What is Coccydynia : Symptoms, Causes, & Diagnosis
What is Coccydynia?
Coccydynia is actually a medical term for tailbone pain or pain in the coccyx. The term is also otherwise known as coccygodynia. You’ll further understand this condition by first acquainting yourself with the anatomy of the coccyx. The coccyx is actually the terminal portion of the vertebral column. This originally comes from a Greek word which when translated would mean “cuckoo” because this looks like the beak of a bird. This is composed of 4-5 fused vertebrae and superior to it is the sacrum. The coccyx is triangular in shape and is slightly curved towards the pelvis. A number of people used to suffer from coccydynia. This can actually become a chronic problem especially when just being left untreated. Women are slightly at risk for developing this condition due to the anatomy of their pelvis which makes the coccyx more exposed to injuries.
The primary causes of coccydynia are linked to error in mobility and some inflammatory conditions which affect the coccyx. However, a study conducted by Maigne suggested that people who complain of coccydynia often suffer from a traumatic accident which immensely injures the coccyx; thereby resulting to a phenomenon called coccydynia. Tailbone pain especially becomes more prominent when one is sitting or suddenly stands up. This is primarily due to the pressure exerted to the coccyx. Since this condition has the tendency to affect us all, let us then acquaint ourselves about the true nature of coccydynia.
Coccydynia Causes :-
There may be a number of factors which lead to the development of tailbone pain. Despite a hodgepodge of possible causes of tailbone pain, there are also certain cases in which the exact cause remains unknown and thus termed idiopathic coccydynia. Some of the common causes of coccydynia include the following:
1. Accidental fall
2. Extra pressure exerted by the fetus’ head during delivery
3. Sitting for long hours especially on hard surfaces
4. Presence of tumor near the coccyx
5. Dislocation and fracture to the coccyx
6. Repetitive movements which strain the lower back especially the coccygeal region
Coccydynia Symptoms :-
Pain at the buttocks area is the defining characteristics of coccydynia. The pain would especially be aggravated when one sits for prolonged periods or when one shifts from sitting position to a standing position and then vice versa. Redness, swelling and warmth may also be noted over the coccygeal region.
Risk factors :-
People who have the following conditions have significantly higher risk of developing coccydynia:
1. The female population has a higher tendency of developing such condition because of the anatomy of their pelvis.
2. Osteoporosis and other degenerative bone diseases
3. Engaging in strenuous activities and contact sports
4. Inflammatory diseases like arthritis
5. Bone Infections such as osteomylitis
6. Obesity- Sometimes the coccyx cannot anymore tolerate the extra weight which oftentimes causes strain to the back then coccydynia.
How to Diagnosis Coccydynia :-
Early diagnosis may contribute to a better prognosis. Your doctor may typically have to obtain a comprehensive medical history of yours then conduct a thorough physical examination. To confirm the condition, further tests may be conducted which include imaging studies like CT scan and x-rays. These tests would help confirm bone fracture if there’s any.
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