How to Check for a Broken Tail Bone

Written by corey morris
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How to Check for a Broken Tail Bone
Severe pain usually signals a tailbone injury. (pain ii image by Mykola Velychko from

The coccyx, more commonly called the tailbone, is the small structure at the bottom of your spine composed of three to five fragments. If a tailbone becomes injured, there is moderate to severe discomfort in the general area. The majority of tailbone injuries occur in females due to their wider pelvises. Even with proper treatment, broken tailbones take some time to heal.

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  1. 1

    Feel for tenderness and note any severe pain in the immediate tailbone area. Direct pressure to the tailbone will cause immediate pain to anyone with a broken coccyx. Touching or rubbing the spot or even sitting down may cause pain. Even sitting on a pillow for long periods may cause discomfort depending on the severity of the injury.

  2. 2

    Inspect the skin for any bruising. While bruising does not necessarily mean the tailbone is broken, it is a common sign there is an injury. If a bruise is not visible, feel for a knot or swollen hump. This may be the bone protruding outward to the skin.

  3. 3

    Visit the doctor for a vertebral column test. The test can tell if any part of the spinal column is injured. The doctor may need to perform a rectal examination to feel the coccyx and determine if it is dislocated. The doctor may also take an X-ray to locate a fracture or dislocation.

  4. 4

    Treat the injury at home if you think the tailbone is broken and you cannot visit a doctor immediately. Apply ice to the injury for about 20 minutes, four times per day, until you can seek medical treatment. Avoid applying direct weight to the tailbone by leaning forward when sitting down. Refrain from activities that require the use of your lower back such as weightlifting or sexual intercourse.

Tips and warnings

  • Always consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

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