Tailbone Pain: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 24. February 2017 16:41

Tailbone or coccyx is a triangular, curved bone at the lower end of the spine. It is made up of four bones connected by ligaments and the vestigial disc. Pain in this part of the spine is medically referred to as Coccydynia. Tailbone pain is often misunderstood as lower back or butt pain and may not get diagnosed in the first place. This condition is observed to affect women more as they have a broader pelvis that gives more exposure to the coccyx.

Causes

  • Childbirth is a physically stressful process that may press or irritate the tailbone when the head of the baby passes out of the mother’s body
  • Falling on the back may damage the tailbone. Elderly are more prone to such injuries
  • Slipping on a hard surface may injure the bone
  • Spinal Tumor or infection
  • Sitting for prolonged periods may lead to tailbone pain
  • Injury while participating in recreational and sports activities such as skiing, football, skate boarding
  • Osteoporosis- weakening of the bones with age may make an individual prone to tailbone pain
  • Inflammation due to Arthritis

Symptoms

  • Constant, intense pain in the tailbone and buttocks
  • The pain may worsen upon sitting
  • Pain may radiate to the thighs and legs
  • Sitting on padded surface may increase the pain as it exerts upward pressure on the tailbone
  • Sudden shift from a sitting to standing position aggravates the pain
  • Bowel movements can be painful
  • Women may have painful menstrual cycles
  • Tenderness in the affected area
  • Visible bruising

Diagnosis

  • The patient’s medical history, frequency and symptoms may be noted
  • A detailed physical evaluation of the patient’s rectum and pelvis may be required
  • Neurological tests may be conducted in some cases
  • X-ray imaging may be done to analyze changes in the bone structure and diagnose fractures of the tailbone, if any
  • MRI scan may be required to detect spinal infections or tumors that may have affected the tailbone

Treatment

  • Prescription of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Heat or ice packs may provide relief from pain
  • In case the pain is severe and persistent, cortisone injections may be injected directly into the affected part
  • The patient may be advised to sit on a special donut shaped pillow (coccyx cushion) to eliminate pressure from the tailbone
  • Ultrasound therapy may be helpful in controlling the pain
  • Physical therapy may be recommended
  • Coccygectomy- A surgical procedure that involves extracting the affected part of the tailbone.

For treatment of tailbone pain and other spine conditions, visit OrthoTexas, Frisco. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeons in Frisco, TX, you can call at (214) 618 - 5502.

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