The coccygeal bone is necessary for the attachment of muscles and ligaments involved in the functioning of the genitourinary system, as well as part of the muscle bundles of the gluteus maximus. In addition, this bone plays an important role in the distribution of physical stress on the pelvis. Pain in the coccyx area is called coccygodynia.
According to Elena Gaivoronskaya, a neurologist at the Neplacebo Evidence-Based Medicine Clinic, the most common causes of pain in the coccyx are:
- past injuries, including microtraumas and received during childbirth
- anatomical features of the coccyx area;
- load on the bone (prolonged sitting, especially on a hard surface in an uncomfortable position);
- instability of the coccyx;
- and even depression.
“Patients complain of pain when sitting, especially when leaning back, when standing up. In a standing position, the pain is significantly reduced. Often, because of this, people are forced to sit on one buttock. There may also be pain during bowel movements and intercourse. When pressing on the tailbone, an increase in pain is felt, ”the doctor describes a typical clinical picture.
In most cases, the cause of pain remains unclear, and often these symptoms disappear on their own. And what is especially annoying, there is no one medical specialty that would be “responsible” for coccygodynia. You can consult a therapist, general practitioner, family doctor, surgeon, neurologist, traumatologist. If necessary, they will be referred to other specialists: proctologist, gynecologist, urologist. The diagnosis is made clinically on the basis of complaints, medical history and examination.
However, there are situations when pain in the coccyx area needs to be paid more attention to:
- recent injury to the coccyx area with severe pain;
- edema / fistula of the coccyx area;
- bloody discharge from the rectum;
- symptoms from the pelvic organs;
- fever, inflammatory changes in the blood;
- night pains, weight loss.
All these signs may indicate more serious causes of pain: a fresh fracture, infection, cancer. In such cases, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.