Severe, sharp pain in the coccyx, the small triangular bone at the base of the spine

  • Poor posture when sitting is a risk factor
  • Age, gender, and genetics are not significant factors

Pain in the coccyx, or coccydynia, may be due to injury, a baby pushing against the mother’s coccyx during birth, or prolonged pressure due to poor posture while sitting. Often, no cause is found.

Before making a diagnosis, your doctor may carry out a rectal examination to rule out a tumour in the rectum. Women may also have a vaginal examination to look for a tumour in the uterus. Your doctor may also arrange for you to have an MRI scan of the lower spine to look for signs of injury.

Coccydynia may be relieved with a painkiller or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. You may also be able to ease the pain by applying heat to the area with a heat pad or cold with an ice pack. A local injection with a corticosteroid drug (see Locally acting corticosteroids), often in combination with an anaesthetic, can sometimes provide relief. Usually no further treatment is necessary.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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