How to tell if you have bruised your tailbone

Written by andrea palmer
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Bruising a tailbone is painful, and for those who have never experienced it, it can be confusing to diagnose. In order to properly diagnose a bruised tailbone without waiting for the bruise itself to occur, you need to be aware of the symptoms. With a few simple tips, diagnosing a bruised tailbone is not that difficult.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Ask yourself where on your body you are hurt, and do not move until you know where the pain came from. The tailbone, or coccyx, is at the bottom of the spine; if you feel pain there when you lightly touch that area, you may have bruised your coccyx.

  2. 2

    Observe the pain as you begin to move. If normal activities like rising from a sitting position or performing bowel movements are painful, you likely have a bruised coccyx.

  3. 3

    Check for any discolouration as you ice the area. Purple, yellow or black tinting around the area is usually a sign of bruising. If the area is raised or swollen, it can also be a bruise. Icing will reduce the swelling and soothe the pain a little.

  4. 4

    Seek professional help if you have injured your tailbone in any way, since a possible bruised tailbone could also be a broken tailbone. You will receive an X-ray that will show whether you have broken or just bruised your tailbone. If your tailbone is bruised, you may be given special instructions for care until the bruise heals. If your tailbone is broken, you will need a special cushion for it until the bone heals.

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