I Have Major Pain In My Tailbone Area That Has Been There Since I Was 16

Question

Asked by Jupitor

I Have Major Pain In My Tailbone Area That Has Been There Since I Was 16

I have had pain above my tailbone since I was 16. At age 33, I suffered a fall that forced me to go to urgent care, and it made the pain worse. The doctor said I have a degenerative tailbone surounded by arthritic tissue and I need to continue with my primary doctor for resolution. I've been on pain meds and had an MRI, which was inconclusive. I've been referred to a pain specialist who has referred me to a neurologist, and he wants to do a CT scan, but I'm afraid that will be inconclusive too. I'm still taking pain meds and have had injections in my tailbone. Does anyone know what is wrong with me?

Answer

Sounds like you might have Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain). Other possibilties include sacroiliac joint pain or even a lumbar discogenic pain. Its hard to say for certain without a full history and examination.

Even with all the fancy imaging in the world, the gold standard management for Coccydynia remains non-surgical. Since the recent aggravation from a fall, you should concentrate on eliminating pressure on the area and controlling inflammation. A physical therapist should help you improve your sitting posture to minimize pressure while sitting. The chronicity of your tailbone pain suggest abnormal movement and instability triggered by a traumatic event when you were younger. Butt strengthen may help to stabilize the joint because the large gluteus maximus muscle attaches to the coccyx. Butt strength is key to treating many sources of lumbar and pelvic pain.

Ultimately, you want to try to avoid surgery because the results from removing the tailbone are a unreliable.

A spine specialist should be able to help you further.

Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

P.S. Here are some other links that might be useful:

Cooking to Control Chronic Pain

Beware of Pharmacy Errors

Answered by Christina Lasich, MD