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Coccyx Pain (Tailbone)

The coccyx, or tailbone, is located at the very bottom of the spine. It’s triangular in shape and has several muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Three to five bones are joined together by ligaments to form the larger bone. Several nerves pass through the openings in the coccyx and travel down through the legs.

 

Cause

Women are more prone to having injuries to the coccyx simply because it is more exposed in the female anatomy. Injuries are commonly caused by vaginal childbirth, degenerative bone disease, and trauma caused by a fall or blunt force trauma to the area. Horseback riding and sitting for long periods of time can also cause pain and discomfort.

 

Symptoms

Pain that is localized to the area of the tailbone area is one of the most pronounced symptoms.
The area may be tender to the touch and if blunt force or a fall is involved, you may be able to see slight bruising near the area of impact. Pain during bowel movements or when sitting for long periods of time is also possible.

 

Treatment Options

Rest and self-care the most recommended treatments for a coccyx injury. Sitting for long periods of time can make the pain worse. While you can adjust your position frequently, it may be best to invest in a support pillow that is designed to support the buttocks while leaving an opening for the coccyx. You can apply ice as needed to minimize the pain and inflammation, as well as take over the counter medications for pain.

Even though women are more prone to these types of injuries, men can also experience them. If pain in or around the area of the coccyx is unexplained or persists longer than a few days, schedule an appointment to see the doctor, especially if you are pregnant or have experienced a hard fall with blunt force trauma to the area.


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