Coccyx Pillow

Anatomy of the coccyx

Keywords: coccyx pillow, coccyx removal


There's a need to take the pressure off a bruised or fractured coccyx in the acute phase after injury. Coccydynia is one of the most debilitating conditions. If not managed correctly it leaves the victim unable to sit for months and even years.

Where exactly is the coccyx? Slide your finger down between the buttock crease and eventually, deep, just before you reach the anus, you will feel a hard bony prominence. That's it. A normal coccyx is not at all tender.

The coccyx lies at the end of the vertebral column, consisting usually of four bones lying below the sacrum. It’s incorrectly been considered a vestigial tail that has no real function in the human, which is far from the case.

There are many muscles that have their origin on the coccyx; muscles that are vital in bearing down on the toilet, child birth, orgasm, sneezing. Coccyx removal, I think you'll agree, should be the very last option.


So what are the causes of coccygeal pain and why is a coccyx pillow so useful? About the only time the coccyx seems to give trouble is after direct trauma, and sometimes after child birth. And then it certainly let’s you know of its presence. It hurts, and prevents us doing what first comes to hand, namely sitting. When a person can’t sit, they are supremely miserable.

So, how many muscles might be affected by a bruised or fractured coccyx? Nine muscles, including one of the largest muscles in the body, the gluteus maximus, and numerous ligaments are attached to the coccyx. These muscles are used during defecation, urination, orgasm, childbirth, walking and running. The coccyx is important.

These deep pelvic muscles are vital part of stabilising the pelvis and lower back too. They can be best strengthened using the updated Kegel exercises.



Can you see the coccyx in this picture; it's written in tiny letters, see it? And I'm sure you then can see the levantor ani and the coccygeus muscles attached to it. Well there are seven other muscles, all attached to the coccyx.

The coccyx is only rarely fractured as it is fairly mobile, able to flex forwards and backwards. But a violent force directly to the coccyx like falling on the lip of a stairs may subluxate the coccyx and sprain its ligaments, and cause pain for months and even years.

Here's an important tip. Make sure your child knows that pulling a chair out from under someone about to sit, is a very mean trick to pull. I have patients who have suffered from coccyx and low back pain for the rest of the lives. Intended as a joke, it has caused a lifetime of misery. Mind you, knowing some kids, perhaps you will be putting ideas into their heads. Some people's children. Not yours, of course.


Owing to its attachment to so many muscles, the coccyx, when injured, can have a detrimental effect on movement, sitting, bearing down on the toilet may be painful and urinating may also be affected.

Some women may even experience pain during sexual intercourse. The coccyx is not without some importance.


Coccyx fracture

A young woman slipped and fell hard on her sacrum and coccyx. Apart from the bruising it was a terrible injury. She has a hairline fracture through the coccyx, serious sacroiliac joint sprain and a L4 lumbar spine slipped disc.

Whilst this is a worse case than one would normally see on an average day at the chiropractic coalface, three separate injuries, all impacting on each other, it was gratifying this morning, six weeks after the fall, to examine her and find that she has almost no pain or disability. She is faithfully doing her lower back exercises and is more than happy, no longer needing the coccyx pillow, though her coccyx is still tender on palpation.

Now we have made a start with chronic severe migraines obviously eminating from TMJ anatomy ... the jaw joint is a major cause of facial pain and severe headaches. Often there is also upper cervical pain since the sensory nucleus of the nerve supplying the jaw joint (the Trigeminal nerve) is found in the neck. Often it is a chicken-and-egg situation. Does the TMJ anatomy cause the Atlanto Occipital joint subluxation, or vice versa. In her case it's clearly the former - she grinds her teeth at night (bruxism), a major cause of migraine headache migraine headache ...

TREATMENT

So much for the doom and gloom. The good news is that this little tailbone responds well to chiropractic, and the treatment is not particularly painful. Coccyx pain relief is at hand. It's only very rarely that coccyx amputation is indicated.

The first phase of chiropractic care is no different to any other acute joint injury. It needs to be iced to reduce any swelling and inflammation, the subluxations should be reduced as soon as possible, and you need to avoid sitting directly on it for a few weeks. Fortunately there are several aids in the form of a coccyx pillow that take direct pressure off the offended dignity of this little group of bones.

The bruised coccyx (and a fracture coccyx of course) causes " coccydynia ". Sitting in the car is often painful, but this little coccyx pillow does wonders.

Really this injury should be considered as a syndrome, as trauma to the coccyx often affects the sacrum, the sacro-iliac joints and the myriad of muscles around the coccyx. And of course, the trauma may well have affected the spinal joints as well.

So, chiropractic begins with a thorough examination. Has there been fracture of the coccyx or even the sacrum? Is it black and blue? The sacroiliac joint anatomy, the lumbar facet syndrome, the hips, and the superficial muscles all need to be considered. A piriformis syndrome in particular as it's origin is the sacrum and often during a fall on the buttocks there is direct trauma to the piriformis and the sciatic nerve.

Fortunately, the skin is very tight around the coccyx, and can be used in most cases to correct the subluxated coccyx. The treatment is not usually particularly painful, despite the fact that the general area is so sore - as your chiropractor uses the skin away from the joint to correct the subluxation.

Occasionally, it has to be done rectally. This also is not painful, but obviously awkward and embarrassing. I have never seen research, but on the odd occasion when I have had to do an internal rectal correction of the coccyx, I have been of the opinion that it can be corrected even more quickly. This is perhaps because at the same moment one can do cross friction of the adjacent ligaments and muscles. Thereafter a coccyx pillow is usually a good idea for a few weeks.


I recently had a patient referred by another chiropractor, because it's generally known that when necessary I will do an internal coccyx treatment. The man had had two years of unremitting coccyx pain that had not responded to medical or an external chiropractic treatment.

Within three treatments he was 90 percent and at the fourth consult a month later had no coccyx pain at all.

It made me wonder why it is that I, and others, are so reluctant to do an internal coccyx treatment; perhaps we should start there. It's the only way to address the local muscles associated with coccyx pain.


Suggestion: If you are male, and over 45, ask your chiropractor to check your prostate at the same time. It's right there. Prostate cancer is the most common serious cancer in men; and, talking of prostates, it's obligatory that every man eats a tomato a day. More, a phytosterol called beta sitosterol prevents an enlarged prostate. It's particularly high in avocado.

For an interesting case history from the Chiropractic Coalface, click here: CHIROPRACTIC COALFACE


Before removal, don't you think it might be an idea to pay your local chiropractor a visit? Reducing the subluxation together with a coccyx pillow is far less misery. The arrow below points to the coccyx. Or, what remains of it.

MAKE YOUR OWN COCCYX PILLOW

  1. Take any piece of old material 100cm x 25cm + a little for the seam. (longer if you have large rear-end!)
  2. Sew it into a tube.
  3. Stuff it with old pantyhose, warn socks, bit of foam...
  4. Sew the two ends together. What could be easier?

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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A DIVERSION

The solution sometimes to chronic pain is to take up something new. Something that will engage your mind and body. Another sport, like gliding perhaps, or just a good walk every day. 


One of my diversions on going into semi-retirement was to go solar. Not because I suffer from chronic pain, nor because I'm bored with Chiropractic Help, but simply because I'm hyperactive. Born in the this the twenty first century I would certainly have been put on Ritalin for the rest of my life! Hobbies like solar, beekeeping, gardening are simply put of my philosophy of healthy living and preserving the planet for our children's children.

There have been few things more satisfying in my life that getting most of our energy from the sun. SOLAR POWER ENERGY ...

Or, how about writing a book? I've just finished my fourth book, A FAMILY AFFAIR ... this my first non-chiropractic book. A bit saucy, not for the faint-hearted! But as an ebook that you can read it on your computer for only 99 cents, a snip. I guarantee you will finish it! How do I know? It's a trilogy, and Book I is available for free on the web. Just as many people are reading chapter one, JAN JANSEN as the naughty last chapter, MISSION UNACCOMPLISHED ... so you can get a taste before purchasing.

Useful links ...



Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.










Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mrs D, a 78 year old woman has very severe sacroiliac joint pain, and even more severe cramps in her right leg. There are two problems; she is on two diuretics but no slow K. Taking her temporarily off one diuretic and adjusting the SIJ brought 50 percent relief within four days. 

2. Mr S, a 48 year old man, has right low back pain, groin pain and a numb feeling in his lower leg when he sports. For six months he's been off football. He too has two problems; a very treatable lumbar facet syndrome and a very serious blocked artery in the groin; it's called intermittent claudication. Smokers beware.  

3. Mr S looks like the leaning tower of Pisa; he has a slipped disc at L5 making him lean towards the opposite side. It's called the postero lateral disc hernia; we'll fix it, but he has to stop for a week or two. Antalgias are serious so take them seriously. 

4. Mrs V too has  two conditions; a chronic low grade sciatica giving her an ache in the right leg, and a threatening Morton's neuroma. She's glad I'm back in Holland; chiropractic fixed it before, and we'll fix it again. 

5. Mrs W is one of the lucky ones, says her doctor. I agree. He says only 40% of patients with lumbar stenosis have a successful operation. We fixed a nasty slipped disc three years ago, but it came back two years later; the surgeon did a fine job but she has a weak ankle now giving her subtalar joint pain; it's routine stuff. 

6. I myself had an acute exacerbation of a femoral nerve lesion last year. One immediate treatment of the new strain by my colleague has fixed the pain in the lower back, but there's some residual numbness in the lower leg; no soaring tomorrow alas.

7. This lady is a 86 year old woman with a 63 scoliosis. Chronic lower back has been her lot in life but she's well pleased with chiropractic and comes for chiropractic help once a month; some conditions you can never cure.

8. She is an 78 year old woman, is doing remarkably well with a bad sciatica. But over 200 pounds she is not losing weight; in fact, gaining despite my suggestions. She's high risk for a stroke. I have referred her to a dietician to crack the whip.

9. A 61 year old man with upper cervical pain yesterday; it's not severe but also not getting better of its own accord. He's afraid it may turn very acute as when I treated him three years ago. Since then it's been fine. 

10. A 64 year old woman has had scheuermanns disease; it's left her with a spinal kyphosis and chronic middorsal pain. She responds well to chiropractic treatment provides she come every six weeks or so for maintenance treatment.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mrs D, a middle aged woman with hip pain of one year duration, despite other treatment. Xrays reveal an impingement syndrome and early hip arthritis. There's much to be done.

13. Mrs B has had one of the nastiest of conditions; vertigo caused by a disturbance in the inner ear. Falling repeatedly and vomiting she consulted her doctor but medication didn't help. After two sessions of the Epley manoeuvres she was 50 percent better. After two weeks 75 percent improved. No longer vomiting all falling. She's not enjoying the Brandt Daroff home exercises.

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.



Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?


Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.


You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.