Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain): How to Find Pain Relief

tailbone pain coccydynia

Tailbone pain, also known as coccydynia, is a common problem, particularly among adult women. The pain experienced with this condition can manifest as aching or stabbing, and it can last for weeks or even months, often leaving the sufferer experiencing discomfort that frequently worsens when sitting for a long period of time or transitioning from sitting to standing. 

Luckily, the condition is almost always curable, often through at-home treatments. For those who are not able to find relief from their tailbone pain through these remedies, there are a number of outpatient and surgical options that can be used. Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery can help you with any questions you may have about coccydynia as well. 

What Causes Coccydynia?

There are a number of issues that can result in tailbone pain, including external trauma such as a fall that causes the coccyx (tailbone) to become bruised or broken. Also, internal damage from certain activities can also result in tailbone pain, such as bicycling or rowing. These can cause an individual to repeatedly shift their weight back and forth, damaging the tissues surrounding the tailbone.

Pregnancy and childbirth may even result in tailbone pain, as a woman’s body releases hormones at the end of pregnancy that soften the area of the tailbone, enabling it to move out of the way for childbirth. This movement can cause excessive stretching of the muscles and ligaments around the tailbone, keeping those soft tissues from properly supporting the coccyx.

Additionally, coccydynia is more common among individuals who are obese, as the excess weight they carry adds additional pressure to their tailbone when sitting. 

What Are At-Home Treatments for Coccydynia?

Coccydynia can often be treated at home through the use of over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen. Additionally, if the condition is the result of frequent sitting, sufferers are encouraged to get up and move around regularly or lean forward when sitting to remove pressure from the tailbone. Sufferers also can find relief through the use of a wedge-shaped gel pillow to provide extra cushion to the area when sitting or by applying hot or cold packs to the lower back for at least 30 minutes a day.

While these home remedies often provide relief for the pain, some individuals require additional outpatient treatments or even surgery in order to correct the issue causing coccydynia. It is important to discuss your issue and treatment options with your doctor. If the pain began as the result of a fall, your physician may recommend an X-ray or MRI in order to determine if you’ve fractured the coccyx or if there is inflammation around the tailbone that could indicate an issue.

Outpatient Treatments for Coccydynia

For patients who have been unable to relieve their tailbone pain through home remedies, there are several outpatient treatment options. These options include:

  • The use of medication to block nerve supply to the area, relieve pain, and to reduce inflammation.
  • Massage therapy, which can provide temporary pain relief associated with coccydynia.
  • Physical therapy, which involves stretches and exercises designed to assist with treating the pain through proper posture.
  • The application of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which uses low-voltage electrical currents to treat pain.

It should be noted that TENS therapy is not used on pregnant women. Pregnancy can limit other outpatient treatment options, including medication as well. This treatment option is also not recommended for those who have certain conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, heart disease, or an infected wound in the area where the therapy is to be applied.

Are There Surgical Options for Coccydynia?

Those who have been unable to resolve their tailbone pain through at-home or outpatient treatment may be able to find pain relief through a partial or total coccygectomy. This is a surgical procedure in which part or all of the tailbone is removed. Those most likely to be candidates for a coccygectomy procedure include patients whose pain is the result of abnormalities in the shape of the coccyx, such as a bone spur at the end of the tailbone, and for those who had a good, though temporary, response to injection treatments for pain and wish to have a more permanent solution.

Surgical options are rarely required or recommended, as the period of recovery following the procedure is often long and difficult for the patient. However, they are important options to have when nothing else will relieve the discomfort associated with the condition. When surgery appears to be the best option for treating the pain, it is important that your doctor explain the procedure and the recovery time to you, as well as any results that you can likely expect from the procedure.

If You Suffer From Tailbone Pain, Call Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery 

Many people who suffer from coccydynia deal with the pain for a long time because they don’t believe that there are non-surgical treatments that can help their condition. There are actually many treatments available for tailbone pain, and the medical team at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery advocates for minimally invasive treatment whenever possible.

Our doctors do not use a “one-size-fits-all” approach for treating coccydynia. Instead, we get to know our patients, understand the pain they’re suffering from, and work with them on developing a treatment strategy that is built around the client’s preferences and needs. During this process, we strive to help our patients have a better understanding about their condition and how to best heal from it. To learn more about the services that can be provided to you by one of the leading orthopedic and laser spine surgery centers in Florida, call us at (855) 853-6542 or contact us online.