The tailbone or coccyx is the small bone located at the bottom of the spine. Certain types of trauma or injuries, such as giving birth to a baby or sitting or falling down hard, can bruise or break the tailbone, leading to uncomfortable symptoms 1. Patients who develop any bruised or broken tailbone symptoms should consult a doctor for further evaluation and care 2.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Injury to the tailbone can damage the blood vessels within the surrounding skin. If this occurs, patients with a bruised or broken tailbone may exhibit a discolored bruise at the site of trauma, reports MedlinePlus, a health information website established by the National Institutes of Health 12. The skin surrounding the base of the spine can initially appear unusually red. As the injury begins to heal, skin bruise symptoms may appear yellow, green, deep red, purple or black, depending upon the extent of tailbone injury. These skin discoloration symptoms of a bruised or broken tailbone are temporary and will completely resolve once the injury heals 2. Patients who experience severe or persistent bruising of the lower back or spine should receive further evaluation from a doctor to ensure no additional injuries are present.
Swelling, Pain or Tenderness
What Are the Symptoms of a Bruised Tailbone?
A tailbone injury can damage the skin, tissue and muscles that surround this tiny bone. As a result, patients can develop abnormal swelling, pain or tenderness at the site of trauma. Sensations of pain or discomfort may be exacerbated when a patient attempts to sit down or walk around normally, explain health care practitioners with University Sports Medicine 3. Though these symptoms are temporary, affected patients can experience swelling, pain or tenderness for several weeks or months before the tailbone injury heals.
- A tailbone injury can damage the skin, tissue and muscles that surround this tiny bone.
- Though these symptoms are temporary, affected patients can experience swelling, pain or tenderness for several weeks or months before the tailbone injury heals.
Painful Bowel Movements
Certain patients may also find it uncomfortable or painful to have a bowel movement as a result of a bruised or broken tailbone, warn health specialists with the University of Illinois Medical Center 25. Inflammation and swelling within the lower portion of the spine can affect the intestinal tract and can cause constipation in certain patients with a bruised or broken tailbone 2. Patients who become constipated may also experience abdominal discomfort, cramping or bloating. Affected patients should discuss these bruised or broken tailbone symptoms with a doctor as soon as possible 2.
What Are the Symptoms of a Bruised Tailbone?
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- MedlinePlus: Tailbone Trauma
- BabyCenter: Bruised or Broken Tailbone
- University Sports Medicine: What is a Tailbone Injury
- PDRHealth: Coccyx Injury
- University of Illinois Medical Center: Tailbone Trauma
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Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.