Tailbone Pain: Overview, symptoms, causes & treatment

Overview

Tailbone pain (coccydynia) occurs at the base of your spine, right above your buttocks, where this multisegmented bone is located. The tailbone is small, but it has a few important functions. Your sitting posture is stabilized by your tailbone. Several muscles, tendons, and ligaments also run through this area.

Tailbone pain is caused by coccyx injury. The coccyx is a triangular bony structure located below the vertebral column. Several bony segments are attached to it by ligaments and joints Coccyx injuries cause pain and discomfort between the tailbone and the lower back (coccydynia).

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Coccyx injuries may result in bruising, dislocation, or fracture (break). Injuries to the coccyx generally heal slowly; however, if treated cautiously most can be managed. An injured tailbone can cause mild to severe pain. Sitting down, getting up from a chair, or leaning back while sitting can worsen the pain.

Symptoms of tailbone pain (coccydynia)

There are usually more specific symptoms associated with tailbone pain. You might face the following symptoms of tailbone pain

Localized pain and tenderness

There may be constant tightness or discomfort around the tailbone, or the pain may come and go with the movement. The pain is usually localized to the tailbone and does not spread to the pelvis or lower extremities. The sensation of pain is usually described as an aching soreness that can vary from mild to severe.

Sitting and standing cause pain

When you move from a seated position to standing or vice versa, the rotation of the pelvic bones causes pain then it's the symptom of tailbone pain.

Need support to stand and sit

If standing or sitting on your own is difficult for you or you need support to stand or sit, you are at risk of tailbone pain.

Pain in bowel movement

If you are suffering from pain while bowel movement then it is a sign that you are at risk of tailbone pain.

Unable to sit for a long time

If you feel mild or severe pain while sitting for a long time, you are at risk of tailbone pain.

Difficult to carry out daily activities

If you face difficulty doing daily activities such as bending, driving, etc., you are at risk of tailbone pain.

Causes of tailbone pain (coccydynia)

Tailbone pain results from the following underlying issues:

  • Hypermobility or excessive coccyx movement put stress on the joints that cause tailbone pain
  • Poor body posture may also lead to tailbone pain
  • The limited movement of the coccyx may result in pelvic floor muscle tension and cause tailbone pain
  • Obesity is also a risk factor that can cause tailbone pain
  • An accident or injury to the tailbone can cause tailbone pain

Treatment for Tailbone pain (coccydynia)

There are a variety of treatments for tailbone pain (coccydynia). The treatment can be surgical and non-surgical. The treatment depends upon the severity of your tailbone pain. The following are the treatment options available to treat tailbone pain (coccydynia).

Self home care to treat tailbone pain

If your tailbone pain is mild then you can take the necessary steps to cure it. Self-care can help you to get rid of the tailbone pain. The following are the methods that you can consider to cure tailbone pain

Exercise and stretching

If tailbone pain is troubling you then do regular exercise and stretching to get rid of the tailbone pain. Here are some stretching exercises that are recommended to do to cure tailbone pain.

  • Chakravasana
  • Dhanurasana
  • Parsvakonasana
  • Trikonasana
  • Garbhasana
Cold or ice pack

Apply cold or ice packs in the area of pain. An ice pack can heal the tailbone pain and give you relief from it.

Over the counter medicine

Non-steroids anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the inflammation around the tailbone (coccyx). Medicines also help you to get relief from pain.

Apply heat pad

In the first few days after tailbone pain begins, apply heat pat to the bottom of the spine as it can help to relieve muscle tension.

Changes in daily activity

Changing daily activities can alleviate pain and cumulative pressure on the tailbone. To reduce prolonged sitting, modify your activities to utilize a standing desk, use a pillow to support your coccyx, or alter your posture when sitting to get your tailbone off the ground.

Non-surgical Treatment for tailbone pain (coccydynia)

If tailbone pain is persistent or severe, several non-surgical treatment options for tailbone pain may be considered. Non-surgical treatments to cure tailbone pain are as follows

Injection

The injection can be given to the patient to cure tailbone pain. Injections of lidocaine (a numbing agent) and steroids (which reduce inflammation) can relieve pain in the area surrounding the coccyx. Physicians use imaging guidance to ensure that injections are administered to the right areas.

Pain relief through Stretching

Stretching the ligaments surrounding the coccyx can reduce muscle tension in the coccygeal region. Physical therapists, chiropractors, physiatrists, or other appropriate healthcare practitioners can provide effective stretch instructions to relieve coccyx pain.

Manual manipulation of coccyx joint

Patients with coccyx pain may benefit from manual manipulation. Adjusting the joint between the sacrum and the coccyx could reduce pain caused by insufficient coccyx mobility.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) unit

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator is used to reduce tailbone pain. The device induces an electric stimulation on the coccyx that interferes with the transmission of pain signals to the brain.

Massage

Massage of tense pelvic floor muscles attached to the coccyx may minimize or eliminate tailbone pain. Massage can help to cure tailbone pain (coccydynia).

Surgical treatment for tailbone pain (coccydynia)

When all other treatments have failed, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to cure your tailbone pain (coccydynia).

  • Coccygectomy

Coccygectomy is a surgical treatment that is performed to cure severe tailbone pain. In this, the part of the damaged coccyx or entire coccyx is removed.

Why choose Nav Imperial Hospital to treat Tailbone Pain

Nav Imperial Hospital is the leading multispeciality hospital in Jaipur, & considered one of the best orthopedic hospitals in Rajasthan. Nav Imperial Hospital has a team of expert doctors & surgeons who have operated in simple and complex situations. Nav Imperial Hospital is best known for Joint Replacement surgery and general laparoscopy surgery. At Nav Imperial hospital doctors use advanced & latest technology to treat patients. One can find all the health care services under one roof at Nav Imperial Hospital.