Understanding and Treating Tailbone Pain

Pain in the tailbone is a peculiar kind of issue that includes persistent pain in the lower part of the body. If the same is ignored for quite some time the same can lead to chronic complications and may also require surgery.

 The common causes of tailbone pain may include any of the following:

  • An injury which also includes a sudden force like falling down the stairs and or slipping off a ladder.
  • Excess pressure on the area which may be caused by sitting for long periods on a hard chair and/or sitting with added weight on your lap.

Let’s understand what the tailbone is:

The bone that occurs in the lowest part of the spine, the coccyx, is called the tailbone. The coccyx itself is made up of 3 to 5 vertebrae, some of which may be fused together. The ventral side of the coccyx is slightly concave whereas the dorsal aspect is slightly convex. Both of these sides have grooves that show where the vestigial coccygeal units had previously fused. The coccyx attaches the sacrum, from the dorsal grooves with the attachment being either a symphysis or as a true synovial joint.

Treatment for Pain in the Tailbone:  

  • Lean forward while sitting down.
  • Sit on a doughnut-shaped pillow or wedge (V-shaped) cushion.
  • Apply heat or ice to the affected area.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or aspirin.
  • If tailbone pain is persistent or severe, additional non-surgical treatment options for coccydynia may include Injection. An injection of a numbing agent (lidocaine) and steroid (to decrease inflammation) in the area surrounding the coccyx may provide pain relief. The pain should go away in a few weeks, or sometimes months.