Symptoms of a Broken Tailbone
Ryan Zavodnick | November 3, 2023 | Personal Injury
Have you ever taken a tumble and landed right on your backside? It’s a pain, right? But sometimes, that pain lingers, making you wonder if you’ve broken your tailbone.
Your tailbone, also known as the coccyx, is a small, triangular bone at the bottom of your spine. A broken tailbone can make your life quite uncomfortable, but how do you know if it’s actually broken? This blog will tell you everything you need to know.
What Is the Tailbone?
Before we jump into symptoms, let’s understand what the tailbone actually is. Think of it as the last piece in the puzzle that makes up your spine. It’s pretty tiny, but it plays a crucial role in helping you balance and sit properly.
Common Causes of a Broken Tailbone
The most common cause of a broken tailbone is a hard fall. It’s not uncommon among skateboarders, gymnasts, or people who slip on icy sidewalks. Even sitting down too fast on a hard surface can cause a fracture. Women, especially those who are pregnant or giving birth, are at a higher risk.
Symptoms to Look Out For
Here are some signs that your tailbone might be broken:
- Localized Pain: The pain is usually at the bottom of the spine, right above your buttocks.
- Worsening Pain: Pain intensifies when sitting down or moving from a seated to a standing position.
- Swelling and Bruising: You may notice swelling or a bruise around the tailbone area.
- Pain During Bathroom Activities: Going to the toilet might become a challenge.
- Numbness and Tingling: In some cases, you could experience a tingling sensation running down your leg.
It’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention if you notice these symptoms. These signs could indicate a broken tailbone, a condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment Options For a Broken Tailbone
Since you can’t put a cast on a broken tailbone, treatment focuses on managing pain and facilitating healing:
- Cushions and Pads: Special coccyx cushions can ease pain while sitting.
- Hot and Cold Therapy: Use ice packs to reduce swelling and heat packs for pain relief.
- Pain Management: Over-the-counter medication helps, but consult your doctor for prescription-strength meds if needed.
- Alternate Work Setup: If your job requires long hours of sitting, consider a standing desk or frequent breaks.
While a broken tailbone can’t be cast like other bones, there are still effective ways to manage your symptoms.
Tailbone Breaks and Car Accidents
Car accidents commonly cause various injuries, from whiplash to fractures. However, one injury that often goes unnoticed is a broken tailbone. While it may seem unlikely, the impact of a car crash can exert enough force to damage this delicate area, especially in rear-end and side-impact collisions.
In a car accident, your body is subjected to abrupt jolts and rapid changes in motion. This sudden force can propel you against the seat or seat belt, causing your tailbone to absorb an intense impact. In severe cases, the force might even lead to fractures or dislocations of the coccyx.
Legal Implications of a Broken Tailbone
Navigating the legal complexities of a tailbone injury sustained in an accident can be daunting, especially when dealing with physical pain and emotional trauma. However, taking the right legal steps is imperative for receiving the compensation you deserve.
The Importance of Documentation
The cornerstone of any legal claim is robust documentation. Keeping a detailed record is vital, given the often elusive nature of tailbone injuries, where symptoms may not manifest immediately.
Document all medical visits, diagnostic tests, and treatments. Make sure to request copies of medical reports, X-rays, MRI scans, bills, and prescriptions.
Alongside medical documentation, gather evidence from the scene of the accident if possible. This can include photographs, police reports, car accident reports, and eyewitness accounts. The more comprehensive your evidence, the stronger your claim will be. A legal professional can assist you in this process, helping you collect all the necessary documentation.
Seek Prompt Medical Attention If You Think You Broke Your Tailbone
Breaking your tailbone is more than just a fleeting pain; it can seriously impact your daily activities. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, consult a healthcare provider immediately for diagnosis and treatment. With the right care and precautions, you’ll be back on your feet (or seat) in no time.
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