Opening Hours
Monday - Saturday 8AM - 8PM

Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain)

Home / Conditions / Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain)
Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain)

Overview Video

Introduction

Inflammation of the tailbone (coccyx or bony area located deep between the buttocks above the anus) is referred to as coccydynia. Coccydynia is associated with pain and tenderness at the tip of the tailbone between the buttocks. Sitting often worsens coccyx pain.

Causes

Childbirth

Giving birth is one of the most common causes of coccydynia. The coccyx becomes more flexible towards the end of pregnancy due to the release of a hormone called relaxin. This makes the soft tissues around the pelvic girdle more flexible so that the birth canal can expand, allowing you to give birth.

 

Sometimes childbirth can cause the muscles and ligaments (stretchy tissue that connects bones) around your coccyx to overstretch. This can result in coccydynia.

 

Injury

You can injure your coccyx if you suffer a hard impact to the base of your spine. For example, from an accidental kick during contact sports or falling backwards. In most cases where the coccyx is injured, it will only be badly bruised. But in more severe injuries, it may be dislocated (out of place) or fractured (broken).

 

Repetitive Strain

You may get coccydynia if you regularly take part in sports such as cycling or rowing. This is due to continually leaning forward and stretching the base of your spine. If this motion is repeated many times, the muscles and ligaments around your coccyx can become strained and stretched, leading to damage. If this happens, your muscles will no longer be able to hold your coccyx in the correct position, causing pain and discomfort.

 

Posture

Sitting in an awkward position for a long period of time, such as at work or while driving, can put too much pressure on your coccyx. This causes pain and discomfort that will get worse the longer you stay in this position.

 

Being Under or Overweight 

Being overweight or obese can place excess pressure on your coccyx when you’re sitting down. Conversely, you may also develop coccydynia if you are very slim. If this is the case, you may not have enough buttock fat to prevent your coccyx from rubbing against the tissues surrounding it.

 

You can use the body mass index (BMI) calculator online find out whether you are a healthy weight for your height.

 

Ageing

As we grow older, the small discs of cartilage (a tough, flexible tissue) that help hold the coccyx in place can wear down. The bones that make up the coccyx can also become more tightly fused together. This can place more stress on the coccyx, leading to pain.

 

Infection

Rarely, an infection can occur in the base of the spine or soft tissue and cause coccydynia, such as a pilonidal abscess (a painful collection of pus that usually develops in the cleft of the buttocks), if you have redness or swelling in this area contact your GP or NHS 111 service.

Self-Management Advice

The following advice may help reduce pain and allow you to get on with your everyday activities.

 

  • Use a specially designed coccyx cushion – these can be bought online and on the high street; they help reduce the pressure on your tailbone while you’re sitting down.
  • Avoid prolonged sitting whenever possible – try to stand up and walk around regularly; leaning forward while seated may also help.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes – avoid clothing such as tight jeans or trousers that may put pressure on your tailbone.
  • Apply warm and cold packs to your tailbone – warm packs include hot water bottles and microwaveable heating pads; cold packs are available as freezable gel-filled pads from pharmacies, or you can use a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel.
  • Try laxatives (medicines to treat constipation) if the pain is worse during a bowel movement – many laxatives are available to buy from pharmacies and supermarkets without a prescription.
  • Use over-the-counter painkillers.

Physiotherapy

If your pain has not started to improve after a few weeks, your GP may be able to refer you to a Physiotherapist.

 

A Physiotherapist can:

  • Give you advice about posture and movement to help reduce your pain.
  • Teach you some simple exercises to help relax the muscles around your tailbone.
  • Try techniques such as massage and stretches.
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
blog
patient-resources
what-we-do
clinics

Appointment Enquiry

Please note - this is only an enquiry form, we will contact you to confirm appointment details.

"I have never had acupuncture before and I can't believe the difference it has made for my chronic back pain. I am now able to control the symptoms and have got back my normal life."
Mrs Hacker
"I've never know pain like Sciatica. Following a referral made by my doctor, I was seen by a really friendly physiotherapist. I can't believe the difference in 4 sessions - Many thanks."
Miss C White
"The professionalism and knowledge shown during the treatment was great. I really felt in good hands."
Mrs Wainwright
"I was told by a previous physio that nothing could be done for my ankle problem and I would never play football again. Having received expert treatment and by following a specific programme, I have returned to 5-a-side once a week."
Mr J Arthur

Latest From Twitter

Like Our Page on Facebook

© 2020 Pure Physiotherapy. All Rights Reserved.

Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Patient Resources Professionals