coccydynia, Coccyx, tailbone pain


Tailbone pain is the pain that occurs in and around the bone structure at the bottom of the spine (coccyx). Tail bone pain can be caused by trauma to the coccyx during a fall, prolonged sitting on a hard or narrow surface and can be caused by degenerative joint changes.

Also called coccydynia or coccygodynia, tail bone pain, usually goes away on its own within a few weeks or months. To lessen tailbone pain in the meantime, it might help to:

  • Lean forward while sitting down.
  • Apply heat in the affected area.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Sit on a U-shaped pillow cushion to relieve the pressure on the tailbone.
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If your tail bone pain doesn’t improve (chronic coccydynia), consult your doctor who might recommend magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to find out if you have a fracture, degenerative changes or, in rare cases, a tumour.

Possible treatments for chronic tail bone pain might include:

  • Physical therapy. A physical therapist might show you how to do pelvic floor relaxation techniques, such as breathing deeply and completely relaxing your pelvic floor.
  • Manipulation. Messaging the muscles attached to the tailbone might help ease the pain.
  • Medication. An injection of a local anaesthetic into the tail bone can relieve pain for few weeks.
  • Surgery. During a procedure known as coccygectomy, the coccyx is surgically removed. This option is only recommended when all other treatments have failed.


Coccydynia is the inflammation localised to the tail bone (coccyx). Symptoms and signs of coccydynia include focal pain & tenderness of the tail bone. The pain is usually dull and achy. An injury to the coccyx is the major risk factor for coccydynia.

In some cases, the pain will improve over few weeks or months, but occasionally it can last much longer and severely affect your ability to carry out everyday activities.

See your doctor if:

  • the pain does not start to improve within few weeks
  • home treatments do not relieve the pain
  • the pain is severe
  • you also have bleeding, a high temperature or pain is moving away from your coccyx

Your doctor will carry out an examination to check for more serious causes of your pain, such as infection or a fracture.

In some cases, your doctor may refer you for tests such as xray or MRI scan.