Coccidynia, also known as pain in the coccyx or coccyx, can be caused by a structural abnormality or a fall, although the cause of the pain is unknown in about one third of cases. Tailbone pain is often felt when sitting for a long time. In some cases, acute pain occurs when the patient moves from sitting to standing. Pain can also be felt during sexual intercourse or during bowel movements.
Seeking Medical Help
Visit a doctor for a checkup. Your doctor will know what to look for when evaluating tailbone pain. The doctor may take X-ray images or order a computer tomography ( CT scan ) or MRI scan. The two tests that are most effective in diagnosing coccidynia are the injection of a local anesthetic into the coccyx area to determine whether the injection provides temporary pain relief or not, and comparing X-ray images taken in a sitting and standing position to determine if the coccyx is dislocated when sitting or not.
The doctor can also look for pilonidal cysts, which are cysts that occur only in the tailbone area, and are caused by an infection of an ingrown hair follicle. Successful treatment of these types of cysts can help relieve pain or eliminate pain altogether.
Recognize the symptoms associated with a tailbone injury. You should see a doctor for a diagnosis, but knowing the symptoms can help determine whether your spine is causing the problem or not. Identifying symptoms can also provide valuable information for your doctor. Symptoms of a tailbone injury include:
Pain in the coccyx or coccyx without pain in the lower back
Pain when rising from a sitting position to a standing position
Frequent urge to defecate or pain while defecating
Pain relief when sitting on one leg or just one buttocks
Try to remember the potential cause of your tailbone pain. If you injure your tailbone for some reason, tell your doctor about this during the meeting. This may help your doctor determine the right treatment for your situation.
It is estimated that coccidinia is roughly five times more common in women than in men. This could be due to a tailbone injury that may have occurred during delivery.
Ask your doctor for prescription drugs. Several medications can help relieve tailbone pain. For example, antiepileptic and antidepressant drugs have been found to be effective in relieving tailbone pain. Ask your doctor about the possibility of taking one of these medicines.
Remember that narcotics are not usually given unless there is a fracture (break) of the coccyx. If the tailbone is fractured, the doctor may prescribe painkillers to help relieve pain. X-rays will be needed to determine if you have a fractured tailbone or not.
Consider surgery if all else fails. Most patients who undergo surgery to relieve coccygeal pain have tried nonsurgical treatments with little success. Explore nonsurgical options before moving on to painful, and sometimes exhausting, surgery.
If the pain is severe, occurs daily for 6 months or more, and/or the pain is interfering with your quality of life, ask to be referred to an orthopedic specialist who specializes in relieving coccyx pain.
Using Home Remedies
Apply ice to the painful area. Ice applied to the tailbone can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. You can apply an ice pack once every hour while you are awake, during the first 48 hours after the injury to the tailbone. Apply ice wrapped in a towel to the tailbone each time for 20 minutes. After 48 hours, you can apply an ice pack for comfort, three times a day in the same way.
Use an over-the-counter pain reliever. Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce pain and swelling. These over-the-counter products, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be purchased at pharmacies or drug stores.
Take 600 mg of ibuprofen every eight hours or 500 mg of acetaminophen every 4 hours. Do not exceed 3500 mg of acetaminophen in any 24 hour period.
Improve your posture. Poor posture can contribute to the tailbone pain you are experiencing. Try to sit up straight, with your core drawn in, your neck straight, and your back slightly arched. If you feel a sharp pain when you get up from a sitting position, lean forward and bend your back before getting up.
Sit on a pillow. The special pillow, with a hole section under the coccyx, is especially designed for patients with tailbone pain. This pillow can help relieve some of the pain associated with sitting. It’s also possible to use a pillow that you make yourself from a piece of foam rubber. Make a hole in the middle so the pillow is shaped like a toilet seat.
Pillows that are shaped like donuts are not found useful by most patients, as they are designed to relieve pressure on the genitals rather than on the tailbone. Talk to your doctor about using a wedge-shaped pillow.
Use a heating pad. Studies show that applying heat to the tailbone area can reduce pain. Use the heating pad up to 4 times a day, each time for 20 minutes.
Try a hot compress or a hot shower if you don’t have a heating pad.
Plan periods of rest and recovery. If it turns out that you have a coccyx fracture, the cast cannot be placed on the coccyx. You should only rest and avoid strenuous activity for about eight to 12 weeks. If your job is physically demanding, you may need to arrange time off from work while you recover.
Avoid straining during bowel movements. Some people experience pain while urinating due to tailbone pain. Avoid constipation as best you can by including lots of fiber and fluids in your diet. If necessary, take a light stool softener during the coccyx recovery period.