Coccydynia is a medical term referring to pain in the coccyx or tailbone area. The coccyx has two main functions-
1. It bears weight when somebody is sitting down
2. Also provide attachment to various muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Coccydynia can occur when something damages the coccyx or surrounding area like trauma to coccyx or following a fall or after childbirth, sitting improperly/poor posture, straining the coccyx. The classic symptom is pain when pressure is applied to the tailbone, such as when sitting on a hard chair. Pain can also be caused during bowel movements, sexual intercourse, bicycling and improve with relief of pressure when standing or walking.
It can be diagnosed thorough detail medical history, physical exam, X-ray, MRI.
Since sitting on the affected area may aggravate the condition, a cushion with a cutout at the back under the coccyx is recommended. If there is tailbone pain with bowel movements, then stool softeners and increased fiber in the diet may help. For prolonged cases, anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving drugs may be prescribed. In severe cases of coccygeal instability/deformity surgery to remove the coccyx (coccygectomy) is recommended.
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