Coccyx pain (coccydynia) can have many causes, from child-birth to falling down on your backside while rollerblading. It is usually caused from a fall or similar type injury, but what actually causes coccyx pain? People who suffer from coccyx pain can attest that it is not an enjoyable experience and will try almost anything to relieve the pain. A person can take pain medications, do assorted therapies and, as a last resort, may have to look at surgery as an option. Coccyx removal surgery, or a coccygectomy, is an invasive procedure because of the delicate area that the coccyx is located.
So what causes coccyx pain? Is it a nerve issue or a broken bone? Coccyx pain can affect all aspects of a person’s life as well as the lives of families and friends. If the pain persists for more than three months is considered chronic. The debilitating aspect of the pain is because of the location. A person will find it difficult to sit or stand for any extended period of time. People with severe and chronic coccydynia will find almost no comfort or relief from the pain at all. Symptoms may include difficulty with sitting, painful intercourse (for women), constipation and even severe headaches.
Coccyx pain is caused when the coccyx itself has been injured in some way and pushed into an awkward angle. If the injury doesn’t heal correctly, the coccyx and tendons are stretched and pulled into positions they were never meant to be. The result of the pain is that it can often be found spreading into the lower back, hip or neighboring structures. Reproductive function can also be affected by this mechanism.
The medical terms of coccyx pain is coccydynia and is a fairly broad term that groups pain symptoms in the inferior sacrum and coccyx region. It is most commonly made worse by sitting and getting up from sitting, but can also be aggravated by prolonged periods of standing or bending. Coccygeal symptoms may also be associated with: pain referring into the perineum, pelvic floor or scrotum, pain and tightness into the back of the hips and posterior pelvic pain or pubic pain.
Research and studies show that pelvic trauma, child birth, posture and back pain can all limit or change the way the core muscles in our body work. Once our brain notices that the core muscles are not working properly, it starts looking for other options to try and hold us up – otherwise we’d fall down. A common compensation strategy is for the brain to start gripping the deep buttock muscles, especially the coccygeus muscle. As this muscle starts over-working to compensate through out the day, the bones and ligaments it attaches to start to get sore and inflamed, and this starts the cycle of coccyx pain.
As you can see, coccyx pain can be a literal pain in the butt. It’s not a laughing matter as those who suffer with chronic coccyx pain usually suffer with a low quality of life. Simple things like sitting to watch a TV show can be a task. Household chores become momentous and exhausting tasks that quite often will end up in tears. If you feel you suffer from chronic coccydynia, please see you doctor or medical professional for a checkup. You are not alone and don’t give up. In our experience, we had to continue to fight until the doctors believed our story.