Tailbone pain

coccyx pain - coccydynia - coccygodynia

Tailbone pain is the common name for coccyx pain or coccydynia. The main symptom is pain when sitting, or when rising from sitting. Some people get tailbone pain for no apparent reason, but most get it following a fall or childbirth.

The tailbone is made of small solid lumps of bone, with thin layers of gristle between them. There may be up to five bones, and the tailbone may vary from about an inch to a couple of inches in length. People often talk about tailbone pain being caused by a fractured tailbone, but it is very rare for one of the bones to actually break - usually what happens is that there is a dislocation between two of the bones, or between the tailbone and the sacrum.

There are several muscles which are attached to the tailbone, as well as being attached in other places. If a tailbone joint is damaged or weak, then when you rise from sitting, the pull from these muscles can cause an intense tailbone pain, as the muscles pull the damaged joint apart.

Sometimes a damaged tailbone can heal, but with an angle in it, instead of the bones being in a straight line. This can cause a problem during childbirth, as the tailbone presses on the birth canal. In some cases the mother and midwife hear the angled tailbone snap during childbirth, causing tailbone pain to the mother afterwards.

This page is here so that people who search the web for information about "tailbone pain" (instead of searching on "coccyx pain") can find this site. The main page of this site is www.coccyx.org. This site gives links to information for sufferers including how to find a doctor, what treatments are available for taibone pain, and personal experiences from hundreds of other patients.

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