What is it? Inflammation of the bony area (tailbone or coccyx) located between the buttocks is referred to as coccydynia. It is associated with pain and tenderness at the tip of the tailbone between the buttocks. The pain is often worsened by sitting.
What causes it? Coccydynia is often caused by an injury, but it may occur seemingly spontaneously. There are many causes of tailbone pain which can mimic coccydynia, including sciatica, infection, pilonidal cysts, and fractured bone.
How is it treated? People are advised to use a well-padded seat and avoid long periods of sitting when possible. Rest, avoiding re-injury to the affected area, antiinflammation and pain medications can relieve symptoms. Some patients with persistent coccydynia are treated with local cortisone injection.
It is important to understand that symptoms can be prevented, but it is unlikely that the underlying cause of the pain can be resolved. When circumstances make prevention difficult or impossible, there ought to be a simple treatment that relieves the pain.
Some History: While in high school I fell hard on my tail bone. My doctor explained that there was nothing he could do to “fix” my problem. It would hurt and be uncomfortable for several months and the pain would probably return .
He was correct. Over the past four decades my pain has come and gone. For many years there was no discomfort at all. Recently, however, it has again become a problem. I use a cushion on my chair and I try to avoid sitting for long periods of time. When these fail and the pain returns, I’ve found that applying a small amount of a simple gel helps.
The gel contains ibuprofen, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), and capsaicin.
I’m fortunate because I can make this preparation in our pharmacy lab.