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What is Coccydynia?

Coccydynia is a pain in the region of the coccyx, a triangular bone present at the bottom of the spine. Coccydynia is also known as tailbone pain. The condition can make it difficult to sit down on a chair comfortably. 

Causes of Coccydynia

Causes of Coccydynia include:

  • Local trauma
  • Abnormal, excessive mobility of the tailbone
  • Tumor or infection of the tailbone
  • Pressure and strain on the tailbone which sometimes occurs during childbirth
  • Repetitive stress from activities like cycling, motorbike riding, and horse riding 

Symptoms of Coccydynia

Symptoms of Coccydynia include: 

  • Localized pain in the tailbone region
  • Sharp pain when sitting on a chair
  • Worsening of pain when standing up from a sitting position
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Diagnosis of Coccydynia

The doctor will discuss your symptoms, check your medical history, and conduct a physical examination including palpation of the lower spine region to check for local tenderness or swelling.

Diagnostic tests that may be ordered include:

  • Dynamic X-rays: X-rays are taken in the sitting and standing position to check for bony abnormalities.
  • CT or MRI scans: This is done to check for soft tissue abnormalities.

Treatment for Coccydynia

Treatments for Coccydynia include:

  • Physical therapy: This includes a wide range of techniques such as breathing exercises and pelvic floor relaxation exercises to help you relax your pelvic region completely while urinating and defecating.
  • Cold and Heat Therapy: Cold therapy reduces the swelling and inflammation that occurs after an injury. The ice pack can be applied to the area over a towel for 10-15 minutes at a time 3-4 times a day for the first 48 hours after the injury. Thereafter, warm compresses can be applied to the tail bone to help sore muscles relax.
  • Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and injections of a local anesthetic into the tailbone can relieve pain for a few weeks while healing takes place. 
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