Coccydynia Syndrome

Coccydynia Syndrome

Patients often say, “Doctor, I can’t sit on a hard place or if I sit, there is a lot of pain in the last bone of the spine. The pain is lessened when I lean forward. When I sit on any vehicle, I keep my waist loose with my hands.” This is a terrible experience. This uncomfortable experience cannot be realized without suffering from such a disease. In medicine, it is called “Coccydynia Syndrome”.

Coccydynia syndrome is a pain in the coccyx area (tailbone) of the spine. The coccyx bone is located on the end of your sacrum or tailbone and can become irritated by a fall onto the coccyx or by persistent irritation usually from sitting.

How may coccydynia happen to you?

There are several causes of coccydynia. The most common cause is, fall on a hard surface and damaging the coccyx. Other causes include overuse of the some of the muscle surrounding the coccyx including the gluteals, piriformis and adductors. If these muscles go into severe spasm, this may pull on the coccyx to cause coccydynia.

Risk factors:

  • Overweight
  • Bad sitting posture
  • Suddenly fallen on the tail bone
  • IBS

What are the symptoms of coccydynia?

The main symptom of coccydynia is intense pain felt at the lower end of the spine which gets worse when sitting down for a long period of time. It can be difficult standing up from a sitting position or, climbing stairs due to the pain. Other symptoms include:

  • Reduced range of movement
  • Swelling/inflammation
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Dull and achy most of the time, with occasional sharp pains
  • Worse when having sex and going for a poo
  • Make it very difficult to sleep and carry out everyday activities, such as driving or bending over
  • Some people also have back pain, shooting leg pains (sciatica) and painful buttocks and hips.

What should you do if you have coccydynia?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of coccydynia, it is important to see a physiotherapist as soon as possible. They will be able to carry out a comprehensive assessment and provide you with an accurate diagnosis of your injury. Icing the area with a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a wet towel or an ice pack will help to reduce the pain and any swelling. You should stop any activities that will aggravate your symptoms and this may mean temporarily stopping your usual sports or hobbies while you recover.

Physiotherapy treatment for coccydynia

Your physiotherapy will be included a progressive stretching and strengthening programme that will be specifically developed by the physiotherapist to suit your needs and goals. Other treatments will include massage and soft tissue techniques to reduce any muscle spasm. Further physiotherapy options include:

  • Exercise Programmes
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Soft Tissue Treatment
  • Postural Realignment

Also, the physiotherapist may use different electrotherapy modalities like; UST, Electrical stimulation, Focused Shockwave Therapy, High-Intensity LASER therapy etc. Which will help you to reduce the pain faster.

What shouldn’t you do if you have coccydynia?

Do not continue with your normal activities and sports if these make the symptoms worse and flare-up. This will delay your recovery and it will be more difficult for you to return to your usual hobbies. However, it is also important not to rest from activity altogether, and this is why physiotherapy is an effective way of helping you to pace your rehabilitation.

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