Armature Curve Deform? Best Blender Way?

I have a character with a tail that needs to be deformed as you would a curve, but perhaps using bones instead.

Does blender have a modern/built in way to do this? or do I have to set up complicated parent-child relationships with curves, bones, etc?

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Constraints/Tracking/Spline_IK

I don’t think it is too difficult to set up, there are videos as well

Great. I didn’t know where to dig. Much appreciated.