Coccyx injury

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Coccyx injury can cause pain or discomfort in the coccyx region. The injury is quite common among women than men.

What are the indications?

The indications of coccyx injury include the following:

  • Coccyx or tailbone pain at the base of the spine
  • Pain is aggravated during or after sitting and discomfort for days
  • Tailbone pain is worsened when sitting on soft surfaces since less of the pressure is taken in by ischial tuberosities and increased pressure is placed on the coccyx
    Coccyx injury
    Pain is aggravated during or after sitting and discomfort for days.
  • Piercing pain can also be felt when moving from sitting to standing.

What are the possible causes?

Coccyx pain can be triggered by an unstable coccyx that leads to chronic inflammation over time. A fall or direct trauma to the base of the spine is also a usual cause. Constant strain or overuse especially from rowing or cycling increases the possibility for pain from the coccyx bone.

Muscle tightness or spasm in the pelvic floor muscles, piriformis muscles or gluteus maximus that causes coccyx pain. This is determined since it settles when sitting rather than worsening. Other possible causes include complications after surgery and childbirth.


Initial care

The individual should avoid sitting down if possible. Remember that sitting can aggravate the injury and prevent healing. In case the individual must sit, utilize a cushion that has a hole to accommodate the coccyx as well as relieve the pressure from it.

Hot or cold therapy is also beneficial. Depending on the case, various approaches might be more effective than others.

In case the coccyx injury results to instability, it usually heals on its own over a span of weeks or even months. A doctor should be consulted so that a diagnosis can be made and start the suitable treatment.

Medical care

Physiotherapy usually includes massage and stretching of the muscles around the coccyx including the piriformis. In some cases, relaxation and strengthening exercises for the pelvic floor are recommended.

A steroid injection might be given in some instances to provide brief relief to the pain for several months. The last option is surgery that involves removal of the coccyx which is considered successful in most cases.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a coccyx injury is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage muscle and bone injuries in the coccyx region, register for a first aid and CPR course with Red Deer First Aid.

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