Coccygodynia is pain at the lowest tip of the spine (the coccyx, or tailbone). This is sometimes called a “bruised tailbone.” Tailbone pain can be very uncomfortable. It can also interfere with daily activities, such as driving.
How to say it
What causes coccygodynia?
Causes of tailbone pain include:
Injury to the tailbone from a blow or fall
A bone spur on the tailbone
Poor posture while sitting
Sitting for a long time in an uncomfortable position
In some cases, the cause of the pain can’t be found.
Symptoms of coccygodynia
You may feel:
A dull ache or sharp pain in the tailbone area, near the top of the buttocks
Muscle spasms in the lower back or pelvic area
A sense of pressure in the rectum
Pain may be triggered by things like walking or standing up from sitting. It may hurt more if you sit for long periods. Things that put pressure on the tailbone, such as riding a horse or having sex, may also trigger the pain.
Treatment for coccygodynia
Tailbone pain often goes away by itself within a few months. Treatment focuses on reducing pain and protecting the tailbone. Treatments can include:
Over-the-counter or prescription pain medicine to help relieve pain and swelling
Warm or cold to help relieve symptoms for a time, such as a heating pad, hot water bottle, or ice pack
Keeping pressure off the tailbone to help the area heal by shifting weight forward onto your hipbones and thighs when sitting or sitting on a special cushion
Medicine injected into the area to help relieve severe symptoms
Physical therapy to help strengthen the structures around the tailbone
If no other treatments work, you may need surgery to remove all or part of the coccyx.
When to call your healthcare provider
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:
Pain that continues for more than 2 months or gets worse
Pain that limits your usual activities
Pain that doesn’t get better by trying the self-care treatments described above
Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed
Redness or swelling
A new sore in the cleft of the buttocks, especially one that contains or drains pus
Other new symptoms
June 19, 2017
Buttaravoli P, Leffler SM. Coccyx Fracture. In: Buttaravoli P, Leffler SM, editors. Minor Emergencies. 3 ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2012. p. 410-1., Choi SB, et al. Pelvic Trauma. In: Marx JA, et al, editors. Rosen's Emergency Medicine. 8 ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2014. p. 656-71., Foye PM. Coccydynia (coccygodynia). UpToDate. December 14 ed: UpToDate; 2015. p. 14., Maigne JY. Coccydynia. In: Slipman CW, et al, editors. Interventional Spine: An Algorithmic Approach. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2008. p. 1289-97., Vora A, Yin AX. Coccydynia. In: Frontera WR, et al, editors. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 3 ed. Philadelphia: Saudners; 2015. p. 490-4., Waldman SD. Coccydynia. In: Waldman SD, editor. Pain Management. 2 ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2011. p. 801-3.
Bellendir, Trina, MSPT, CLT,Image reviewed by StayWell medical illustration team.,Joseph, Thomas N, MD