A coccyx fracture occurs once the bottom tip of the spinal column is damaged. The spinal vertebra is responsible for protecting the spinal cord which ends at the level of the coccyx. Even though a fracture on this bone will not cause paralysis, it can still cause intense pain.
If an individual sustained a coccyx fracture, it can cause pain and swelling in the region and can be managed with self-care activities rather than surgery. If an individual is suspected with an injury to the bone, it is vital to carefully follow the advice of the doctor such as light exercises to help promote the healing process.
Recovery from a coccyx fracture
When recovering from a coccyx fracture, the individual should get enough rest and avoid engaging in any strenuous activities right away. Adequate rest and application of an ice pack on the fractured area for the initial 2 days can help manage the pain and minimize the swelling.
The pain might persist for several weeks while the injury is still healing. If pain manifests while attempting to perform some exercises, it is vital to slow down and allow the area to heal. If the individual engages in strenuous exercises or pushes the body too much, it will slow down the healing process or the pain lasts for a longer period than usual.
What are the benefits of treatment?
Getting enough rest right after a coccyx fracture is vital so that the body can heal. Alternatively, sitting with a fracture can cause discomfort since it places pressure on the tailbone, thus resulting to more pain.
With this in mind, light exercises should be performed for a short period which helps reduce the length of time spent on sitting. This will help avoid stiffness or becoming sore from generalized decrease in activity. It is recommended to start a mild exercise routine after some of the swelling has reduced to promote circulation to the area. While performing exercise, the heart rate will increase to pump more blood to the tissues and muscles all over the body. The increased circulation can promote healing to the tissues that surround the coccyx.
How to manage the pain
A coccyx fracture often triggers pain that is noticeable when attempting to stand up from a seated position. Even bowel movement after sustaining a fracture can be painful.
Increasing the level of activity with the help of exercise can help prevent or alleviate constipation. In addition, increasing the intake of fluids along with exercise can also promote regular bowel movement as well as minimize the occurrence of constipation.
Suitable forms of exercise
A doctor should be consulted before starting any form of exercises after a coccyx fracture. The doctor will provide specific suggestions on when and how to increase the activity level.
In most cases, a mild cardiovascular exercise that does not involve placing any pressure on the coccyx area such as swimming and walking are recommended. Certain activities such as dancing, aerobics, running or biking must be avoided since they place pressure on the tailbone.