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Women: Beware of broken tailbones from car crashes

When you think about all the injuries that you can suffer in a car crash, breaking your coccyx is probably not high on the list. However, women are particularly susceptible to this kind of injury.

Your coccyx is commonly called your “tailbone” and it’s located right at the end of your spine. When you’re thrown forward and back in a sudden impact from a crash, the coccyx can be broken when you land against your car’s seat.

Why are women particularly prone to this injury?

Essentially, genetics and physiology come into play: The coccyx is less protected by muscle in women and generally closer to the surface. Women are also more prone to osteopenia and osteoporosis than men, both of which can lead to easy fractures. Plus, the coccyx can break in childbirth, and then be susceptible to breaking again under a blow.

Is a broken coccyx really a serious injury?

It’s not life-threatening, but it is very painful – and the consequences can be disastrous. Pain, swelling and the long healing process can make it impossible to sit comfortably for a very long time – which can be a major problem if you have a sedentary occupation. You may also have difficulty with bowel movements due to this kind of injury, which can be both embarrassing and frustrating.

There’s no real treatment for this injury. You simply have to wait until you heal, and hope that you won’t need surgery to eventually relieve your pain if it doesn’t. Don’t let an insurance company minimize your claim if you have a broken coccyx. It may not be a dangerous injury, but you have every right to expect fair compensation for your pain.