Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

Quick GuideGood and Bad Exercises for Low Back Pain With Pictures

Good and Bad Exercises for Low Back Pain With Pictures

How do doctors diagnose coccydynia?

Doctors may diagnose coccyx inflammation based solely on the symptoms and the examination findings of local pain. Other conditions can be excluded by the examination (such as shingles, which typically would be associated with local rash) and other testing (to exclude bone or tissue disorders, such as with CAT scan or MRI scan).

What is the medical treatment for coccydynia?

Patients with coccydynia are advised to use a well-padded seat when sitting and avoid long periods of sitting when possible. If the condition becomes severe or persistently troublesome, then medical attention should be sought to accurately evaluate the cause of the pain, especially if there is associated bruising or rash.

Rest, avoiding reinjury to the affected area, anti-inflammatory medications, and pain medications can relieve symptoms. Sitting on a pillow, cushion, or buttock support can help. Treatment for patients with persistent coccydynia involves local cortisone injections. This corticosteroid shot is simply performed in the doctor's office and can potentially dramatically relieve chronic pain and even resolve the symptoms for many. Sometimes, the injection includes fluoroscopy or ultrasound. Physical therapy with exercises can be helpful with a patient's recovery. Rarely, when patients have unrelenting or severe coccyx pain, surgery can be performed on the coccyx to remove the irritated bony prominence.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/27/2017

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors