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Coccygodynia: A Pain in the Butt

by Athletico17 Comments

It’s that time of the year! The snow is falling, it’s getting colder and the sidewalks are a little slippery. A slip and fall onto your buttocks can result in a coccyx (tailbone) injury. If you see your physician about your pain, you could be diagnosed with coccygodynia, which is pain at the coccyx.

Coccygodynia: A Pain in the ButtThe coccyx is located at the very tip of your spine between your buttocks. Injury to the coccyx can lead to significant pain while performing many of your regular daily activities including sitting, walking, and changing positions. Symptoms can differ between people, but it’s possible you could suffer from several of the following:

  • Pain when sitting on a soft surface
  • Pain increasing with the length of time that you are sitting
  • Feeling a deep ache around your coccyx
  • Coccyx sensitivity to touch
  • Pain shooting or traveling down one leg
  • Increased pain when changing positions from sitting to standing
  • Pain with defecation, menstruation, and intercourse
  • Feeling a sensation of sitting on something uncomfortable or sharp

Common ways of injuring your tailbone include a direct fall onto the coccyx, slipping, and childbirth. A number of sporting activities also can cause injury to the area. Even muscular imbalance in the pelvic region can create an indirect injury to the coccyx.

How can you get some relief?

It is important to sit up straight following this injury to allow your weight to distribute evenly through the buttocks. A slouched position can put more pressure onto the coccyx itself and allow the muscles around it to tighten. Many people utilize a donut cushion to decrease the pressure on the coccyx while sitting. This cushion will distribute the weight over the buttocks and keep the tip of the coccyx from coming in contact with the surface that you are sitting on. Ice can help to relieve the acute pain as well.  Using a bag of frozen peas works well as it can conform to the area.

Physical therapists can offer you a range of treatment options for coccygodynia, including:

  • Biofeedback
  • Ultrasound
  • Heat and/or ice
  • Manual therapy to the pelvic region including soft tissue work and possible manipulation of the coccyx
  • Exercises to include abdominal and pelvic floor strengthening as appropriate
  • Stretching

If you’re concerned about your coccyx pain and would like to learn more, please contact one of Athletico’s women’s health experts.

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  1. Brook Larson

    I’m looking for a few physical therapy places in the Phoenix area that have people who do (internal) coccyx manipulation. I also need them to take Blue Cross Blue Shield. I have had two experiences; the first place was out of network and I had some success (i.e., pain relief) with only 6-7 sessions. I went to the place that was in network for about six weeks and had no improvement. I’d appreciate any information you can give me. thanks

  2. Daniel Ates

    I slipped on some stairs. They were carpeted but I landed very hard on my lower back and buttocks. For several days I have been experiencing severe sharp and stinging pain in my right buttock. Whenever I move at all to get in the bed or out, move around in bed at all, when I walk or squat down, bend.. Any movement . It doesnt hurt if I am still or laying down on it. Sitting on it doesnt hurt but sitting down or getting up causes a sharp stinging pain like a shard of glass is in there not close to the tail bone . in the middle of the buttocks..

  3. Claire Stevenson

    I have done this today, I’m in so much pain, I dont know weather to go to hospital. Everything you are describing is what I’m feeling. Did you go to hospital? Did the pain get better?

  4. Ruth comens

    I fell on my buttocks and am having a hard time walking from the pain. It doesn’t hurt if I am lying down. How long does this take to heal?

  5. Jay Baker

    I fell on my buttocks and feel all these pains described above except for the second to the last one. Please what do I do? The fall was about 2 weeks now.


  6. Emily Reynolds

    After a sledding injury (catching 3-4′ of air on a jump then crashing down hard on my backside), it took about three to four weeks for the pain to subside in my behind. I had all of the listed symptoms, and had to take Ibuprofen or acetaminophen every four hours at night to be able to sleep through the throbbing aches in the ischium bones, my coccyx, and even my hip bones. I felt like a 9 months-pregnant woman, or a 90 year-old–slowly heaving myself over at night to try to find a comfortable position.

    I finally discovered that I could take meds before going to sleep, then again around three in the morning, then could skip another dose if I slept on my stomach for the last REM cycle. (Which I haven’t done since before having babies). Sleeping on my stomach has been a life saver to relieve pressure and get a good night’s sleep. Now I can crouch, sit, and stand again without aches and stings, and it’s been about six weeks. However, I may have lingering nerve issues in the back of my left leg as it hurts to kneel down on it now–stiff and with a slight zing down to my foot. Going in to see my doctor. No more sledding for me! No sleds! No sleds.

  7. Anna

    I fell from a bicycle and and landed a little of my back and buttocks, my back doesn’t hurt but the middle of my butt hurt and my right but cheek hurt,what should I do to relieve the pain?

  8. Noble-Sheriff Saliu

    My son about 12 years old fell and landed on his buttocks having same pain abit below his waist line to the middle. Please, would there be any advice on how to help and is thoes analgesic drugs ok for him at his age?

  9. Adesola I.

    I slipped down the stairs that was carpeted but I landed very hard buttocks. It’s been two months now and I still experience severe sharp and stinging pain in my buttock. Whenever I sit down or try to get up especially if I have sat down for too long. The pain is becoming unbearable

  10. Diana

    I fell 2 weeks ago, getting out of my truck. It was icy and when I stepped out I fell hard on my tail bone. I am still in terrible pain.

  11. Heather

    My daughter shoved me two weeks ago and I fell backwards landing in my back and buttocks. (My 5yo’s for was caught under me too). I could barely move the next day with most of the symptoms mentioned above. Currently I have trouble getting comfortable while sitting or lying down. Walking is challenging and going upstairs is painful. Lifting light things hurts. Coughing is very painful. I’ve injured my tailbone before and this doesn’t feel like pain there. I do feel like I just had a baby at times.

  12. Joliyah M

    I fell and hit my tailbone very hard. I put an icepack on it for some relief and bending is hard for me to do. Walking also, I am taking baby steps. Does anyone know how long it will last??

  13. Lidia

    I have been in serious pain in regards to my back… it doesn’t hurt, but I also fell and landed on my buttocks… I have a very sharp pain right above my tailbone…. It’s the most horrible pain as it feels like If I am picking up a heavy bowling ball when I get up to walk or if I’m driving and I step out of my car sideways, it hurts severely…. Can someone tell me if your experiencing such pain like this…. Maybe you can tell me where or what I need to do…. Any advice is greatly appreciated …

  14. Kelly lucin

    I missed a stoop and fell so hard it knocked the wind out of me, I actually think I passed out. I landed on my left buttocks. Terrible pain , went to urgent care X-rays were taken no breaks were found . Gave me crutches week ago I fell and I am still in terrible pain and struggling with walking ! Anything else I can do

  15. Christine davidson

    This morning I jerked my coccyx when walking to shop I find it hard bending picking thinks up as light as a rubbish Bahia it worth going to doctors

  16. Therese Boucher

    My but just hurts all of a sudden. I never fell

    But the doctor’s say that my spine and my back are in very bad shape.

  17. Kris Meinhard

    I fell almost 2 weeks ago .Am 71 yrs old .I fell on my butt. I have pain in my stomach and lower back. No bruises,bleeding,swelling except my left foot it’s swelled but not to bad. I can’t lay down because I can’t it up. So I sit up on my couch and sleep. Nothing hurts when I lay down ,but I can’t sit or stand because of the pain .My stomach feels like I ramed my ribs right into it. Pain if the back muscle would heal .I could adjust to my stomach least I could lay down.

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