Does your tailbone hurt? Most people don’t think about their tailbone (coccyx) until it becomes sore. A painful coccyx, also called coccydynia, can affect everyday life. It can be painful to sit, bend, or find a comfortable position. Tenderness over your coccyx can be intense, and aching can occur in your sacral area. So, what role does your coccyx perform, and how does this condition happen?
What is the coccyx?
The coccyx is made of three to five small fused bones. This triangular-shaped bone sits at the bottom of your spine and connects to your lower sacrum. The coccyx is an anchor for muscles and ligaments in the pelvic region; the ‘glut max’ and the pelvic floor, for example. It’s also a balance point when you sit.
How does coccydynia happen?
The most common causes are: trauma or injury – such as a fall or blow to the area, pregnancy and childbirth, poor posture, obesity, and abnormal tailbone mobility. Repetitive or prolonged strain on your tailbone – such as sitting for a long time – can also cause coccydynia. Sometimes the cause is unknown.
What to do if you develop coccyx pain?
There are several practical approaches. Avoid sitting when possible – especially on hard surfaces, or place a ‘doughnut’ cushion or small pillow under your bottom – sitting on an exercise ball can also help. If you work in an office, a sit-stand desk is sensible. Lie on your side to reduce the pressure. Cool or heat therapy may also help.
If you suffer from coccydynia, speak to us at your next appointment or make a booking. Coccydynia can feel overwhelming, but relief may be possible with the right assessment, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment.