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7 causes for tailbone pain and what to do

Coccyx pain, although not very common, is not usually a sign of a serious problem, and is most often caused by situations such as falling on the floor or riding a bicycle for a long period of time, for example.

However, if the pain is very severe, if it does not allow you to walk, if it lasts longer than 1 week or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as swelling or fever, it may be a sign of a more serious problem, so it is important to consult a general practitioner to identify the problem and initiate treatment, which varies according to the cause.

7 causes for tailbone pain and what to do

1. Fall or trauma

Accidents that have a strong impact at the end of the spine, such as falling in a sitting position or suffer a kick while practicing a sport, are the main causes of tailbone pain. Although most of the time, the pain disappears after a few minutes, there are cases where it can remain for a few hours or days, decreasing over time.

However, if the pain becomes more intense or if it is intolerable when sitting down, for example, it may be a sign that the blow has caused a fracture, which needs to be treated at the hospital.

What to do: The easiest way to relieve the coccyx pain is to relieve pressure on the bone, so avoid sitting or lying on your back. In the first 48 hours, cold patches can also be applied on the area to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

2. Repetitive exertion

Often practicing physical exercises like cycling or paddling or doing them for a long time can result in a repetitive strain injury, which means that muscles and ligaments are striated and stretched, making it difficult to keep the bone in the place and causing the pain to appear.

What to do: Put an anti-inflammatory ointment with Diclofenac and avoid doing activities that put pressure on the coccyx.

3. Pregnancy

During the last 2 months of pregnancy, the bones on the lumbar region, as well as the coccyx, become more flexible to allow the baby passage during childbirth. By increasing flexibility, the bones move more freely and, for this reason, pain may arise, especially when sitting or standing up, for example.

What to do: Applying cold patches on the area and light massages can help relieve pain. However, to keep it from coming back with such intensity, small changes can be made on a daily basis, such as sitting and standing up slowly or using a circle-shaped cushion opened at the center to reduce pressure on the coccyx when sitting.

4. Bad posture

Having a bad posture, especially when sitting, such as when working in front of a computer or driving, for example, can cause too much pressure on the coccyx, resulting in pain during the day.

What to do: Doing a light massage where you feel pain, as well as avoiding sitting too long can relieve pain. However, one should try to correct posture during the day.

5. Pilonidal cyst

The pilonidal cyst is a small infection that appears in the coccyx region and is caused by the accumulation of hairs and dead cells under the skin. In these cases, in addition to the pain, that is gets worse over time, there may also appear a small lump that increases in size.

What to do: You need to go to the emergency room or health clinic to drain the pus from inside the cyst. In some cases, this treatment may be sufficient. However, if the cyst reappears it may be recommended to have a minor surgery to remove everything.

6. Herniated Disc

In some cases, coccyx pain may be triggered by problems elsewhere, and one of the most frequent is the development of a disc herniation in the lumbar region of the spine, for example. See other symptoms of a herniated disk.

What to do: If there is a suspicion that the pain is being caused by a spinal problem, you should go to the orthopedist for tests, such as x-rays, to identify the correct cause and begin the best treatment.

7. Overweight

Being overweight ideally causes an overload on almost the entire body, especially in the coccyx when sitting. Over time, this excess weight on the coccyx may lead to mild but steady pain, which worsens when sitting.

What to do: In these cases, ideally weight loss is recommended to relieve excess pressure on the coccyx. However using an open circular cushion in the center whenever you sit can also help reduce pressure. Also, sleeping sideways at night, instead of belly up, also helps the coccyx region to recover.

See if you're over your ideal weight using our IMC calculator:

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