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What is Coccyx Pain and how do I know if I have it?

Coccyx pain (or coccydynia more formally) is pain originating at the very bottom of the spine – in a part known as the coccyx bone (tail bone). Pain is typically felt right over the bone, although can be more on one side than the other, and can spread through the other joints of the pelvis and lower back, as well as the surrounding muscles. Pain in these areas is typically aggravated by sitting, standing for extended periods of time, standing up from sitting, and some activities requiring pelvic floor muscle contraction (e.g. sneezing, toileting).

 

 

What causes coccyx pain?

 

Coccydynia usually begins after a trauma to the bone, such as a fall or childbirth, which may or may not lead to fracture or subluxation. Less often, extended periods of time sitting on a firm surface, or degenerative changes in the joint, can lead to pain.

What can physio do?

 

 

Your physio can help with releasing tight muscles and joints in the local area that may be putting extra pressure on the irritated coccyx bone. They can also show you a tailored stretch and exercise program to release and strengthen these muscles yourself. They can work on surrounding areas such as the lower back and hips that may be contributing to the pain. Your physio will also work you through self management strategies and what to expect while the body is healing.

 

What can I do at home?

To help manage the pain at home, try leaning forwards while sitting, or sitting on an O-shaped “doughnut” cushion (not recommended for recently postpartum mums or those with pelvic floor issues), as well as icing over the tailbone itself. Avoiding extended periods of sitting or standing where possible can also help in the early stages.

As the condition settles, exercises targeting the surrounding muscles including glute bridges, clams, and hamstring curls can help, as well as stretches for the glutes, obturator internus, and lower back. It’s always advised to check in with a physio first as not every exercise will be appropriate for everyone, given the differences between healing times and modes of injury between people.

In summary

Coccyx (or tailbone) pain is a common condition. There are a variety of self-management strategies to try at home, which with the addition of a short period of physiotherapy can produce good results relatively quickly.

Can Complete Care help?

 

Complete Care Physio and Osteo Wallan, Fawkner and Point Cook have clinicians with a special interest intreating many locals with Coccyx.

 

If you are having trouble and would like assistance by one of our Physios or Osteos in our Wallan, Point Cook and Fawkner locations, please feel free to call us on 5769-1731 or book online via our website www.completecarephysio.com.au/book-online

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