New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 29, 2019) – With another month of winter ahead, the potential for slick conditions still looms, raising the specter of arm and back injuries, heart attacks and other common health hazards in winter, but there is also a higher risk for tailbone injuries.

 “Unlike a lot of other bones in the body, there is no muscle behind the tailbone, so if someone’s legs get swept out from under them, nothing is going to help pad the fall,” said Patrick Foye, M.D., director of the Tailbone Pain Center and professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

Slips and falls often happen quickly, so chances are someone won’t be able to correct the fall, but taking a few precautions before venturing onto icy surfaces may help reduce the risk of injury to any part of the body.

  • Wear shoes with a sturdy sole. If you’re going to work or a formal event, wear boots and bring your nice shoes to change into once you’re inside.
  • Take the salty path and avoid walking on untreated streets or sidewalks. If you are responsible for maintaining a street, sidewalk or stairs, be sure to regularly put down salt or sand so others don’t fall.
  • Use assistance if needed. If you sometimes use a cane or walker on dry surfaces, it may be a good idea to have it available.

 “If someone is still experiencing pain in their tailbone region a month after they have fallen or been injured, or if they have taken over-the-counter medications and haven’t found relief, they should go for a medical evaluation with a physician familiar with treating tailbone pain. The longer tailbone injuries go untreated, the more challenging it becomes to treat, which could turn it into a chronic condition.”

 To reach Dr.Foye, please contact Tiffany Cody at 973-972-3501 or [email protected].