Humans are characterized as vertebrate mammals, meaning that we have spinal columns and backbones. This is a small part of why humans are able to walk upright. The vertebral column or backbone is situated down the back within the upper body. The spinal column is made up of thirty-three vertebra that are connected by disks made of cartilage. Towards the bottom of the spinal column is the coccyx or the tailbone. This bone is actually a fused compilation of three to five bones. These bones are not separated by discs individually but are connected to the sacrum above. The coccyx is at the tip of the backbone and plays a very important role.
The coccyx serves many different purposes. When you sit down, this bone helps to balance the weight of your body. If you are required to sit for most of the day, your coccyx is the part of your body that makes this possible to do comfortably. Without it you would have no support. The coccyx is also a link to many other important muscles and ligaments that are important for everyday bodily functions. It is what makes performing a bowel movement possible due to the support it provides to the pelvis and anus. Without a healthy tailbone, it would be awkward for you to walk, sit, use the bathroom, play sports and have sexual intercourse.
Having a fractured coccyx can be very painful. For some people a fractured tailbone can go unnoticed especially if there is no traumatic event or pain. Situations that can cause a fracture to the coccyx include falling, getting a sports injury or having a car accident. These events can put extreme pressure on the tailbone. Other pressure inducing activities include sitting in a bad position, riding a horse or bike, and childbirth. These activities can cause coccydnia, or pain of the coccyx, but may not actually cause a fracture. Bone spur development, tumors, infections and other conditions may cause a fracture.
To identify if you have a fractured coccyx you need to take note of the changes in your body. If you are having trouble with using the bathroom and find yourself straining to defecate, this could be a red flag. Other warning signs include pain in the lower back, pain during sex or bruising.
If you do have a fractured tailbone and you are feeling the painful effects there are a few options for treatment. The first and most simple thing to do is leave it alone. The fracture in the tailbone will more than likely heal all by itself. Even though this can take some time, this bone can repair itself adequately. If the pain is too great and you want a natural remedy to alleviate the pain, you can do certain exercises. You can work out your anal sphincter, stretch your entire body and lower back muscles. If the pain is utterly severe, anti-inflammatory medications could be your next option. As a last resort, if the pain is excruciating and showing no signs of weakening, you might want to consider a surgical procedure.