What Is Coccydynia?

What Is Coccydynia?

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  • Coccydynia is pain of the coccyx, also called the tailbone, which is located at the base of the spine.
  • This condition typically affects those who play contact sports, bicyclists, rowers, or individuals who’ve sustained a major injury to the area.
  • The pain management physicians at American Spine explain what coccydynia is, as well as how the condition is diagnosed and treated.

Causes

The coccyx is located at the bottom of the spine and consists of three or more small bones fused together to make a triangular shape. Women tend to suffer from more coccyx injuries than men because their coccyx is rotated, they have broader pelvises, and when giving birth, their coccyx is more susceptible to damage. Regardless, coccydynia (pain of the coccyx) is usually caused by trauma to the area, constant strain from certain physical activities (i.e. bicycling, rowing), bone spurs, nerve compression, or childbirth. 

Symptoms

The most common symptom of coccydynia is pain when pressure is applied to the coccyx. Most patients report some pain relief when they’re standing or walking around. Other symptoms of coccydynia may include:

  • Pain during bowl movements
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Shooting, dull or aching pain when sitting for long periods of time

Treatments

Your pain management specialist at American Spine will run a diagnostic-imaging test to determine the cause of pain. This test is usually an x-ray, CT scan or MRI scan. Depending on your physician’s final diagnosis, treatment may be as conservative as taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and applying ice, or as serious as removing the coccyx bone altogether. Very rarely will the latter be considered, but other treatment options for moderate cases could include:

  • Prescription pain medication
  • Steroid injections

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.