Getting Behind Tailbone Pain

If you’ve ever heard someone use the expression, “a pain in the rear,” you’re pretty much hearing them refer to what is known, in medical terms, as coccygodynia. It’s tailbone pain, pure and simple. But to get more technical and explain why it happens and what you can do if you’re suffering from tailbone pain, here’s just a little more information on it all.

Don’t Sit There

Coccygodynia is an inflammation of the tailbone, or the coccyx. Inflammation, of course, usually causes pain, hence the tailbone pain or the coccyx pain you may be experiencing. That pain is usually localized to the tailbone, which is the bone located between the buttocks. Sitting can increase the pain, so if you’re suffering from coccygodynia, you probably try to avoid sitting whenever you can.

Unless someone has given you a swift kick in the rear lately and you’re experiencing pain in the tailbone, you’re probably scratching your head and asking yourself the question, “Why does my tailbone hurt?” But the answer to that is usually the most obvious one, which is a simple injury of some kind to the tailbone, like a fall. Obesity can also be a factor, as being overweight can cause the coccyx to jut out further when you’re in the seated position. Tailbone pain can also occur when the tailbone hasn’t been injured, as sometimes happens in cases of bursitis, arthritis, infection, or a tumor.

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A Rear View Look

In addition to experiencing sharp pain when sitting, the most common coccygodynia symptoms include:

  • Sharp pain in the tailbone with movement of the legs
  • Painful defecation, which may cause you to try to avoid the process as much as possible and can result in constipation. To rule out a serious defecatory dysfunction or other underlying conditions, a specialist such as a urogynecologist may need to conduct a rectal and female pelvic exam

Coccygodynia evaluation and management will naturally need to be discussed with a medical specialist, as effective coccygodynia treatment will depend on its true causes. Treatment methods often include:

  • Use of a well-padded seat
  • Reducing the length of periods of sitting
  • Rest to avoid re-injury to the area
  • Pain medication
  • Cortisone injections at the site
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgical removal of the bony prominence, which can be necessary in severe, persistent cases

Kick pain in the tail! Consult with the caring team at Coyle Institute today!