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Coccyx and Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain): Diagnosis and Treatment Options

All You Need to Know About the Coccyx, Coccydynia and Tailbone Pain

Coccyx and coccydynia are a common disorder affecting millions. Treatments for coccydynia is not possible without thoroughly addressing issues impacting the coccyx bone. The coccyx bone is the last bony structure in our spinal column. It is the smallest bony segment of the spine, located right below the sacrum. The bottom tip of the tailbone (coccyx) is made up of four bones connected by fused, semi-fused, or even disc-like ligaments. It was once thought that the coccyx bones are fused together, thus inhibiting movements between the bones. However, the latest studies have shown that they are not one solid bone; in fact, there are minimal movements permitted between the vertebrae because of the existence of fibrous ligaments that connect them together.

The coccyx begins with a mass of cartilage at birth, ossifying gradually from the superior to inferior segments. The end of puberty terminates in the ossification process.


Side view of the sacrum and coccyx.

Role of the Coccyx Bone in Painful Tailbone

Coccydynia is the term descriptive of pain at or around the coccyx (bottom tip of the tailbone). The coccyx serves as an attachment point for several muscles in the pelvic region; for instance, the gluteus maximus has one of its origins attached along the coccyx. The Levator-Ani and other Coccygeus muscles that form the pelvic diaphragm help delay defecation and urination by constricting the organs within the pelvic floor. Lastly, the coccyx supports the anus by holding the external anal sphincter in place through the anococcygeal ligaments.




Man falling on buttocks injuring his coccyx.

What is Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain)?

Unfortunately, some patients suffer from coccyx pain (coccydynia). The pain arises from the impingement of the coccygeal nerve that supplies neuronal stimulation to the part of the skin around the very bottom portion of the tailbone. Prolonged and improper sitting postures may lead to increased stresses on the tailbone. The improper loading may even stress the nerves of the coccyx (coccygeal nerves), leading to nerve irritation and inflammation.

Acute coccydynia is often due to micro or macro trauma. Micro traumatic injuries are related to improper sitting postures, while macro traumatic events are those related to landing on the buttocks, following a fall. In both cases, the coccyx may misalign at either the sacrococcygeal junction or between the four bones of the coccyx. Studies have shown that the activities that require prolonged sitting, such as biking and cycling have a higher tendency of causing coccydynia due to repetitive micro traumatic events, involving the tailbone and sacrococcygeal segments.


Young lady sitting in poor posture on her coccyx (tailbone).

Inflammatory processes following a traumatic event, as well as pinched nerves, are the culprits that produce pain. Axial loading or repetitive micro traumatic events (cycling) may place undue amounts of pressure on the coccyx, resulting in misalignment in the coccyx and compression on the nerve. The compressed nerve can generate a burning or tingling sensation in that area and some report numbness around the coccyx, with moderate compression of the coccygeal nerves. You may even experience leg pain.


Can the Coccyx bone Misalignment Lead to Tailbone Pain?

These misalignments are referred to as “Subluxations” in the chiropractic practice. Chiropractors have provided the greatest level of benefits to those who suffer from tailbone pain. The primary reason for the clinical success of our Chiros is the targeted realignment of the coccyx bone. Generally speaking, there are two distinct methods of realigning the coccyx bone through targeted chiropractic treatments called “adjustments.”

Sufferers can have either an internal coccygeal adjustment (treatment that realigns the coccyx) or external chiropractic adjustment. Some chiropractors offer interior adjustments while others offer external methods of treatment. In our centers, the coccyx treatments provided to sufferers are those rendered externally. We have discovered the best method of treating tailbone pain is through the “Activator Chiropractic Methods.”

The Activator method of chiropractic treatment allows for a price and targeted treatment that other methods fail. If you suffer from tailbone pain (Coccydynia), visit one of our centers today to discover your non-surgical treatment options. Best of all, the care you get in our center is further enhanced through the best clinical physiotherapists in Malaysia. In short, we offer you a better and most holistic means to get rid of your tailbone pain forever.


Surgeon with surgical scalpel ready to operate on coccyx.

What Are The Non-Surgical Treatment Options for pain in the Tailbone?

Conservative treatments of coccydynia are extremely effective. Clinical studies have published success rate at 90% with focused, appropriate care coupled with a modification of daily activities. Our clinical teams will thoroughly evaluate your condition to arrive at the root cause. Once the offending activity or posture is identified, we will educate our patients on the importance of a lifestyle change. The difference you get when you visit a Chiropractic Specialty Center is not just our collaborative means of treatment or our advanced technology. More importantly, it is our skills and knowledge along with our abilities to communicate to the patient the root causes of his or her conditions. Our goals with coccydynia as well as other spine or joint problems are to educate the patient as to the cause and to avoid a repeat of similar injury after recovery.

Modification of daily activities includes sitting in an upright position with a back support and with both feet on the ground to reduce the risk of getting coccydynia. At the same time, reducing the compression on the impinged nerve, which can halt further inflammation of the nerve, is a must. In addition to the lifestyle modification recommendations, the care you get will involve both our research-based chiropractors and our clinical physiotherapists. The two are better than the singular efforts.


The BEST Conservative Coccyx Treatment in Malaysia

Chiropractic treatments have been proven to be very effective for coccydynia. Targeted chiropractic adjustment coupled with advanced physiotherapy is the best combination to help in reducing pain and in increasing the quality of life. Our clinical teams may even recommend home exercises and home care such as icing the affected areas. Icing of the affected area is crucial when one is having pain as pain is one of the cardinal symptoms of inflammation. Thus, icing the bottom parts of the tailbone (coccygeal area) for 10 to 15 minutes five times a day can help to reduce inflammation.

However, we encourage all patients to avoid icing the areas unless you have been instructed by a healthcare professional. There are conditions that icing may be contraindicated. Also, there is a right and wrong method of icing. These must be well understood before icing an injured joint. Therefore, we encourage all pain sufferers and those that have coccyx pain to attend a consultation with one of our clinical teams before employing any home remedies.

Physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment options for coccyx pain.

Our Difference:  Our Technology and Our Collaborative Integrated Clinical Teams are Better at Treating Coccydynia and Tailbone Pain

In addition to icing and chiropractic treatments, our clinical teams may prescribe specific exercises. Exercises are important in strengthening the pelvic floor after the inflammation subsides to prevent recurrence. Additionally, our clinical teams of physiotherapists may provide specialized treatments through medical devices or manual ones that target injured tissues and joints. Rest assured, when you visit a Chiropractic Specialty Center, you will be in great hands.

Home care instruction is also an important part of the care that we provide. We may ask you to purchase special pillows to alleviate pressures and stresses on the tailbone. Special pillows with customized shapes, such as O-shape, V-shape, and U-shape, can be used to mitigate the pressure on the coccyx and thus, alleviate the pain. If coccydynia is worsened by poor bowel movement or constipation, one is advised to increase the intake of dietary fiber and water to ease the defecation process. We hope that this article was helpful; please share with friends and relatives that experience tailbone pain. Coccydynia (tailbone pain or coccyx pain) is a treatable condition, and we can help.

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