What To Do For Tailbone Pain?

What To Do For Tailbone Pain
What causes tailbone pain, and how can I ease it? – Answer From Margaret Moutvic, M.D. Tailbone pain — pain that occurs in or around the bony structure at the bottom of the spine (coccyx) — can be caused by trauma to the coccyx during a fall, prolonged sitting on a hard or narrow surface, degenerative joint changes, or vaginal childbirth.

Tailbone pain can feel dull and achy but typically becomes sharp during certain activities, such as sitting, rising from a seated to a standing position or prolonged standing. Defecation and sex also might become painful. For women, tailbone pain can make menstruation uncomfortable as well. Tailbone pain, also called coccydynia or coccygodynia, 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
  • Sit on a doughnut-shaped pillow or wedge (V-shaped) cushion
  • Apply heat or ice to the affected area
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or aspirin

If your tailbone pain doesn’t improve (chronic coccydynia), consult your doctor. He or she might do a rectal exam to rule out any other conditions. Your doctor might recommend using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to find out if you have a fracture, degenerative changes or, in rare cases, a tumor. Possible treatments for chronic tailbone 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 — as you would while urinating or defecating.
  • Manipulation. Massaging the muscles attached to the tailbone might help ease pain. Manipulation is typically done through the rectum.
  • Medication. An injection of a local anesthetic into the tailbone can relieve pain for a few weeks. Certain antidepressants or anti-epileptic medications might relieve tailbone pain as well.
  • Surgery. During a procedure known as a coccygectomy, the coccyx is surgically removed. This option is typically only recommended when all other treatments fail.

With Margaret Moutvic, M.D.

How long will tailbone pain last?

What to Expect – A tailbone injury can be very painful and slow to heal. Healing time for an injured tailbone depends on the severity of the injury.

If you have a fracture, healing can take between 8 to 12 weeks.If your tailbone injury is a bruise, healing takes about 4 weeks.

In rare cases, symptoms do not improve. Injection of a steroid medicine may be tried. Surgery to remove part of the tailbone may be discussed at some point, but not until 6 months or more after the injury.

Can tailbone pain go away on its own?

What To Do For Tailbone Pain DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My tailbone has been hurting for the past few weeks. I have read that it takes a while to heal, but is there anything I can do in the meantime to lessen the pain? At what point would it be necessary to see my doctor? ANSWER: Although tailbone pain can be uncomfortable, in most cases it will go away on its own within a few months.

During that time, there are steps that you can take to lessen the pain. If your pain lasts for more than two months or if it gets worse despite self-care, make an appointment to see your health care provider about your concern. Your tailbone, or coccyx, is the bony structure at the bottom of your spine that helps support your pelvic floor.

Tailbone pain is a condition called “coccydynia.” Those with coccydynia usually experience dull, achy pain in or around the tailbone. This pain may become sharper or more intense after sitting or standing for a long time, during sex, or with urination or a bowel movement.

  1. Numerous situations can result in tailbone pain.
  2. It is often the result of an injury due to a trauma during childbirth or a fall.
  3. Tailbone pain sometimes can arise after sitting on a hard surface for a long time, or sitting on an ill-fitting or jouncing seat.
  4. In some cases, the pain may be the result of sitting posture changes brought on by obesity or aging.
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Rarely, the cause of tailbone pain is something more serious, such as an infection, benign tumor or cancer. Medical treatment typically is not needed for tailbone pain. But try this to lessen the pain while you’re seated: Sit completely upright, keeping your back firmly against the chair, your knees level with your hips, feet on the floor and shoulders relaxed.

  • Although it is best to avoid sitting on hard surfaces, a heavily cushioned, overstuffed surface can allow you to sink into an unnatural, painful seating posture, which also isn’t ideal.
  • Select a supportive chair with a moderate amount of cushioning.
  • If pain is not relieved by those changes, adjusting your weight by leaning forward slightly when seated may help.

Sitting on a doughnut-shaped cushion or a V-shaped wedge cushion may help distribute weight away from the painful area. Using heat or ice on the painful area, as well as taking over-the-counter pain relievers, also may offer some relief. Use these techniques until the pain subsides.

  • In many cases, the pain will lessen and then disappear over the course of several weeks or several months.
  • In only a minority of people does tailbone pain last beyond that length of time.
  • If tailbone pain persists for more than two months or if it gets worse despite these measures, see your health care provider for an evaluation to rule out other potential causes.

For chronic tailbone pain, a consultation with a specialist in pain medicine or physical medicine and rehabilitation may be useful. When necessary, treatment for chronic tailbone pain may include instruction in pelvic floor relaxation techniques; physical therapy; or manipulation of the coccyx, which is usually performed through the rectum.

What does an inflamed tailbone feel like?

Tailbone pain, or coccydynia, can be a dull ache or a sharp pain at the bottom of your spine, It might hurt when you stand up, have sex, or go to the bathroom. It usually goes away on its own in a few weeks or months. Sometimes the cause is unknown, but common causes include injury from falls or childbirth infections or sitting too long on a hard surface.

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Why does my tailbone hurt for so long?

Tailbone pain, or coccydynia, can be a dull ache or a sharp pain at the bottom of your spine, It might hurt when you stand up, have sex, or go to the bathroom. It usually goes away on its own in a few weeks or months. Sometimes the cause is unknown, but common causes include injury from falls or childbirth infections or sitting too long on a hard surface.

Can tailbone pain last for 6 months?

Is Coccydynia Treatable? – Acute coccydynia typically resolves within weeks or months. However, tailbone pain can become chronic (lasting longer than three months), if instability, soft tissue strain and inflammation aren’t treated. Some people live with the pain for months or even years.

Applying ice packs to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation Applying heat packs to soothe tense, tight muscles Modifying activities to take pressure off the tailbone (like sitting on a cushioned chair) Taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation Receiving a nerve block injection Stretching the low back and pelvis muscles Trying alternative therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic care and massages to relieve pain

Why is my tailbone still hurting?

– Tailbone pain is typically the result of physical injury to the coccyx and the surrounding tissue. Childbirth can often result in tailbone pain. Impact trauma or sitting on hard surfaces for extended periods may also cause damage to the coccyx and surrounding muscles.

  • People can treat most cases of tailbone pain with over-the-counter medication, light exercise, and seating aids.
  • However, a person should consult a doctor if the pain persists or if they can’t determine the cause of the pain.
  • A doctor will typically recommend prescription pain medication, physical therapy, and possibly steroid injections for the treatment of more severe tailbone pain.

In some cases, a person may require surgery to repair any bone or muscle damage that is causing pain.