What You Need to Know about the Coccyx

Published: 13th June 2011
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The coccyx is commonly referred to as the tailbone and is believed by some to be the remnant of the ancestral tail of the human race, which is said to have existed thousands of years ago. It is located at the bottom tip of the human spine and lies just beyond your sacrum. The coccyx or tailbone is comprised of about three to five vertebrae that are fused together, but unlike the spinal column, each vertebra in the coccyx does not have a specifically unique name with which it is identified. And although all three to five vertebrae are fused together as one body part, they are actually fused in two segments. The coccyx as a whole is connected to your sacrum by several ligaments as well as by a vestigial disc.

Your tailbone has a very limited capacity for independent movement, which means that it cannot really move much without its connection to the sacrum. But, just like any other rule, there is an exception to this one. And the exception occurs with women who are pregnant. In the case of a pregnancy – or childbirth in particular – a woman’s coccyx moves independently to allow the baby to freely pass through as he is born into the world. The problem with this situation is that a woman’s tailbone is rotated during childbirth such that it faces in the opposite direction from its normal position. This reverse positioning makes the woman’s coccyx more prominent and places it at a much higher risk of getting damaged or injured when the woman falls or during the actual childbirth.

Your coccyx is generally prone to damage and injury, and in general, it can be damaged if a person falls and lands on the bottom end of his spine. In case you experience such a fall and your tailbone is fractured as a result, the fractured bone will normally heal itself even without medical intervention, as long as it is given adequate rest and relieved from pressure during the recovery period. You have to make sure that whenever you need to sit down, the pressure is taken off of your lower back as much as possible so that your coccyx can make a full recovery quickly. This can easily be done by leaning forward slightly when you sit. It is also advisable for you to avoid remaining seated for an extended period, as that can be stressful for your coccyx as well.

There are times when people suffer from chronic tailbone pain. In this case, it is very important to visit your doctor immediately in order to get a proper diagnosis. Correct diagnosis is essential for you to be able to apply the appropriate treatment method. If your doctor is unable to identify the specific cause of your coccyx pain, or if treatment has been provided yet the pain persists, chances are great that you have what is known as psychosomatic pain. This means that the condition is more of a psychological than a physical problem. In this case, psychological treatment may be your best bet for lasting pain relief.

John Dembly has used a coccyx cushion to help coccyx pain. To see if a coccyx cu


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