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Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain)

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Coccydynia facts

  • Coccydynia is inflammation localized to the tailbone (coccyx).
  • There are many mimics of coccydynia.
  • Symptoms and signs of coccydynia include focal pain and tenderness at the tailbone. The pain is usually dull and achy.
  • An injury to the coccyx is a major risk factor for coccydynia.
  • Coccydynia is diagnosed based on the history and physical examination.
  • Conservative treatment measures usually resolve coccyx inflammation.

What is coccydynia?

Inflammation of the tailbone (coccyx or bony area located deep between the buttocks above the anus) is referred to as coccydynia. Coccydynia is associated with pain and tenderness at the tip of the tailbone between the buttocks. Sitting often worsens coccyx pain.

What causes coccydynia?

An injury or trauma may cause inflammation of the coccyx, but it may occur seemingly spontaneously. There are many causes of tailbone pain that can mimic coccydynia, including sciatica, infection (including shingles of the buttocks), pilonidal cysts, sacroiliitis, and fractured bone (broken tailbone or tailbone fracture).

What are risk factors for coccydynia?

The major risk factor for coccydynia is injury to the coccyx or pelvic bones.

What are coccydynia symptoms and signs?

Pain and local tenderness that occur at the coccyx are the major symptoms of coccydynia. Tailbone pain can lead to difficulty sitting or leaning against the buttocks. Along with the coccyx pain with sitting, there is typically exquisite pain at the tailbone area.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/27/2017


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