Recently, I had a patient, Robert, who came to my office because he was experiencing pain of his tailbone. He had been skiing a month earlier and fell directly on his tailbone. He said the initial pain was very intense, being so bad that he had to stop skiing that day. His discomfort had lessened but was still a mild to moderate, constant ache. He was concerned that while his pain was improved, it was still an ongoing, continuous problem that wasn’t getting better. This article will discuss tailbone pain, its causes and how chiropractic treatment can give relief of tailbone pain.
Back and neck pain relief are what most people think of when they consider chiropractic care. And while neck and back problems make up the majority of reasons patients come to me; I also help other conditions in my chiropractic practice of over 37 years. Robert’s tailbone pain is something I’ve commonly seen and have been able to help.
Robert had already been to his PCP’s office who had him get x-rays at another facility. The physician’s assistant from the PCP’s practice called Robert and said there wasn’t anything wrong with the x-rays. Robert was told it would just take time to go away and to take Tylenol for the pain.
Because his tailbone pain was not going away and taking medication was not something he was interested in Robert thought seeing a chiropractor worthy of investigating.
Sometimes a fall on the tail bone will cause a fracture or a very deep bruise. Fractures show up on x-rays. Bruises heal with time. In Robert’s case there was no fracture seen on the x-ray and any bruising should have healed in a month.
The anatomical word for the tailbone is the “coccyx.” The coccyx is the bottom, tail end of a larger bone called the sacrum. On either side of the sacrum are two large bones called the iliac bones. The sacrum and each iliac bone form a joint called the sacroiliac joint (SIJ). The sacroiliac joints are gliding joints. They glide back-and-forth when we walk.
When a person falls on their backside, they commonly can cause a misalignment of the SIJ. Because this joint is in the lower part of the pelvis it feels as if the pain is coming from the tailbone but, it is really coming from the sacroiliac joint.
In Roberts case this is exactly what happened. As a chiropractor I’m trained to look at the whole person. When I examined Robert, I found that he had tenderness and some muscle spasm over one of his sacroiliac joints. I obtained the x-rays that were taken earlier which confirmed a slight misalignment of the SI joint.
By utilizing safe, gentle chiropractic adjustments I was able to realign the SIJ in several treatments and I’m happy to report Robert had complete tailbone pain relief.