The coccyx, or tailbone, is composed of three to five fused vertebrae located at the bottom portion of the spine beneath the sacrum.
Coccydynia refers to any type of persistent tailbone pain. It is typically a localized pain that worsens when sitting or during any activity that places pressure on the bottom of the spine. Coccydynia is also known as coccygodynia, coccygeal pain, coccyx pain, and tailbone pain. Ninety percent of tailbone pain can be treated without surgery. Rest is one of the most effective treatment options for this common ailment. Pain in the tailbone can be acute or chronic but is rarely lifelong. There are many causes of coccydynia, and a proper diagnosis is pivotal in treating it. For people with a uterus, menstrual cramps and pregnancy can exacerbate your tailbone pain. The most common causes of coccydynia are direct trauma to the coccyx or sitting too much. While you cannot completely prevent the former cause, you can avoid sitting for prolonged periods by changing positions more frequently or taking short walks, if able.
Because being overweight or underweight places increased pressure on the coccyx, your healthcare professional may ask you to lose or gain weight in conjunction with other non-surgical treatment options. Losing weight too rapidly may exacerbate symptoms of coccydynia.
Your healthcare provider will ask about the following information:
Your healthcare professional will conduct a physical examination to gauge your range of motion in your coccyx. They will look for any swelling, tenderness, bruising, or other physical deformities located on or around the coccyx. They may manually manipulate or stimulate the coccyx through the rectum to assess the limited or excessive mobility of the coccyx or sacrococcygeal joint. Your medical professional may order diagnostic tests, such as:
Coccydynia is more common in those with a uterus than those without one.
Direct trauma to the tailbone and prolonged periods of sitting are the two most common causes of tailbone pain.
Some coccydynia may be idiopathic, which means the pain has no identifiable origin. Other causes include:
Risk factors include:
The Pain Experts of Arizona was founded to bring the highest level of care in a state-of-the-art setting that emphasizes the belief of treating our patients with the same respect, compassion, and dedication we would treat our own friends and family.
Contact our office to schedule an appointment and let us help you get back on your way to an active life without the limitations of chronic pain. From our Phoenix office, The Pain Experts of Arizona, serves pain management patients in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, and the entire Phoenix area.