Coccydynia, which is more commonly known as coccyx pain, is an often poorly understood medical condition that causes persistent pain at the bottom part of the spine. The pain associated with the condition generally feels worse when the sufferer sits down or performs any activity that subjects the coccyx to a lot of pressure. Coccyx pain is usually caused by direct trauma resulting from a fall or by childbirth and is more common in women than in men.
There are three main reasons why coccyx pain occurs more often in women than in men. First is that a woman’s coccyx is rotated, thus leaving it more exposed to injury than a man’s coccyx. Second, women generally have a much broader pelvis, which means that the sitting position places more pressure on their coccyx. And finally, because childbirth is one of the most common causes of coccyx pain.
Most treatment methods for coccyx pain are local and non-invasive.
For less severe cases, coccyx pain treatment typically includes the following:
NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen, which aid in reducing inflammation around the coccyx area that’s usually causing the pain.
The application of ice packs to the affected area several times a day for the first few days and then heat packs after the first few days.
Avoiding prolonged sitting and other activities that cause too much pressure on the coccyx.
Using lumbar cushions to relieve most of the pressure on the coccyx while seated. Wedge cushions and doughnut cushions are among the most popular options. Different people prefer different types of lumbar cushions for pain relief, so it’s best to test several types of cushions to find the one that works best for you.
In case constipation causes or worsens the pain, stool softeners and increased water and fibre intake are advisable.
For more severe and persistent cases of coccyx pain, non-surgical treatment options include the following:
A local injection of steroids to reduce inflammation or a numbing agent for pain relief. Take note that no more than three injections are advised per year. It’s best to consult your doctor for the best treatment plan where injections are involved.
Some patients also find relief through manual manipulation or chiropractic treatment.
Gentle stretching exercises for the ligaments attached to your coccyx may also help. Be sure to get the proper instruction from a qualified professional such as a chiropractor, physical therapist, physiatrist, or other properly trained healthcare professional.