Coccydynia is the term for pain in the tailbone area, or coccyx. The coccyx is a small triangular bone which sits at the bottom of the spine.
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WHAT CAUSES COCCYDYNIA?
Coccydynia can be caused by a variety of injuries or other conditions affecting the tailbone, or the muscles and nerves around it. These include:
- Trauma to the coccyx from a fall, causing a fracture or dislocation
- Pressure and strain (sometimes occurs during childbirth)
- Spinal tumours or cysts
- Repetitive stress (eg, cycling, motorbike riding, horseriding)
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR COCCYDYNIA?
Coccydynia occurs more frequently in women.
Other risk factors include:
- Sitting for long periods on hard surfaces
SYMPTOMS OF COCCYDYNIA
Typical symptoms of coccydynia are pain on:
- Going from sitting to standing
- Opening bowels
- Tenderness directly over tailbone
HOW IS THE DIAGNOSIS MADE?
Your symptoms and physical examination are important in making the diagnosis.
Imaging studies may include:
- CT or MRI scan
- SPECT scans (nuclear medicine)
HOW IS COCCYDYNIA TREATED?
Treatment of coccydynia frequently targets the symptoms, and sometimes the actual cause too. Options may include:
- Modification of physical activity
- Special cushions to sit on
- Medications pain medications and stool softeners
- Steroid (cortisone) injections
- Neuromodulation procedures
- Very occasionally surgical removal of the coccyx (coccygectomy)