How Do I Know if I Have a Bruised Tailbone? (And What to Do About It)

Jan 20, 2024

How Do I Know if I Have a Bruised TailboneDealing with discomfort in the tailbone area can be a challenging and often confusing experience. Whether it’s due to a recent injury or persistent pain, understanding the signs of a tailbone injury is crucial for seeking appropriate care and relief. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of a bruised tailbone, and discover what you can do to alleviate the pain and promote healing. From identifying the causes to practical tips for managing discomfort, here’s what you need to know about recognizing and addressing a bruised tailbone for a more comfortable and pain-free recovery.

What a Bruised Tailbone Feels Like

The tailbone, scientifically known as the coccyx, is the small, triangular bone at the base of the spine. This part of the spine plays a role in supporting the body when sitting and also provides attachment points for various muscles and ligaments. When the tailbone experiences trauma, such as a fall or prolonged pressure, it can lead to bruising. If you have a bruised tailbone, you may notice localized pain and tenderness in the area. Individuals with a bruised tailbone may experience discomfort while sitting, especially on hard surfaces, and may find relief when standing or leaning forward. The pain from a bruised tailbone can range from mild to severe, and activities like sitting for prolonged periods, standing up from a seated position, or even bowel movements may make the pain and discomfort worse. It’s essential to recognize these symptoms to determine if further medical attention or self-care measures are necessary for a prompt and effective recovery.

3 Common Causes of a Bruised Tailbone


One of the most common causes of a bruised tailbone is a slip-and-fall injury, especially on a hard surface. Whether it’s slipping on ice, tripping on uneven ground, or experiencing a sports-related fall, the impact on the tailbone can result in bruising and subsequent pain.

Prolonged Sitting

Sitting for extended periods, especially on hard surfaces or in positions that put excessive pressure on the tailbone, can lead to bruising. People who spend long hours at a desk, drive for extended periods, or engage in activities that require prolonged sitting may be more susceptible to developing a bruised tailbone.


Women may experience a bruised tailbone because of childbirth. The pressure exerted on the tailbone during labor and delivery can lead to bruising and discomfort, especially in cases of prolonged or difficult deliveries.

What to Do About a Bruised Tailbone

If you suspect you have a bruised tailbone, there are several steps you can take to manage the discomfort and promote healing:

  • Rest: Avoid activities that may make your tailbone pain worse, especially sitting on hard surfaces for prolonged periods. Give your tailbone time to heal by taking breaks from sitting and allowing your body to recover.
  • Ice Packs: Apply ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, during the first 48 hours after the injury. This can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Always wrap the ice pack in a thin cloth to protect your skin.
  • Pain Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help manage pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Cushioning: Use a cushion or pillow when sitting to relieve pressure on the tailbone. You may consider a donut-shaped cushion or one with a cutout at the back to minimize direct contact with the affected area.
  • Avoid Trauma: Be mindful of activities that could further injure the tailbone. Avoid hazards that put you at greater risk for a fall, and be cautious when engaging in physical activities that may put strain on the tailbone.
  • Consult a Spine Specialist: If the pain persists or worsens, or if you experience additional symptoms like numbness, tingling, or difficulty with bowel movements, visit a spine specialist near you. They can assess the severity of the injury and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include chiropractic care or physical therapy.

Treatment Options for a Bruised Tailbone

treatment Options for a Bruised TailboneAt AICA Orthopedics, our team of multispecialty doctors can provide you with quality, comprehensive care from diagnosis through treatment and recovery of a wide range of injuries and health conditions. Here’s what you can expect when you visit AICA Orthopedics for a bruised tailbone.


Diagnosing a bruised tailbone typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and, if necessary, diagnostic imaging tools like X-ray or CT scan. Talk to your doctor about any recent injury or activity that may have resulted in a bruised tailbone. Your doctor will look for areas of tenderness and swelling and how certain movements may impact your pain. A diagnosis will help inform the best form of treatment for you.

Orthopedic Care

An orthopedic doctor is a medical professional specializing in musculoskeletal conditions, including injuries to bones and joints. If your bruised tailbone is severe or if there are concerns about fractures or other structural issues, an orthopedic doctor can provide a comprehensive evaluation.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors are specialists in musculoskeletal issues and can provide relief for tailbone pain through spinal adjustments and manipulations. They focus on realigning the spine to alleviate pressure on affected areas, including the tailbone, to help reduce pain and improve mobility.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists specialize in rehabilitation and can design exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles around the tailbone, improve flexibility, and enhance overall mobility. They may also incorporate treatment techniques like heat, ice, and ultrasound to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain in the area.

Treatment for a Bruised Tailbone at AICA Snellville

If you are experiencing pain from a tailbone injury, visit AICA Orthopedics in Snellville for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan. Our team of doctors includes orthopedic specialists, chiropractors, and physical therapists who work together to provide you with the support you need for a full recovery. At Snellville AICA Orthopedics, we offer in-house diagnostics and in-house rehab so you can meet with your doctors and get all the treatment you need in one convenient location. Call or visit us online to get started with a doctor and work toward relieving pain from a bruised tailbone so you can get back to your regular routines and activities.


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