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Coccydynia is marked by pain at the lowest tip of the spine, or the coccyx, also known as the tailbone. This is sometimes referred to as a “bruised tailbone.” Because of the location and function of the coccyx, coccydynia can impede on the ability to perform everyday activities.
Pain and tenderness at the coccyx, which is located right above the buttocks, are the major symptoms of coccydynia. This pain can also lead to difficulty sitting or leaning against the buttocks.
Coccydynia is often a result of injury to the coccyx from a blow or fall. Tailbone pain can also be caused by a bone spur on the tailbone, poor posture, a tailbone shift during childbirth, and arthritis.
Most patients respond well to conservative treatment, which focuses on reducing pain and protecting the tailbone while the injury heals. This includes over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications, use of an ice pack or heating pad to relieve symptoms, or keeping pressure off the tailbone with a padded seat or other support. Patients with persistent coccydynia may be treated with injections. In severe cases, surgery may be performed on the coccyx to remove the bone or part of the bone causing irritation.