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Coccyx Injury

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 3, 2022.

What is a coccyx injury?

A coccyx (tailbone) injury may include a fracture or dislocation.

Vertebral Column

What are the signs and symptoms of a coccyx injury?

Coccyx pain may last for a short time or continue longer than 2 months. You may have any of the following:

  • Pain when you sit or stand
  • Pain in your buttocks that spreads to your thighs or legs
  • Pain during bowel movements, when having sex, and when bending or lifting objects
  • Bruises or swelling on your coccyx or lower back
  • Low backache or pressure in your pelvis
  • Trouble standing up or walking

How is a coccyx injury diagnosed?

  • A rectal exam will be done to check for tenderness and the position of your coccyx.
  • An x-ray may be done to look for a coccyx fracture.

How is a coccyx injury treated?

  • Reduction may be needed if you have a dislocated coccyx. Your healthcare provider will move your tailbone into the correct position by hand.
  • Medicines may be needed to relieve pain or to make it easier and less painful to have a bowel movement.

How can I manage my symptoms?

  • Use a donut-shaped cushion to decrease pain and support your coccyx when you sit.
  • Apply ice to help decrease swelling and pain. 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.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You cannot move your legs.
  • Your legs suddenly go numb.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • You have severe pain.

When should I call my doctor?

  • You have trouble urinating or having a bowel movement.
  • Your pain or swelling gets worse or do not go away with treatment.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

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Further information

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