Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Tailbone Injuries - Real or Imagined?
But if you have ever had a real slip and fall directly onto your tailbone then you know real pain. It can hurt to walk, sit, shower, bend or move and most any type of movement that involves the muscles connected to the tailbone including sexual activity.
The tailbone or scientifically known as the Coccyx is the smallest part and southend tip of the spinal bones. It is made up of three small bones that make the shape of it resemble a point or triangle. The final tip of the tailbone is only inches away from the rectum.
In fact, there are four muscles attached to the tailbone and one of them known as the Sphincter Ani Externis controls bowel movements. If this muscle is damaged then bowel incontinence might be a future prognosis. Tailbone pain is referred to by doctors as coccydynia.
Two other muscles attached to the tailbone hold the anus and other pelvic organs in place and if damaged can cause a hernia or prolapse of these organs. Typical injuries of the tailbone include breakage, dislocation, sprains and bruising and all of these are very painful.
The pain is usually worse when sitting, especially if you are leaning back because this puts pressure on the tailbone. Sometimes the act of standing up from a sitting position can also cause a lot of pain. Anti-inflammatory medicines have been recommended by some doctors to ease the pain of a broken tailbone.
However, according to Dr. Malcom Smith, chief of the Orthopedic Trauma Service at Massachusetts General Hospital, “Smoking and NSAIDs are probably the most important causes of failure in bone healing. In fact, with a patient who has had surgery to remove bone, we give them NSAIDs to make sure the bone doesn’t grow back.’’
Some doctors are not familiar with the injuries, pain and damage associated with the tailbone. If this is the case with your doctor, ask to see a specialist. In fact, in years past the only two options for tailbone pain was to either suffer or remove the tailbone altogether.
In recent years, anesthetic injections into the Ganglion Impar have brought some relief of pain in the tailbone. This is a collection or ganglion of nerve cords situated just in front of the tailbone. These nerve cords can be very painful when inflamed. A simple break might heal within four to six weeks. Complicated breaks may take quite a bit longer and may require surgery.
A complete healing may involve more than a year. So, if your fall was real and not a fake, we believe that you are really hurting.