Coccydynia

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INJURY TITLE

Coccydynia

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

Coccydynia is pain in the tailbone. It usually occurs following a trauma (falling on your bottom) but can also be atraumatic (no trauma) such as prolonged sitting positions.

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

The coccyx is the very bottom portion of your spine and you can feel it on the back of your pelvis.

There are many reasons for pain in the tailbone.  It can occur from repetitive seated activities (especially cycling or rowing) or direct trauma to the bottom of your spine.  It can occur following childbirth or surgery. Interestingly it can also be caused by muscle spasm in your buttocks area, and if this is the case, it is often relieved with sitting as opposed to being worsened.

 

Lower back or Sacro-iliac problems can also refer symptoms to this area.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Pain when sitting and possibly when moving depending on the root cause.

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

  • Physical examination of the Coccyx including direct palpation (pressing) and local muscle  tests.
  • Physical examination of your lower back and Sacro-iliac joint.
  • An MRI scan may be required if the pain does not resolve.
  • X-rays tend not to be done.

 

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

  • Physiotherapy involving massage to the muscles that attach to the coccyx, or mobilisation of the coccyx.
  • Pelvic floor and core strengthening
  • Advice on seating and sitting position. Using a ‘doughnut’ or ‘ring’ cushion can be useful.
  • Possible corticosteroid injection if the symptoms do not improve with other treatment.
  • Surgery to remove the coccyx is a last resort

 

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     X

PODIATRY     

Put an ‘X’ next to each health professional that most commonly deals with this injury.

i.e. tennis elbow would be Physio and Medic as injections are common, whereas for muscular LBP it would be Physio and not Medic as they would just refer them to a Physio.

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