If you’re suffering from a dull ache of your tailbone that makes it hard to sit, you may be suffering from inflammation of your tailbone, also known as coccydynia. If you suffered an injury that led to your pain, you don’t need any help identifying the cause. But if you didn’t, you may be confused. Coccydynia can also manifest very quickly and seemingly from out of nowhere.
If not treated, you’ll be overcompensating to avoid feeling the pain and will put yourself at risk for injury to your coccyx or pelvic bones. Prior to treatment, you still need to be careful. You should only sit on padded seats and, even then, you shouldn’t sit for long periods of time. Don’t wait too long to decide to get treatment. The pain could be caused by other conditions but those conditions can easily be identified or ruled out during a consultation with a trained professional. If you notice any bruising or discoloration in the tailbone area, get to a doctor right away.
So if you are diagnosed with coccydynia, do you need tailbone removal surgery? Not necessarily. In fact, doctors will try everything else they can before resorting to it. They will first treat the symptoms – the pain – so you can function in your everyday life again. They will often do this with anti-inflammatory medication combined with pain medication. For more serious cases where the pain is more persistent, your doctor will likely give you a cortisone injection into the tailbone region to relieve you of the pain.
But relieving the symptoms won’t fix the problem. And the symptoms will eventually come back if not treated. So medication and injections are really used just to buy you some time. During that time, you’ll be recommended a physical therapist who can help your body recover using targeted exercises, both guided in the office and taught to do at home.
In very serious cases, you may need tailbone removal surgery. A very serious cases is one where the pain never stops – where you can barely function. If your pain is that severe, half or all of your tailbone will need to be removed.
So the key is diagnosis as soon as your tailbone begins to feel tender. That tenderness and pain could be caused by a variety of conditions, like sciatica, shingles, a bone or tissue disorder. But it could also be caused by coccydynia. And, the longer you wait to get diagnosed, the better the chances of you eventually requiring surgery – your condition will continue to worsen. If caught early enough, doctors can treat you for the pain and then work on healing your body in the meantime – without surgery. And most people have a complete recovery using those non-surgical treatments.
So don’t waste time. Don’t be one of the rare tailbone pain cases that does require tailbone removal surgery. Don’t try to tough through the pain. Go get diagnosed to save yourself from more pain in the future.