Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Broken Tailbone Chiropractic Treatment

Tailbone fracture and dislocation can be very painful. Often individuals that have broken or dislocated tailbones are unable to locate the source of the pain, as it is easily and often missed by medical professionals. The dislocated tailbone can interfere with other functions within the pelvis and cause generalized discomfort, and due to the nature of the injury, be difficult to diagnose. Often patients find that chiropractors are able to locate and diagnose the pain, though more severe cases may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon or specialist.

Anatomy of the Spine and Tailbone

The spine is made up of a series of bone and cartilage. The bones are called vertebrae and the cartilage is called discs. The vertebrae and cartilage alternate down the back until the lower back, or lumbar region merges with a solid bone, known as the sacrum. Attached to the sacrum by the fibrocartilaginous joint is the coccyx, more commonly known as the tailbone.

The coccyx is actually three to six vertebrae fused together. In some individuals, the coccyx is fused together completely by adulthood to form one large bone. In most others, the coccyx remains at least partially separate and in two to three separate pieces. The apex, which is found at the bottom of the tailbone, is the most often injured portion of the tailbone. It extends from the bottom of the tailbone and forms a rudimentary point, which attaches ligaments and muscles for the pelvic floor.

Nature of the Pain

When a tailbone is broken or dislocated, the pain of the surrounding muscles and ligaments can cause pain as well as the nerves within the tailbone. Pain can radiate from the area in an ache, and some patients report feeling pain in their abdomens as well as in their extreme lower back and buttocks. For other patients, the pain is local to the lower back and buttocks. Patients report pain ranging from a dull ache to excruciating pain when sitting, standing, walking and during exercise.

Chiropractic Treatments and Diagnosis

When visiting a chiropractic clinic for tailbone pain, the chiropractor may palpate the area to determine the nature of the injury and identify any other nearby afflictions. In some cases, the area may need internal examination by way of the rectum. An x-ray or MRI is often ordered to fully identify the nature of the injury.

In many cases, tailbone pain can be rectified by massage of the surrounding muscles and tissues, and occasionally by adjustment within the lower lumbar region. Occasionally realignment of a tailbone includes internal palpation, or movement of the tailbone from inside the rectum. Allowing the injury to heal by sitting on a round or "donut" pillow can prevent further sprain or injury of the area, as the pillows allow weight to be disbursed to areas other than the tailbone when sitting.

In cases where the tailbone is completely severed or injured severely, the chiropractor will often refer the case to a qualified surgeon or bone specialist for proper treatment.

Tags: lower back, nature injury, back buttocks, bottom tailbone, broken dislocated, fused together