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Lewes, Delaware
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February 16, 2010     Cape Gazette
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February 16, 2010

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24 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16- THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2010 HEALTH & FITNESS Cape Gazette Taill ,one pain should be treated as soon as possible Q.: I was racing down the cellar stairs a few days ago when I slipped and feU on my tailbone. I've had pain ever since. What should I do about it? A.: The coccyx - or tailbone - is made up of three to five verte- brae at the lower end of the spine. Most people have a coc- cyx of four of these spinal bones. The coccyx functions as an at- tachment site for muscles, ten- dons and ligaments. "Coccyx" comes from the Greek word for cuckoo. The coccyx's shape is like the beak of a cuckoo. The human coccyx is considered a vestige of what was once a tail. Most coccyx injuries are bruises and ligament strains. The coccyx rarely breaks. The most common tailbone injuries occur from falling on a hard sur- face. Women suffer most coc- cyx injuries, because the female pelvis is broader, and the coccyx is more exposed than it is in males. Pain in the coccyx is called coccydynia. Coccydynia can OC- cur in children and adults. De- generative changes of the coc- cyx seem to increase with age. Usually, the cause for coccy- dynia is not known. Among the common known causes are falls, prolonged sitting, medical pro- cedures, such as colonoscopies, and childbirth. Substantial pres- sure may be placed on the coc- cyx as the baby descends through the mother's pelvis. The pain is felt in a variety of circumstances. The most com- mon distress comes from sitting on a hard surface. There can be intense pain when getting up from a seat. Bowel movements and sex can also produce pain. Coccyx pain can be especially taxing because substantial relief may not come for months. However, most cases of traumat- ic coccyx injury get better with- in several weeks. With a long siege of pain, you may develop depression and anxiety. This emotional distress should be treated as soon as it is recog- nized. Fred Cicetti is a first-class geezer over 60 who writes a health column for senior citizens. Email questions to or visit Americ in Cancer Society offers telephone workshops for family, caregivers and friends Finding out a loved one has cancer can be one of the most difficult things a person will ever have to experience, but care- givers who offer friendship, love and support to the family mem- ber or friend diagnosed with the disease do not have to go through the experience alone. Beginning next month, the American Cancer Society will host a series of telephone work- shops for family, caregivers and friends to learn about informa- tion and support, related to car- ing for a loved one with cancer. Workshops include tips and practical problem-solving tech- niques, as well as time for ques- tions and discussion. Participa- tion is free, and no phone charges apply. The next workshop will be from 2 to 3:15 p.m., Wednesday, March 3, or 7 to 8-J5 p.m., Mon- day, March 8, and will address finding nursing care or compan- ions at home, "Caring for someone with can- cer can be hard. Finding help shouldn't be," said Patricia P. Hoge, RN, Ph.D, executive vice president of mission delivery and medical affairs for the Amer- ican Cancer Society's South At- lantic Division. "Working together with care- givers can help loved ones get well and provide the support family and friends need through every step of their cancer experi- ence." Telephone workshops are led by Julia A. Bucher, RN, Ph,D, an associate professor in the De- partment of Nursing at York Col- lege in Pennsylvania. Bucher is a caregiver herself and co-editor of the American Cancer Society's "Complete Guide to Cancer Caregiving." To register for the telephone workshops, call 800-966-3586 or visit workshops. i IS avcI