Q: I fell and injured my tailbone. What will ease the pain?
A: Take the nonprescription anti-inflammatory pain reliever ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), following the dosage guidelines on the label. Whenever you sit, use a horseshoe-shaped cushion (available at many drugstores and online at www.Amazon.com for about $20) to avoid putting pressure on the tailbone. Icing the site may help, especially if the injury occurred within the past few days. A tailbone injury can make bowel movements painful, particularly if you are constipated, so take a stool softener if necessary.

If pain is severe or does not resolve on its own within two weeks, ask your doctor for a referral to an orthopedist or a physical rehabilitation physician with expertise in treating tailbone injuries. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to immobilize the tailbone as it heals — the way you can put an arm in a sling or a leg in a cast — so if there is a fracture or dislocation, pain can easily become chronic. What helps: The doctor can inject a steroid or local anesthetic medication directly at the site to relieve inflammation and pain, making life more tolerable while the body heals itself.