Get your tail out from between your legs!
I do not say this in crassness or to instill shame! I am truly talking about the anatomical tail between our legs, our tailbones, otherwise known as our coccyx. How many of us have had a serious fall to the sacrum or tailbone?! Many of us have actually fractured our tailbones, causing them to curl under, without even knowing it. The medical world does not offer much by way of support for a tailbone injury. Today we are going to talk about how to heal sacrum and tailbone injuries with Maya Abdominal Massage and other complementary modalities.
What defines a severe fall to the sacrum or tailbone?
It is so easy to minimize the impact of these kinds of injuries to our bodies, especially when they occur at a young age.
Here are some examples of real experiences clients have shared with me about falls that have lead to lasting sacrum and tailbone injuries.
I fell off a horse when I was 17. If it had not been pouring rain, I think I would be paralyzed, because the horse fell on me. Due to the rain, the muddy ground absorbed some of the impact. I felt paralyzed for a few minutes and wound up needing facial reconstructive surgery. Prior to that I had many other falls since the age of 8 years old.
This woman developed polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis and had severe menstrual pain every month. Because this woman was also a friend, I recalled that she had a horse accident at a young age. In her intake form, where it asked if she had ever had a fall to the sacrum or tailbone, she answered, “No.”
In grade school, I went to sit down in my desk chair, and a little boy pulled the chair out just before I sat in it. I fell hard on the concrete floor. It hurt to sit for weeks. Everyone told me not to worry about it, that it would get better soon.
This woman had a lot of trouble getting pregnant and had very painful menstrual cycles. This woman also answered, “No,” to the question about sacrum and tailbone injuries.
In my first training with Rosita Arvigo, she talked about the effects of a fall to the sacrum. We have an epiphyseal plate in between the lumbar and sacral areas of the spine. It is meant to seal approximately at the age of 22. Historically, age 22 was towards the end of a woman’s childbearing years. The epiphyseal plate remained unsealed to leave more space for movement of the sacrum in labor. The problem with it being unsealed is that if a young girl has a severe fall to the sacrum or tailbone prior to the plate sealing, it may never seal correctly. This can impact her menstrual health, as well as her menopausal experience. Rosita strongly believes that if a young girl has a sacrum and tailbone injury, she should receive Maya Abdominal Massage as soon as possible. In my own practice, I have discovered that this is true for people of all genders and ages who incur a sacrum and tailbone injury.
Why does a sacrum and tailbone injury affect the menstrual cycle?
When we have a harsh impact to the sacrum and tailbone, it impacts the position of the uterus. A fall to the sacrum or tailbone often causes a tilted uterus. The main intention of Maya Abdominal Massage is to support healthy alignment and position of the uterus. Due to a variety factors, the uterus can wind up in a variety of different positions that are not optimal. The most common position we see in women who have had an injury to the sacrum and tailbone is a retroverted uterus.
Symptoms of a sacrum or tailbone injury, old or new:
- Numbness or tingling in feet when standing too long
- Painful menstruation
- Difficulty conceiving
- Lower back pain or stiffness
How to heal sacrum and tailbone injuries, old and new:
- Maya Abdominal Massage as soon as possible. Maya Abdominal Massage offer direct bodywork to the sacrum and tailbone. Not many modalities touch the tailbone. It is invaluable to receive bodywork here, especially after an injury.
- Castor Oil Packs. Immediately after an injury like this, heat would likely be contraindicated. Ice is better in the initial days and possibly initial weeks following injury. Most people know to do castor oil packs with heat. If this is a new injury, I would recommend simply applying castor oil to the area without heat. If you are looking to heal an old sacrum and tailbone injury, apply castor oil packs with heat. You can also begin to use heat with your castor oil packs a few weeks after a new injury.
- Listen to your body and find your edge. It is easy to go straight to inactivity following an injury, especially one so painful as a sacrum and tailbone injury. Do not push excess activity at this time. Though you will want to find a balance. Going into complete inactivity can be harmful as well. Get regular and gentle exercise and stretching. Now is a good time to notice if you are someone who tends to push yourself too much or if you are someone who tends to go to inaction with any trauma. Find your edge by deciding whether you need to push yourself a little bit or back off a little bit.
Impacts of Sacrum and Tailbone injuries on other aspects of pelvic health
Though we have predominantly looked at the impact of sacrum and tailbone injuries on menstrual health, these injuries can connect to other pelvic health concerns as well.
You can see there are so many reasons to pay close attention and care to your body following a sacrum and tailbone injury. Rosita actually considered it a medical emergency to have such an injury, especially for young girls. This is an invitation, if you any of these symptoms to think back to a time when you might have incurred an injury like this. Many people “forget” these injuries because they are told that there is nothing to be done and it will heal over time. Even years later, there is healing to be had, and we can in fact “get our tails out from between our legs.”