Coccydynia or Coccyx Pain

Lower Back | Orthopaedics | Coccydynia or Coccyx Pain (Symptom)


Coccydynia is a medical term meaning pain in the coccyx or tailbone area. Coccydynia is an inflammation of the bony area represented by tailbone or coccyx, located between the buttocks.


A number of different conditions can cause pain in the general area of the coccyx, but not all involve the coccyx and the muscles attached to it. Coccydynia may result from a blow to the base of the spine in a fall, from prolonged pressure due to poor posture when sitting, or the use of the lithotomy position during childbirth. Coccydynia is often caused by an injury, but it may also occur spontaneously.

There are many causes of tailbone pain which can mimic coccydynia, including sciatica, infection, pilonidal cysts, and fractured bone. Rarely, coccydynia is due to the undiagnosed presence of a sacrococcygeal teratoma or other tumor in the vicinity of the coccyx. In these cases, appropriate treatment usually involves surgery and/or chemotherapy.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Coccydynia is commonly diagnosed based solely on the symptoms and the examination findings of local tenderness. The pain usually eases in time. Treatment may include heat, injections of a local anasthetic, and manipulation. Tests can include x-ray and MRI. Patients with coccydynia are advised to use a well-padded seat when sitting and avoid long periods of sitting when possible.