and sitting. The doctor will compare your tailbone in both positions to establish the range of motion. Finally, X-rays show if the tailbone is broken or just bruised.

Treatment for Tailbone Pain 

The following are the treatment options for coccyx pain:

Heat and Cold Therapy

Heat and cold therapy help ease inflammation and pain around the injury. Use heat and cold packs for at least two days; place a cloth between your skin and the pack to make it more comfortable.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy involves using exercises to stretch your ligament and strengthen the muscles supporting the lower spine. Usually, a therapist massages the lower back and uses cold and hot compresses to reduce the pain. The therapist also advises how to sit to avoid hurting the tailbone more.


Another treatment option is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Examples are ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, and naproxen. However, consult your doctor before taking any medication.


People who do not respond positively to therapy may undergo surgery. During surgery, the whole or some part of the coccyx gets removed, which comes with some risks.

Can I Get Chiropractic Care in Greenville for Tailbone Pain?

Aside from a traumatic impact or fall, inflamed muscles and stiffness can also result in coccyx pain. As a result, the tailbone gets out of alignment, causing compressed nerves and irritation. In cases like this, a Doctor of Chiropractic is more helpful than a conventional medical doctor.

Chiropractors are experts in restoring alignment and relieving tailbone pain. This is because chiropractic deals with the proper alignment and health of the spine. So, if you have tailbone pain, a Doctor of Chiropractic can help you get better.

Here’s what to expect when you visit the chiropractor.

  • Answering questions about your health history and filling out paperwork
  • Telling the doctor about your symptoms
  • The doctor will conduct a physical exam and any required diagnostic test
  • The chiropractor will review the test result and arrive at a diagnosis

Treatment commences after the chiropractor diagnoses you. Finally, chiropractic care is recommended for treating tailbone pain as it is safe and has no side effects like medication. Also, it is non-invasive without the risk associated with surgical treatment.

Get Expert Chiropractic Care in Greenville at Carolina Spine and Pain Center

Pain reduces your quality of life, so you shouldn’t have to live with it. Our experienced Carolina Spine and Pain Center chiropractors can help if you suffer from tailbone pain.

We also handle car accident cases and have the best auto accident doctor in Greenville. Contact us today to book an appointment with one of our chiropractors.