Coccydynia is a pain felt in your coccyx. 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 every day activities.

This page covers:


When to get medical advice



Symptoms of coccydynia

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

The pain may:

  • be dull and achy most of the time, with occasional sharp pains
  • be worse when sitting down,moving from sitting to standing, standing for long periods, having sex and going for a poo
  • make it very difficult to sleep and carry out everyday activities, such as driving or bending over

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 below).

See your GP if:

  • the pain doesn't start to improve within a few weeks
  • simple home treatments don't relieve the pain
  • your pain is very severe
  • youalso havebleeding, a high temperature (fever) or pain away from your coccyx

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-ray or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan .

Causes of coccydynia

Common causes of coccydynia include:

  • childbirth
  • an injury or accident, such as a fall
  • repeated or prolonged strain on the coccyx
  • poor posture
  • being overweight or underweight

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.

Very rarely the coccyx may need tobe removed (coccygectomy).

Physiotherapy is a treatment that uses physical movements, massage and exercise to relieve illness or injury.
The spine supports the skeleton, and surrounds and protects the delicate spinal cord and nerves. It is made up of 33 bones called the vertebrae.
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 26 Jul 2016