How is coccydynia (tailbone pain) treated?
Most people recover without undergoing any sort of treatment. Of those who do require treatment, 90% just need to use at-home remedies.
At-home remedies for tailbone pain (coccydynia) include:
- Taking a NSAID like ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling.
- Decreasing sitting time. Lean forward if you have to sit.
- Taking a hot bath to relax muscles and ease pain.
- Using a wedge-shaped gel cushion or coccygeal cushion (a “donut” pillow) when sitting.
- Taking stool softeners to reduce pain during bowel movements.
- Stretching and strengthening the muscles of your lower back and pelvis.
- Applying hot or cold packs to your lower back. Apply for no longer than 20 to 30 minutes, several times a day.
- Wearing loose-fitting clothing.
Outpatient treatments for tailbone pain (coccydynia) include:
- Blocking the nerve supply of the area — a Coccygeal nerve block — using numbing medications and steroids to decrease the inflammation.
- Massage therapy (usually only provides temporary relief).
- Stretching exercises and posture improvement guided by a physical therapist.
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation).
Surgical options include:
- Partial coccygectomy (removal of part of the coccyx — extremely rare).
- Total coccygectomy (removal of the entire coccyx — extremely rare).
Recovery time from a coccygectomy can take a few months — maybe a year. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that the pain will go away even if the bone is gone. Again, this procedure is rare.
Other symptoms that could occur along with coccydynia, such as depression, anxiety and sciatica, should also be addressed and treated as well.
How is tailbone pain (coccydynia) treated when a woman is pregnant?
When you are pregnant, it’s normal to have tailbone pain. Pain comes from sitting for long periods of time, but can also occur when standing and walking. This is because the growing fetus is putting pressure on the bone. Physical therapists recommend you lie on your side when you sleep and sit on a coccyx cushion. Both will help relieve some of the pain by taking pressure off of your coccyx.
Does walking help tailbone pain (coccydynia)?
Yes. Standing up and walking around decreases pressure on your coccyx, reducing pain.
How should I sleep with tailbone pain (coccydynia)?
Sitting, driving, bending and sleep are all affected by tailbone pain. In severe cases it can vastly decrease your quality of life. Lie on your side to reduce tailbone pain.
Can a chiropractor help with tailbone pain (coccydynia)?
Yes. A chiropractor can help correct the misalignment of a coccyx that leans too far forward or back.