Coccydynia is pain or discomfort in or around the coccyx region or tailbone. In most instances, the cause is unknown. The other possible causes might include:
- Abnormal, excessive mobility of the tailbone
- Trauma from childbirth or falls
- Tumor or fracture (rare)
What are the indications?
The characteristic indication is pain if pressure is applied on the tailbone such as when being seated on a hard chair. The symptoms eventually settle if pressure is alleviated when walking or standing.
The other indications that might be present include:
- Pain during bowel movements
- Immediate and intense pain when moving from a seated to standing position
- Pain during sexual activity
- Deep aching sensation in the tailbone region
The treatment for coccydynia generally includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen and ibuprofen to reduce the swelling. In addition, a therapeutic cushion is used to relieve the pressure from the tailbone when sitting. Take note that it might take several weeks or months of conservative treatment before there is significant relief from the pain.
Other treatment options that can be used include:
- Customized seating cushion that offers an “open space” in the area that transfers the weight from the tailbone to encourage healing.
- Physical therapy which includes exercises to stretch the ligaments and strengthen the supporting muscles.
- Ultrasound, massage and heat
- Coccygectomy or surgical removal of the coccyx can be done in rare and severe cases only.
- Coccygeal manipulation is performed to move the coccyx into its proper position and relieve the pain.