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Coccydynia, often known as tailbone pain, is a type of discomfort that occurs at the very bottom of your spine. This pain might occur as a result of a direct trauma or as a result of no apparent cause. The discomfort can be terrible and might linger for weeks or months.

This blog will teach you all you need to know about your tailbone (coccyx), including the causes, symptoms, and treatments for tailbone pain.

The significance of your tailbone

This triangle bone at the end of your spine is made up of 3 to 5 fused bony segments. 1 The bone has limited movement and forms a junction with the sacrum above. The tailbone’s principal roles are as follows:

    Attach various muscles and ligaments in your pelvic region. 

    Support your pelvic floor. 

    Allow for voluntary bowel control. 

    By stepping backward, you can help women have natural deliveries. 

If the coccyx is injured, it can become a substantial cause of discomfort.

There are five possible reasons for tailbone pain.

Coccyx pain can result from direct trauma, repetitive damage, or degeneration of the coccyx joint(s). Here are five potential reasons of tailbone pain:

1. Bruising, fracture, or dislocation of the coccyx

Damage to the coccyx’s bony segments or ligaments can develop as a result of:

    Direct buttock trauma, such as slipping on ice or falling down the stairs and landing in a seated posture

    During childbirth, the coccyx is pushed rearward beyond its usual range of motion.

Being pregnant or overweight may increase the likelihood of trauma-induced tailbone bruise.

2. Changes in the coccyx’s anatomy

A regular tailbone is typically angled slightly forward. If this position shifts due to anatomical differences, the tailbone can 3:

    If put further back, it may impinge on delicate tissues.

    If positioned further forward, it may obstruct bowel movements or deliveries.

Tailbone segments can also become unstable, resulting in coccygeal dynamic instability. This disorder is characterised by excessive movement of one or more parts, particularly while sitting. 

3. Bone spurs on the coccyx

Bone spurs (thickened or enlarged bone) near the tip of your tailbone might alter its length and/or typical angulation. When you sit upright and/or lean backward, the bone spur(s) can pinch on the skin and underlying tissues, creating pain. 

4. Coccygeal arthritis

Degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) can develop in the coccyx joints as a result of wear and strain, leading in tailbone pain. 

5. Infections and tumours of the coccygeum

Tumours or infections can affect the coccyx, producing pain. Chondroma, a malignant bone tumour, is more common in the coccygeal region. 

In people with medical problems such as immunodeficiency, sepsis, or past coccygeal surgery, osteomyelitis, a spinal infection, can affect the coccyx. 

Pelvic floor muscle hyperactivity may potentially contribute to or exacerbate tailbone discomfort. 

Sitting is painful due to tailbone issues.

Tailbone injuries usually have predictable symptoms. An damaged tailbone can cause pain ranging from a subtle ache to a sharp, stabbing pain, depending on the cause and degree.

The following are three distinct signs of a tailbone injury:

  •     Sitting causes pain. When you sit, a major percentage of your body weight is supported by your tailbone. Sitting may be difficult and produce localised discomfort in the region around your tailbone if you have coccydynia. Sitting on both hard and soft surfaces may cause discomfort.
  •     While partially reclining, there is pain. When you lean back when sitting, the weight on the coccyx increases the pain in your tailbone.
  •     Standing up from a seated position causes pain. The transition from a sat to a standing position may aggravate your tailbone pain. This increase in pain may be more common in people who have coccygeal dynamic instability, which is caused by excessive movement of the coccygeal bones while sitting and a rapid snap back into the normal position when standing.

Tailbone discomfort can be eased while seated by leaning forward or leaning on one buttock, which reduces the amount of weight on the tailbone.

Suggestions for treating tailbone discomfort

Tailbone discomfort typically resolves on its own. You can treat your tailbone discomfort at home by doing the following:

  •     While sitting, use coccyx cushions (doughnut, u-shaped, or wedge-shaped cushions).
  •     Using heat and ice therapy to relieve pain
  •     Using over-the-counter stool softeners to relieve coccyx pressure during a bowel movement
  •     Changing activities to involve less sitting

If these procedures do not relieve your tailbone pain, see a doctor for a more accurate diagnosis and medical therapy. To treat tailbone discomfort, your doctor may offer steroid or nerve block injections, coccygeal manipulation, and/or pelvic floor physical therapy. Coccygectomy (surgical removal of the coccyx) may be advised in rare circumstances and depending on the cause.


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