There are a few classic indicators that your tailbone has been misaligned or injured and may need to be put back in place. If you experience any of the symptoms listed in this article then you should get it checked out by a Chiropractic Physician who is familiar with correcting tailbone misalignment.
The tailbone or coccyx is one of the most important areas of the spine because the entire nervous system is hard-wired to that region of the spine. To fully understand the severity of a tailbone misalignment, you must first understand the anatomy.
The brain controls every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body. In fact nothing in your body would work without the brain telling it what to do. The brain sits in your skull, and the spinal cord (basically the tail of the brain) pokes out of the bottom of your skull through this big hole called the Foramen Magnum. The spinal cord eventually ends just below the rib cage.
There is a protective covering that encases the spinal cord–it’s basically a sock-like covering. This covering has three layers, the first layer is intimately connected to the spinal cord much like Saran Wrap, the second layer is spider web like and it covers the intimate layer. The third layer is very tough and durable. This third layer makes up the meninges. You may have heard of “Meningitis”, and wondered what that was. Well it is basically when the sock-like covering gets inflamed. And this can cause all sorts of health problems for a patient.
This third very durable layer of the envelope is fused at the top end to the big hole in the skull where the spinal cord descends (this is also where your brain stem is located). But, at the bottom end the durable layer fuses to your tail bone also known as the coccyx.
If the tailbone is mal-positioned or moves out of alignment, it causes a stretching effect on the sock-like covering. Much like when a rubber band gets pulled at each end, the tension felt along the rubber band extends across the entire band width. A similar effect is created on your nervous system: the tension along the sock-like envelope effects every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body. The result of this tension long-term can have disastrous effects on your health.
Therefore it becomes critical to detect the symptoms of a tailbone injury early.
These symptoms are as follows:
- If you experience Charlie Horse cramps in your legs, calves or feet which wake you up at night, your tailbone is misaligned. These cramps can be very painful, and even if they occur only once in a while this is one of the biggest tip-offs that you injured your tailbone around six years before these cramps began.
- If you have pain in the bottoms of your feet in the arches or the heels–especially first thing in the morning when you put your feet down onto the floor, and only for the first couple steps and then it goes away–suspect a misaligned tailbone. You may have been diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, or have a history of bunions, hammer toe, frequent clicking and popping of the ankles, or reoccurring ankle sprains or strains. A prior tailbone injury is likely the cause of such symptoms. It is NOT a problem with the foot. Arch supports, cortisone injections in the foot, Morton’s Neuroma surgery or removal of the bunions will not fix this condition!
- If you wake up between the hours of 3am-5am consistently to go to the bathroom, or you have lost control of your bladder even once, your tailbone alignment should be checked.
- If you have problems with your sex organs:
- For men a decrease in the ability to have or maintain an erection. If you get up several times per night to pee, if your urine stream isn’t as forceful as it once was, or you have to wait at the urinal before your urine stream comes out, a previous tailbone injury should be suspected. Many of these men will be diagnosed with enlarged prostate or erectile dysfunction and then prescribed prescription medication to handle these issues, but truly no amount of chemicals will realign the tailbone.
- For women with menstrual problems such as irregular or heavy periods, are you passing clots, solid bits or mucus globs during your cycle? Or have you had difficulty conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy to full term? These women may have been diagnosed with Fibroids or endometriosis and likely they were put on Birth Control Pills to handle those issues which again will not realign a misplaced tailbone.
5. Finally if you have a history of kidney stones, reoccurring urinary tract infections, or wake up at 4am to pee, again a tailbone injury should be considered.
So what if you said yes to many of the five points listed above. What can you do about it?
First you have to consult with a Chiropractor who is familiar with tailbone injuries. Just call and ask them if they align tailbones. This is very important because many Chiropractors don’t focus on the tailbone and can miss this area thinking that the patient is suffering from a lower back problem, but that isn’t the exact problem region. And these Chiropractors will spend much of their efforts adjusting the lower back and totally neglect the tailbone area which ultimately won’t fix your problem.
Once you find a Chiropractor who addresses tailbone issues then you can begin to handle the root cause of your symptoms. The Chiropractor should take the time necessary to find out exactly what happened that misaligned the tailbone to begin with, this is critical because if you don’t know when it happened, you won’t know how long it’s been misaligned. Longer term misalignment may take longer to fix depending on how long it’s been that way. The Chiropractor should take an x-Ray of your lower spine, this is typically a “zoom in, close up” picture of your tailbone. With this imaging it can be determined how severe the misalignment is and what the best approach is to fixing it.
There are two ways to repair a tailbone misalignment. There is an internal and an external method. The external method can be done using a percussion instrument called an “Activator.” It is gentle and must be specifically placed in order to be effective. The internal method is much more direct and will produce immediate benefits. This method is not used by many Chiropractors because it involves using a gloved finger inserted into the rectum. The internal procedure does NOT hurt, and no cracking noise will be heard. It is basically a sustained and gentle pulling of the tailbone back into it’s normal position. The entire internal procedure takes less than two minutes to administer and often times will not have to be repeated, depending on how long the misalignment has been there and how severe the misalignment. Conversely the external procedure can take many treatments and the results are slow versus the immediate relief of the internal method.
Surgical methods can be avoided by using the methods described above and the above should be investigated before the cutting begins because of the scar tissue accumulation involved within six to nine months following any surgical procedure. Given the very nature this sensitive region of the spine and by increasing the scar tissue created by cutting into the body, the result is more than often more tension on the sock-like covering which results in more cellular, tissue, and organ dysfunction which eventually will result in abnormal function of many systems of the body, specifically the sex organs, bladder and kidney and also the colon rectal areas.
See the video below for more information.