Any suggestions for how to cope with an injured coccyx (and pride)?
March 4, 2004 10:37 PM   Subscribe

My butt hurts. Any suggestions for how to cope with an injured coccyx (and pride)? [MI]

When I was getting into the shower this morning I slipped and landed hard ass-bone first on the side of the tub. It's not fractured or anything where I need to see a doctor, but it is extremely painful. The worst part is, I'm leaving on Monday to go to Las Vegas for a few days with my friends for spring break. I live in FL, so this means a long plane flight both ways, plus lots of sitting and walking while there. Has anybody had to deal with this problem and have any tips on drugs/pillows/anything to make life more bearable? Do I seriously need to carry around a donut to sit on? Also, how long did it take you before it stopped hurting? Thanks!
posted by gatorae to Health & Fitness (14 answers total)
Yes, you need a donut. And how do you know it's not fractured? I recommend you see a doctor anyway.
posted by biscotti at 10:43 PM on March 4, 2004

I had a similar injury about ten years ago that occured while playing kick ball with a five year old. I was mobile but in a lot of pain like you are. I eventually had it x-rayed and it turned out that I had indeed fractured a vertebrae. It wasn't a major fracture and it basically healed by itself. I seem to remember the initial pain lasting quite a while, maybe weeks. My lower back still bothers me but I have no idea if it has to do with that particular injury.

See a doctor.
posted by anathema at 10:51 PM on March 4, 2004

Response by poster: Well, I have fractured other bones before, and that pain was a lot sharper and more intense.. this pain is just dull but very uncomfortable (mostly due to its location). But, I'll go to the doctor tomorrow since it sounds like this type of injury might be different. I would rather not since here in Old People Land there is literally an 6 hour wait at the ER, but it sounds like that might be the best thing to do.
posted by gatorae at 11:00 PM on March 4, 2004

<blinks repeatedly>

Wow. For a minute there, I thought my sister was a MetaFilter member. She lives in Florida, is a graduate of UF, and has been known to employ the username "gatorale" (the last three letters being her initials.) Your comment history would seem to indicate that you are not her, however.

If you were, I'd smack you in the head and tell you to go to the doctor, even if it's only to get a prescription for painkillers. About the only thing that could make a long flight even worse is being in constant physical pain.
posted by Danelope at 11:05 PM on March 4, 2004


I did the same thing (but involving alcohol) in Cuba last year and then had to take a nine hour flight home. My advice? Go get pain killers - you'll need them. The flight will be more comfortable if you sit upright because your coccyx fits in the back of the chair properly.

For gods' sake don't ignore it and hope it goes away. Although i didn't break anything I mangled a load of muscles and seized a joint down there as well as getting muscles spasming.

My fall was about four feet (from my ass to where it landed - there were stairs involved) and I weighed about 310 back then. It took about six months and ten trips to an osteopath to get it fixed, and even now it's not perfect.
posted by twine42 at 1:17 AM on March 5, 2004

Put the donut under your ass with pride , literally !

Seriously :) My grandma had exactly the same problem and the donut was the only thing who gave her some much needed relief without using questionable painkillers.

Who the f**k care what other people think about donuts anyway ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:25 AM on March 5, 2004

Yes, that exact type of fall happened to me rollerblading in Manila, and being rather bony and gangly, I had not the benefit of cheeky padding. It hurt to sit or shit for a bit less than a week, and I considered seeing a doctor, but then it went away. Still, I concur with the above "See a doctor" comments, especially if the pain is intense or persistent.
posted by brownpau at 6:27 AM on March 5, 2004

Ok. So you fall on your ass, and go to the doctor, and the doctor tells you that you've broken a bone. Then what? It's not like there's a cast or anything to iisolate and mend the bone. Aside from peace of mind (peace of ass?), what good will going to the doctor do anyway?
posted by crunchland at 7:00 AM on March 5, 2004


posted by anathema at 7:46 AM on March 5, 2004

what good will going to the doctor do anyway?

For one thing, it will get you painkillers. For another, it will ensure that you don't have anything worse than a bruised or fractured coccyx going on - you can bleed a substantial amount into your pelvis without really noticing it, and a fractured bone can be a serious injury. And don't underestimate the value of peace of mind.
posted by biscotti at 8:40 AM on March 5, 2004

This is a dumb suggestion
But whatabout sitting with your hands palm flat, tucked underneath your thighs to remove emphasis? Or with your hands right underneath your butt? I'm serious. It could at least allow you to distribute pressure for findin that sweet spot.

And oh yeah, see a doctor. Like biscotti says, with internal bleeding and all that. What if you ignore it and find out your butt is ruined? You need a healthy butt. See a doctor.
posted by Peter H at 10:09 AM on March 5, 2004

You are going on vacation is the more of a reason to see the doctor, besides some drugs to get you through it all. As if it is serious your vacation will be ruined.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:57 AM on March 5, 2004

Be careful about using the donut cushion too much, though, if you have any inclination to hemorrhoids. You don't want two things making your butt hurt.

Also, a recommendation -- you may want to check back with a doctor or chiropractor down the line (once the immediate pain has passed) to see if you threw anything out of alignment. I once fell on my coccyx (heh, that crazy junior high bully, pulling out the chair from under me like that! fucking adolescent sociopath...) and have had sacroiliac joint issues ever since.
posted by scody at 5:49 PM on March 5, 2004

Response by poster: I did go to the doctor and yes indeed it was fractured. I got a prescription for an anti-inflammatory but the bastard didn't give me any pain pills. Luckily the anti-inflammatory seems to be working well and the pain is a lot better today. The pillow helps a lot too, even if it is big and annoying to carry everywhere.

This thread at least shows (IMO) that medical questions aren't all bad on Askme. I had no idea that I could have actually fractured my coccyx; hearing similar experiences from others got me to go to actually visit the doc and get a great prescription. So thanks!
posted by gatorae at 11:47 AM on March 6, 2004

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