Tailbone pain – also referred to as coccydynia – is pain that occurs in or around the last bone at the bottom of the spine, known as the coccyx (tailbone). Damage or inflammation to the coccyx, or to the surrounding structures, can cause pain and tenderness in the bony area just above the buttocks.
Sometimes tailbone pain can improve with self-care measures, such as taking over-the-counter pain-relief medicine and applying mild heat or an ice pack to the area. If, however, you are experiencing ongoing pain in your spine and lower back, an orthopedic surgeon can treat your condition effectively – and oftentimes without surgery.
What Is Tailbone Pain?
Your low-back or tailbone pain may be:
- Dull and achy a majority of the time, with periodic sharp pains
- Worse during certain activities, such as sitting, prolonged standing, or rising from a seated to standing position
- Worse for women during menstruation
Tailbone pain can make day-to-day activities increasingly difficult, including driving, bending over, and sleeping.
Causes of Tailbone Pain
There are a number of factors that can cause this type of pain, and the most common include:
- A vaginal birth. Pregnancy causes the coccyx to become more flexible, which can cause the muscles and ligaments around the coccyx to overstretch when giving birth.
- An injury, such as a fall or a hard impact to the base of the spine.
- Prolonged sitting on a hard surface.
- Poor posture or sitting awkwardly for extended periods of time.
- Degenerative joint changes in the spine, which can put stress on the coccyx bone.
How an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon Can Help
Treatment for low-back pain or tailbone pain can vary depending on the cause and severity of your condition, but it may include:
Steroid injections (such as cortisone) or a nerve block can help to relieve back pain and to reduce swelling in the affected area. A selective nerve-root block involves injecting an anesthetic and corticosteroid around the inflamed nerve root in the spinal column. These injections provide immediate pain relief, and the relief can last for weeks or months.
Radiofrequency ablation uses radio waves to produce an electric current to heat up a small area of nerve tissue in the affected area. This treatment aims to deactivate the nerve to stop it from sending pain signals to the brain.
Surgery will be the recommended treatment if other treatments haven’t worked successfully. If your back pain is directly linked to irreparable damage or a tumor in the coccyx bone, then a procedure known as a coccygectomy may be necessary, which involves removing the coccyx.
Orthopedic Spine Surgeon Near Troy, MI
If you are looking for a spine surgeon or back doctor here in Southeast Michigan, the experienced medical team at Ahlgren Spine is here for you. We can successfully diagnose the cause of your spine condition, and we offer a range of conservative and surgical treatments to effectively treat your pain.
To book a consultation or to find out more, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (248) 215-8080 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you enjoy life without back pain!