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Coccyx Pain – Tailbone Troubles and Treatment

The tailbone or the coccyx is a triangular structure at the bottom of our pelvis, supporting it. It is a non-functioning tail for humans, but it does fuse into a few pelvic muscles, which is why any injury that affects the pelvis can also act as a threat for the tailbone. 


The condition in which one’s coccyx is negatively affected is called Coccydynia, the pain caused due to it could range from slight to extreme. According to people who have to deal with this, the pain tends to worsen while doing daily activities like walking or sitting down. 


Why does it hurt?

Now that we know what Coccydynia is, we’ll have a look at the causes. Like many other joint-related issues, one of the reasons one could develop this is by hurting themselves physically, sitting on an unsupportive surface for too long, aging and sometimes due to pressure one’s tailbone has to bear during pregnancy. People who struggle with obesity can also experience a strain on their tailbones.


Tell-tail Symptoms

Due to there being many disorders and conditions that people tend to suffer from, especially near their lower back, it is imminent that a thorough examination is carried out to diagnose the situation. Here are some common symptoms that people with Coccydynia exhibit:


- Piercing pain when sitting for a long time

- Chronic aching near the tailbone

- Severe pain when sitting down or standing up

- Difficulty during bowel movement


Other symptoms also include pain in the buttocks, back pain, below-average sleep quality etc. 



After going through one’s medical history, the doctor would check for any obvious trauma signs, like fractures or deformities. If there aren’t any outward signs, an X-Ray or CT Scan is performed, or an MRI if they need to check for signs of inflammation or Chordoma.

Corrective Treatment

Usually, in milder cases of Coccydynia, the pain should subside in a few weeks with the help of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like Tylenol and Advil. While in recovery, people are advised to practice a few of the things listed below:

  • Reducing the sitting time and minimising any strain on the tailbone
  • Taking a hot bath to relax muscles
  • Use stool softeners to reduce pain during bowel movements
  • Applying hot or cold packs to the lower back
  • Wear comfortable clothing


Doctors might use external measures to bring the pain under control like – numbing nerve medications. Regular stretching and massage therapy will also prove advantageous during the recovery process. Although, if the pain is severe, then the individual should be provided with immediate medical attention. 


In some extreme cases, people are advised to opt-in for surgery. These procedures are rarely carried out since recovery takes over a few months, and since there is no guarantee that it will eliminate the pain. The two types of surgery are:


- Partial Coccygectomy (Partial removal of the coccyx)

- Total Coccygectomy (Removal of the entire coccyx)


To avoid injuries that could lead to Coccydynia, people must remain careful while performing high-intensity activities like running or working out. 

Yours in self-care,

Adrian Wilk

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