Coccyx pain or discomfort, or coccydynia, occurs at the base of the spine in the tailbone. This condition is associated with pain and tenderness at the tip of the tailbone between the buttocks, and is more intense when sitting down. The coccyx can be damaged in a variety of ways causing mild to intense pain that gets worse when raising up from a chair, leaning back while sitting, using the bathroom, or during sex, and may cause a shooting pain down the legs.
Standing and walking usually relieves the pressure and eases the discomfort.
Injury or trauma are one of the main causes for coccyx inflammation and pain. An injury or trauma can hurt and inflame the coccyx, but it may seem like the condition appeared spontaneously.
The main causes of coccyx pain include:
- Childbirth, as one of the most common causes of coccydynia as the coccyx becomes more flexible towards the end of pregnancy and the process of childbirth can overstretch the muscles and ligaments
- Injury of the coccyx during contact sports or falling backwards
- Repetitive strain injury
- Poor posture
- Being overweight or underweight
The major symptoms of this condition are coccyx pain and tenderness that can lead to difficulty in sitting or leaning against the buttocks. Along with this pain, there is usually intense pain in the tailbone area.
Coccyx pain is diagnosed based on the symptoms and a general examination that will exclude other conditions. To exclude bone and tissue disorders, the doctor may request a CT scan or MRI.
The coccyx pain should go away on its own in a few weeks but it may take months.
- Painkillers and anti-inflammatories
For severe pain the doctor may recommend:
- Nerve blocks
- Steroid injections