What is Coccyx?
Coccyx is a small triangular bone at the very bottom of the spinal column. It comes from the Greek word for “cuckoo” as it resembles the bird's beak with the tip pointed downward.
What is coccydynia?
Coccydynia is a condition where the coccyx, a small bone located at the base of the spine, causes pain and discomfort.
What causes coccydynia?
Various factors, including injury to the coccyx, prolonged sitting, repetitive strain, or childbirth, can cause Coccydynia. In some cases, the cause may be unknown.
How does coccydynia present?
The classic history is pain localised at the coccyx, especially aggravated by sitting. There may be a history of trauma to the coccyx, like a direct landing on the coccyx bone.
How is coccydynia managed?
Blood tests and imaging may be needed to rule out other causes and for reassurance.
Treatment options for coccydynia include conservative measures such as the use of cushioned seats, ice or heat therapy, physical therapy, or pain medication (which helps reduce inflammation).
If the symptoms persist, then an injection at the sacro-coccygeal joint, which is believed to be the source of the pain is a viable option. This injection typically contains a blend of corticosteroids and local anaesthetic and may be given up to three times. Apart from providing temporary relief, this injection can also help confirm the diagnosis, making it a useful diagnostic tool. The risks associated with these injections are generally low.
Coccygectomy, a surgical procedure, is typically considered a last resort for treating tailbone pain. Only a small proportion of patients with tailbone pain require surgery. Patient selection is critical, and those who respond positively to injections are believed to have a higher probability of success. Risks of surgery include infection, ongoing issues, scar pain, and harm to adjacent structures. Several case studies have demonstrated about 60-70% positive or outstanding outcomes in a carefully chosen group of patients.
Explore more related spinal conditions:
Sacroiliac Joint Pain: Explore the causes and management strategies for pain in the sacroiliac joint.
Neck Pain: Common causes, symptoms, and management strategies for persistent neck pain.
Back Pain: Learn about the underlying factors contributing to chronic or acute back pain.
Leg Pain (Sciatica): Understand the origins and symptoms of leg pain associated with sciatic nerve irritation.
Further explore procedures for alleviating Coccyx Pain:
Coccyx Manipulation: A non-surgical procedure aiming to relieve pain by adjusting the position of the coccyx.
This review discusses risk factors, clinical evaluation, and management options for coccyx pain.