WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A coccyx (tailbone) injury is when your coccyx breaks, dislocates, or is not stable. The coccyx is a small bone shaped like a triangle that forms the bottom of your spine.
You may need any of the following:
- NSAIDs decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- A bowel movement softener makes it easier and less painful for you to have a bowel movement.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Use a donut-shaped cushion to decrease pain and support your coccyx when you sit.
- Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your coccyx for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
- Sleep on a firm mattress. Place a pillow under your knees if you sleep on your back. Or, sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees. This will decrease pain and tension in your coccyx and back.
Follow up with your PHP as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your PHP if:
- You have trouble urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Your pain or swelling get worse or do not go away with treatment.
- You have a fever.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have trouble breathing.
- You cannot move your legs.
- Your legs suddenly go numb.
- You have severe pain.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.