(Coccyalgia; Coccygeal Pain; Coccygodynia; Pain, Tailbone; Pain, Coccygeal; Tailbone Pain)
Coccydynia is pain in the area of the coccyx, or tailbone. The coccyx is a small, curved, V-shaped bone at the bottom of the spine.
This condition is caused by an injury or stress that affects the tailbone, as well as the muscles and nerves surrounding it. Examples include:
- Fall or trauma
- Pressure and strain, as during childbirth
- Prolonged sitting on hard surfaces
- Spinal cyst or tumor
- Dislocation from injury or obesity , which can cause bones to shift
- Repeated stress (eg, horseback riding, bicycling, motorcycle riding)
These factors increase your chance of developing coccydynia:
- Gender: female
- Brittle bones (eg, osteoporosis
Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors.
If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to coccydynia. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
- Sitting down
- Changing position from sitting to standing
- Moving bowels
- Having sex
- Tenderness directly over tailbone
- All-over backache
- Pain or spasm of pelvic muscles
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. He will do a physical exam, looking to see if the tailbone area is swollen, red, or warm. Tests may include:
These tests can show if there is a
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
- Bed rest
- Use of special pillows to sit on
- Sitz baths (which involves soaking hips and buttocks)
- Medication, including steroid injections, pain medications, stool softeners
- Manual realignment of spine
- Relief of pain by massage
- Strengthening of muscles in pelvic area
- Relief and stimulation with heat therapy and ultrasound therapy
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
Orthopedic Trauma Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
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Last reviewed December 2008 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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