Manual therapy can be exceptionally safe and effective as an option for coccyx pain treatment. Alain Michelotti, our Chiropractor and Physiotherapist, discusses more:
Coccyx pain: what a pain in the bum!
A term we use to describe a painful condition caused by damage or irritation to the coccyx is coccydynia.
The coccyx is a small bony structure, which is found at the very base of the spine. It is the human equivalent of a tail seen in animals, and so is often referred to as the tail bone.
It is triangular shaped where the tip of the triangle faces downwards.
The coccyx varies in structure between individuals, where some it can consist of five segments others just three! The physical size of the coccyx can also vary considerably.
Due to its position within the pelvis, it is vulnerable to injury.
There are many causes of coccyx pain – falling onto your backside being the most common cause.
Other causes can include:
Repetitive small trauma/irritation when riding a bike equipped with a hard saddle,
Childbirth and/or pregnancy
The coccyx is a richly innervated structure, so is very sensitive when irritated.
It is also an important structure for the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Landing on your backside has the potential to bruise the bone, to strain the joint between the coccyx and the sacrum and to create spasms of the pelvic floor muscles. As a result, recurrent pain every time the sufferer sits down will occur.
A donut cushion is commonly prescribed for these people – not always the most convenient thing to take with you everywhere you go! Changing position (getting up after sitting) and sometimes even walking typically triggers pain.
As we spend an important (too important!) part of our life sitting, this condition can be debilitating.
It becomes difficult to concentrate, to drive, to participate in social activities. It is no surprise that chronic coccydynia can result in low mood and in some cases depression.
Conventional medical treatment includes anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers and mild anti-depressants. If this fails, the sufferer is usually offered a local injection. Surgical removal of the coccyx is a rarely performed procedure.
What is not so widely known is that very gentle manual procedures aimed at relieving the tension and irritation around the coccyx can improve and often entirely cure this condition.
Two to three sessions are usually enough for the patient to feel a noticeable difference.