Coccydynia | Tailbone Pain | Treatment
Studies have shown that non-surgical treatments are successful in over 90% of coccydynia cases
Many people suffer from pain around the Coccyx which can be extremely uncomfortable and in some cases develop into a chronic long term condition.
Inflammation of the muscles around the area of the coccyx is the most common cause, typically as a result of trauma such as falling and landing awkwardly on the pelvic area.
Numerous studies have shown that non-surgical treatments are successful in the majority of coccydynia cases with many studies putting the success rate at 90% or above.
Where non-surgical treatments and pain management methods are effective, it is accepted that prolonged use of these methods is a reasonable option.
For those rare cases in which the pain does not respond to non-surgical treatments, surgery on the coccyx may be have to be considered.
In most cases treatments for coccydynia are noninvasive. The best place to start would be some simple self-care of the type that you can perform safely without the assistance or direction of a healthcare or medical professional.
Self Help Treatment
Ice or cold pack. Try applying some ice well wrapped in a towel or a cold pack to the general coccyx area. Doing this up to several times a day can help reduce inflammation.
Heat or heating pad. Try applying a heat pack (or beanie) to the bottom of the spine. This can be a good way to help relieve any muscle tension which may be contributing to the coccyx pain. A hot bath can be kust as helpful but you do have to be careful to avoid putting pressure on the coccyx whilst you submerge in the hot water.
Modify behavior. Changes to every day activities can make a difference (over time) and help alleviate painful symptoms of coccyx inflammation. Try using a standing desk if you sit for too long at work every day or at the least think about using a pillow to help take some pressure off the coccyx. If you have to sit for your work, try experimenting with different posture positions to see if you can feel your way to positions that will provide more relief. Any type of pillow or sitting arrangement that keeps pressure off the coccyx is likely to make a difference.
- Dietary changes. Coccyx pain is sometimes caused by or made worse with bowel movements or constipation. In such cases your doctor may recommend stool softening foods or medicines. Increasing the amount of fiber in your meals and drinking more water may be recommended.
Other treatment options to be considered
Manual manipulation. As mentioned above, many patients are able to successfully find pain relief through manual manipulation of the coccyx. Some therapists will be able to manipulate the joint between the sacrum and the coccyx in such a way as to potentially improve mobility of the coccyx and reduce painful symptoms.
Massage therapy. The painful symptoms of Coccydynia may be reduced or alleviated by a massage therapist treating any tight pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles get tense or shorter they may place additional pressure.
- Stretching. Gently stretching the ligaments attached to the coccyx can be helpful in reducing muscle tension. Try to find a suitably trained healthcare practitioner to provide instruction on the best stretches for relieving coccyx pain and to help you create a stretching routine that is manageable for you.
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