What is Coccydynia?
Coccydynia (also called Coccygodynia) is inflammation of the tailbone or coccyx. Coccydynia is associated with pain and tenderness at the tip of the tailbone between the buttocks. The pain is often worsened by sitting. Coccydnia can be caused by trauma to the coccyx during a fall, prolonged sitting on a hard or narrow surface, degenerative joint changes, or vaginal childbirth.
Potential Causes of Coccydynia
Coccydynia is typically caused by the following underlying anatomical issues:
- Hypermobility, or too much movement of the coccyx puts added stress on the joint between the sacrum and coccyx and on the coccyx itself. Too much mobility can also pull the pelvic floor muscles that attach to the coccyx, resulting in tailbone and pelvic pain.
- Limited mobility of the coccyx causes the tailbone to jut outward when sitting, and can put increased pressure on the bones and the sacrococcygeal joint. Limited coccyx movement may also result in pelvic floor muscle tension, adding to discomfort.
- In rare cases, part of the sacrococcygeal joint may become dislocated at the front or back of the tailbone, causing coccyx pain.
- Childbirth causes immense pressure around the pelvic area causing pain in the coccyx
Coccydynia, usually goes away on its own within a few weeks or months. However, for some the pain can become chronic. If traditional conservative methods of treatment are not helping, such as leaning forward while sitting down, using a doughnut-shaped pillow or wedge (V-shaped) cushion to sit on, or apply heat or ice to the affected area, do not minimize your pain, contact our office for a thorough evaluation for your chronic coccydynia.