Medical Q&As

Injured coccyx - still painful?

Six days ago I slipped down a flight of 16 steps and have most likely injured my tailbone. I have no visible bruising or cuts on my back or buttocks. I get a sharp stabbing pain at the end of my back area into my buttocks when getting up or down from sitting. I am also affected when lying on my back in bed. I have read that it could take up to 3 months for this condition to get better. Can you recommend any temporary pain relief and should I have an x-ray to determine if there is any fracture?

Pain in the coccyx or tailbone following injury can be very persistent and it would not be unusual for such pain to persist for many months. It is not necessary to x-ray every case of such injury and the decision to obtain an x-ray should be based on a consideration of the personís history and the physical signs established on physical examination. If you have not already attended your GP you should do so. Your GP could prescribe anti-inflammatory medication for you or might recommend an anti-inflammatory injection into the painful area. Ice packs can give good relief and many people find it helps to sit on an inflatable ring when sitting down because the ring helps to ensure that you are not bearing weight on the tip of your coccyx. Some people find ultrasound to be very effective. This particular treatment is obtainable through the services of a chartered physiotherapist.