Back pain due to coccydynia can be quite miserable – just ask anyone who has ever developed it after a fall on a slippery floor, a skid on the ice, or a bumpy landing while skiing or snowboarding.
Coccydynia is pain in the coccyx, or tailbone, the boney area at the end of the spine between the buttocks. Sometimes referred to in layman’s terms as a ‘butt ache’, it is a nagging pain, which can become excruciating, and increase with pressure from sitting or moving to stand up. It has been described as a pain similar to sitting on a sharp knife or a marble that rolls around or a feeling of being impaled on a cane or broomstick. The pain and discomfort may persist for months to eventually become chronic.
Falls On The Buttocks.
• This is the most common cause, often diagnosed as a fractured coccyx.
Unstable or Dislocating Coccyx
• The most common cause of pain is due to a coccyx which dislocates or moves more than normal when you sit down. This may develope after a fall, from childbirth or injury in a car accident. The actual cause is often unknown but this disorder is responsible for 55% of cases of coccyx pain.
• If the joints around the pelvis become more flexible in preparation for childbirth, sometimes the coccyx can be pushed out of position easily.
• This is common after a great deal of rowing or bicycle riding
Misaligned Or Long Coccyx
• In this condition, the coccyx bone points forward or is angled forward about 70°, which is greater than normal and causes pain.
Boney Spur Or Spicule On Coccyx
• This has been the cause of pain in 14% of patients.
Muscle Spasms In The Gluteus Maximus Muscle Of The Buttocks
• These muscles help lower the body from a standing to a sitting position. Muscle spasms cause pressure where the glutueus is attached to the coccyx.
• The piriformis muscle runs horizontally from the lower spine to the top of each femur (hip bone). It crosses the sciatic nerve and spasms in the muscle cause pain in the hips and down the leg. Sitting may aggravate it.
• This is a birth defect in which an abscess develops at the end of the tailbone, causing pressure, swelling, inflammation, and pain in the coccyx area. The cyst is usually removed surgically.
Symptoms Of Coccydynia
• Pain during or after sitting
• Acute pain when moving to standing after sitting
• Deep ache around coccyx
• Shooting pains down both legs
• Pain during bowel movements
• Pain during intercourse
• Pain during menstruation
Coccydnia may clear up after a few months but in the case of persistent pain, it is wise to have a medical evaluation to determine the cause.
Paul G Miller is a South Miami spinal decompression therapist who has worked with individuals with back pain problems for seven years. If you would like to receive a free weekly newsletter on back pain relief visit www.usspinecare.com and also to get more in-depth information.