Your tailbone (coccyx) is actually made up of several bones that are located at the end of your lower back. Tailbones can be bruised or broken.
A tailbone injury usually occurs from a direct fall onto the coccyx.
Your tailbone is very tender. You have pain when you are sitting. You may also have pain when you walk and when you have a bowel movement.
Your healthcare provider will review your symptoms and examine your back and tailbone. He or she may order an X-ray to see if your tailbone is broken.
An injured tailbone needs time to heal. A bruised tailbone may take several days to several weeks to completely heal. A fractured tailbone takes 4 to 6 weeks to heal. In either case, people sometimes have pain for a long time.
It is important to avoid constipation while your tailbone is healing. Drink plenty of fluids and increase the amount of fiber in your diet.
You can return to your normal activities when your pain has improved and you are able to sit, bend, and walk without a lot of pain.
Most tailbone injuries are caused by accidents that cannot be prevented. In some contact sports such as football or hockey, it is important to wear protective equipment.