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Tailbone Pain or Coccydynia

Tailbone pain or coccydynia is a type of low back pain. The pain occurs at the very bottom of your spine in the crack or the area between the buttock muscles. The pain may range from mild to severe. The pain is usually worse with sitting or movement. Activities of daily living may be challenging due to the pain which occurs. In addition to coccyx pain, one may also develop back pain, sciatica, painful bowel movements, pain with sex, painful bowel movements or pain with menstruation.  Females are most commonly affected.

Causes of coccydynia are:

  • Ligament stretch during childbirth
  • Trauma
  • Tumor
  • Infection
  • Poor posture
  • Repeated activities
  • Anal sex

Diagnosis of coccydynia is based primarily on a physical examination but may also include x-rays and an MRI scan.

Treatment includes:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories
  • Ice
  • Custom pillow or doughnut
  • Laxatives or stool softeners
  • Steroid injections
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Surgical excision of the coccyx

Surgical outcomes are dependent upon the preoperative evaluation and the experience of the surgeon. 80 to 90% success rate may be expected.

To learn more about Dr. Cotler or to schedule an appointment, please call us on (713) 523-8884 or visit

Howard B. Cotler, MD, FACS, FAAOS is board certified and recertified in Orthopedic Surgery. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.

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