Coccydynia or Tailbone Pain
15 August 2022

Coccydynia or Tailbone Pain

Coccydynia, or tailbone pain, can make daily tasks difficult and even impossible. The small triangular, triangular, bone located at the base of the spinal column can become bruised or even broken. Walking relieves pain while sitting increases it. The best ways to reduce pain are at-home treatments and changing your habits such as sitting too much.


What is tailbone pain (coccydynia), and how can it be treated?

Coccydynia, also known as tailbone pain, is a condition that causes pain around your small triangular bone, located at the bottom of your spinal column, just above your buttocks.

Because it looks like a bird’s head with its pointed tip, the Greek term for “cuckoo”, “coccyx” is also known as “cuckoo”. “Coccydynia,” which literally means “pain of coccyx”, is a Greek word that means “pain.” The bone is also known as the “tailbone” because it corresponds with the location of an animal’s tail.


What is the tailbone/coccyx and how do they work together?

The coccyx is composed of three to five fused vertebrae (bones). It is located beneath your sacrum, a bone structure at the base of the spine. It is connected by many tendons, muscles, and ligaments. When you sit down, your weight is supported by the coccyx (two bones at the bottom of the pelvis), and the ischial tuberosities (two bones at the top of the pelvis). A third of adults have a curve in their coccyx, rather than pointing straight down. However, curving the coccyx can be painful and dangerous.


What is causing my tailbone pain?

Tailbone pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp stab. This can last several weeks, months, or even longer. There are three types of events that can cause tailbone pain:


  • External Trauma: A dislocated, bruised, or broken coccyx from a fall.
  • Internal Trauma: Trauma that results from a difficult birth or sitting too long on a hard or narrow surface.
  • Other: Infections, abscesses, and tumors.

Surprisingly, only one-third of people with coccydynia have a known cause.


Is tailbone pain (coccydynia) permanent?

No. Tailbone pain is rarely lifelong.

How common is tailbone pain (coccydynia),?

Experiencing tailbone pain is common. Coccydynia is five times more common in women than it is in men. It is more common in adolescents and adults than it is in children. Obese people are three times more likely to get it than those who weigh in at an ideal weight, according to the BMI (Body Mass Index). If you lose too much weight, you are also more susceptible.



What causes tailbone pain (coccydynia),?


There is no one who hasn’t fallen on their backs. Perhaps your feet got caught on the ice and fell out of place. You might have fallen off a ladder. You can fracture, bruise (fracture), or dislocate your tailbone (coccyx) if you fall hard enough.

Repetitive Strain Injury

Bicycling and rowing demand that you stretch your spine and lean back. You can damage the tissues surrounding your coccyx if you do too much.

Pregnancy or Childbirth

The third trimester of pregnancy is when a woman’s body releases hormones that soften the sacrum and coccyx. This allows the coccyx movement during childbirth. Although this is natural, it can cause pain by stretching the muscles and ligaments surrounding the coccyx. This strain can cause soft tissue to become strained and prevent your coccyx from being supported at the right angle.


Additional weight puts additional pressure on the coccyx. This can lead to the coccyx leaning backward. If your tailbone is not in its proper position, it can cause pain.


You can have problems if your buttocks aren’t fatty enough to keep your coccyx free from rubbing against muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Rubbishing causes inflammation of the soft tissues.


This simple act alone can cause coccyx discomfort, especially if you are seated on a hard surface or narrow surface. Try to get up frequently, stretch and go for a walk. You can also find a more comfortable and softer place to sit or use a cushioned chair.


Tailbone pain is a sign of cancer only in very rare cases. It is highly unlikely.

What are the symptoms of tailbone pain (coccydynia)?

Coccydynia can be characterized by:

  • A piercing or painful sensation in the tailbone.
  • Standing up can cause more severe pain.
  • Sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause more severe pain.
  • Pain during bowel movements.
  • Pain during sex.

Coccydynia may also cause other symptoms such as:

  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Poor sleep.
  • Painful buttocks
  • Pain in the back

Is it a sign that you are pregnant?

The fetus’s weight can put pressure on your pelvic area, which can cause pain.

Can tailbone pain (coccydynia) cause rectal pain?

Yes, chronic coccydynia can cause rectal pain.

Is it possible for menstruation to cause tailbone pain (coccydynia)?

When a woman has her period, the pain in her tailbone is more severe.


What is the diagnosis of coccydynia?

After reviewing your medical history, your healthcare provider will ask about any traumas, including those resulting from a fall or childbirth. The healthcare provider will then examine the area for any obvious fractures, deformities, or abscesses (infections).

What tests can be used to diagnose tailbone pain (coccydynia)?

For a check on a fracture:

  • X-ray
  • CT scan

To test for inflammation and chordoma, a rare form of a cancerous tumor in the spine you can get the following:

  • MRI
  • A bone scan


How can coccydynia, or tailbone pain be treated?

Many people are able to recover without any treatment. 90% of those who require treatment can use at-home remedies.

There are several home remedies for tailbone pain including:

  • To reduce swelling and pain, you can take an NSAID such as ibuprofen.
  • Reduce your sitting time. If you must sit, lean forward.
  • To relax and relieve pain, take a warm bath.
  • When sitting, use a wedge-shaped cushion of gel or coccygeal cushions (a “donut”) pillow.
  • To reduce the pain in your bowel movements, you can use stool softeners.
  • You can strengthen the lower back and pelvis muscles by stretching and strengthening them.
  • Use cold or hot packs on your lower back. Do not apply for more than 20-30 minutes at a time, multiple times per day.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes

Coccydynia is a condition that causes tailbone pain. Outpatient treatment options include:

  • The Coccygeal nerve Block is a technique that blocks the nerve supply to the area. It uses numbing medication and steroids to reduce inflammation.
  • Massage therapy is usually only temporary.
  • A physical therapist will guide you through stretching exercises and posture improvement.
  • Acupuncture.
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation).

There are many surgical options available:

  • Extremely rare is partial coccygectomy, which involves the removal of a portion of the coccyx.
  • Total coccygectomy involves the removal of the entire coccyx. This is also very rare.

The recovery time for a coccygectomy may take several months or even a year. Even if the bone has been removed, it is not guaranteed that the pain will disappear. This procedure is not common.

Additional symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and sciatica that may be present in conjunction with coccydynia should also be treated.

What is the treatment for tailbone pain (coccydynia), when a woman becomes pregnant?

It’s common to experience tailbone pain during pregnancy. The pain can be caused by sitting for long periods of time, but it can also happen when you stand or walk. The growing fetus puts pressure on the bones. Physical therapists suggest that you sleep on your back and use a coccyx cushion to support your lumbar spine. The cushion will relieve pressure from your coccyx and help to reduce some pain.

Is walking good for tailbone pain (coccydynia), or is it bad?

Yes. Standing up and moving around reduces pressure on the coccyx, which can help to lessen pain.

How do I sleep with tailbone pain (coccydynia)?

Tailbone pain can affect sitting, driving, bending, and sleeping. It can greatly impact your quality of living, especially in severe cases. To reduce pain in the tailbone, Lie on your side.

Can a chiropractor treat tailbone pain (coccydynia)?

Yes. A chiropractor can correct a coccyx tilt that is too forward or back.


How can I lower my risk of having tailbone pain (coccydynia)?

There are ways to reduce the risk of having tailbone pain.

  • Avoid falling. All stairs should be well lit, with rails. Do not walk while you are looking at your phone.
  • Avoid activities that can worsen symptoms, such as sitting for prolonged periods of time and cycling.


What should I do if I experience tailbone pain (coccydynia), and what can I expect?

You can experience dull pain, severe pain, stabbing pain, or any other type of pain. The pain you feel when you stand and sit will get worse, as well as when you have a bowel movement or have sexual intercourse.

How long can I suffer from tailbone pain (coccydynia)?

It usually takes a few days to weeks. You will need to take less time if your home remedies are used.

When can I return to school/work?

Although it is unpleasant, pain in the tailbone should not be a reason to stop you from doing your normal daily activities. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if it persists.

What are the chances of experiencing tailbone pain (coccydynia), in the future?

Tailbone pain should not be something you have to live with. Follow these at-home remedies and talk to your healthcare provider about possible outpatient treatments.


How can I take care of myself?

Do not sit down for too long without getting up. Take a walk or do some stretches. You don’t have to stop riding your bike if you are passionate about it. Sleep on your side. Spend more time on the ground! You can use the at-home remedies, but you should also keep in touch with your healthcare provider.

When do I need to see my healthcare provider?

If your severe tailbone pain doesn’t improve in a few weeks, see your healthcare provider. If your home remedies fail to work, you should see your healthcare provider.

What are the most important questions I should ask my doctor?

  • Is there a reason for my tailbone pain?
  • What time do you estimate it will take to get my pain under control?
  • Which over-the-counter medicines do you recommend?
  • Which donut cushion brand/type do you recommend?
  • What at-home remedies would you recommend?
  • Are you sure I need surgery?
  • What can I do to reduce my pain?
  • Do you know of a chiropractor that you would recommend?
  • Are there any other doctors who could help me with my tailbone pains?


Final Note From Clarendon Chiropractic:

The discomfort of tailbone pain is temporary but not permanent. Keep vigilant. Keep your eyes open. Do not let your coccydynia become unbearable before calling your healthcare provider. Take your medications as prescribed, use your ice packs, take hot baths, get an air donut, and spend more time on your feet and keep those feet moving! If you are having lower back pain call us today!


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