How is coccydynia (tailbone pain) treated?

Treatment usually consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) -- such as ibuprofen and naproxen -- to reduce inflammation (swelling), and the use of a therapeutic sitting cushion to take the pressure off the tailbone when sitting. It might take many weeks or months of conservative treatment before there is major pain relief.

Other possible treatments for coccydynia include the following:

  • Your doctor might refer you to a biomedical engineer to be measured for a customized seating cushion. This cushion provides an "open area" in the surface that shifts the weight off the tailbone to promote healing.
  • Your health care provider might also consider physical therapy. This could include exercise to stretch the ligaments -- the tissue that connects bone to bone in a joint -- and strengthen the supporting muscles.
  • Treatments such as heat, massage, and ultrasound might also be used.
  • Coccygeal manipulation is used to move the coccyx back into its proper position and relieve pain.
  • Coccygectomy (surgery to remove the coccyx) is considered in rare and very severe cases only, when extensive conservative management does not control the pain. The main risks of surgery are infection and wound-healing problems. There is also a significant risk that the surgery will not bring pain relief.
  • Depression and anxiety should be aggressively treated.
  • A multidisciplinary chronic pain rehabilitation program might be offered in some instances.

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