Tailbone pain - pain in the coccyx called pain that occurs in the final boundary of the coccyx or thereabout.
The coccyx is the terminal portion of the spinal column and consists of 3-5 vertebrae which is usually complex together (synosteosis). The shape of the coccyx bone is triangular, but the time and the possibility of movement of the vertebrae between them varies from person to person. Over the coccyx adhere various muscles, tendons and joints.
Women are more prone on injuries coccyx because they have a wider pelvis and the coccyx more exposed.
The coccyx is the last segment of the spine (red circle)
The pain of the coccyx are mainly due to injury.
- Direct injury of coccyx dropping the person sitting on a hard surface and is the most common cause of kokkygodynias (pain in the coccyx)
- Direct bone injury blow during sports injuries especially in contact sports
- The coccyx may be injured during birth
- Repeated loads and friction in the bone of the coccyx as in cycling or in those whose nature of their job is to sit (computer operators) is another common cause kokkygodynias.
- Less common causes are kokkygodynias local osteophytes, spinal injuries posing pressure on nerve roots, local infections and tumors.
- Unknown cause of the pain.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS
- Pain is the dominant symptom of injury of the coccyx and accompanied by hematoma in the region it comes from injury
- Worsening of pain when the person sits for a long time
- Bowel movements and straining are often painful.
- Some women may experience pain during sexual intercourse.
Sitting inclined torso rearwardly exerts loads on the tip of coccyx
The inclination of the torso forwards usually relieves coccydynia
- X-ray of the coccyx which mainly gives us information about whether there is a fracture of the vertebrae, their dislocation, to assess the state of the them.
- Three-phase bone scintigraphy with gamma camera for detailed assessment of local bone metabolism (enhancement of fracture or other causes such as tumors)
- Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine, the sacrum and the coccyx to assess soft tissue around the bones, intervertebral discs in the lumbar spine and its relationship with emerging nerve roots.
Angulation of the coccyx after direct trauma - fall on the ground (red arrow)
MRI coccyx (sagittal section)
Inflammation in the lower vertebrae of the coccyx which causes severe pain in the area
Prevention typically constitutes the soundest address the problem.
- The most cases of coccygodynias are traumatic (injury during sports activities in the snow or ice) and can hardly be avoided.
- The use of special protective materials (pads) in the region of the coccyx is an alternative.
- For cases where the coccygodynia due to causes such as chronic friction again use special types of pillows will help effectively. Also, changing the way we sit ie carrying little weight torso forward greatly reduces the pressure on the coccyx.
- The small and frequent interruption of our sedentary work can help.
- The alternative work posture - standing position working on computer - has already been implemented in Asian countries.
Special pillow to prevent coccyx bone loading
Seated on the cushion. The point of the coccyx is at a vacuum thereby avoiding pressure therein (arrow)
Special 'Donut' cushion