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Coccydynia (tailbone pain)

Coccydynia is a pain felt in your coccyx (tailbone). This is the last bone at the bottom of the spine (tailbone). You can get it if you injure or strain your coccyx or the surrounding muscles and ligaments.

In most cases, the pain will improve over a few weeks or months, but occasionally it can last much longer and severely affect your ability to carry out everyday activities.

Symptoms of coccydynia

The main symptom is pain and tenderness in the area just above the buttocks.

The pain may:

Some people also have back pain, shooting leg pains (sciatica) and painful buttocks and hips.

When to get medical advice

Coccydynia will often improve on its own after a few weeks and there are some simple treatments you can try at home.

See your GP if:

Your GP will carry out an examination to check for more serious causes of your pain, such as infection or a fracture.

In some cases, they may also refer you for tests such as X-rays or an MRI scan.

Causes of coccydynia

Common causes of coccydynia include:

Less common causes can include a bony growth on the coccyx, the coccyx being too flexible or too rigid, and arthritis. Rare but serious causes include infection and cancer.

In many cases, no obvious cause can be found. Age-related "wear and tear" may play a part.

Read more about the causes of coccydynia.

Treatments for coccydynia

There are a number of treatments for coccydynia.

Simple measures you can try at home are usually recommended first and other treatments may be used if these do not help.

The main treatments are:

Persistent symptoms lasting longer than 8 weeks may benefit from:

In a small number of cases where other treatments have not helped, surgery may be needed to manipulate the coccyx. Very rarely the coccyx may need to be removed (coccygectomy).

Read more about how coccydynia is treated.