Inflammation, pain and/or sensitivity of the tailbone (or coccyx) is known as coccydynia. The coccyx is at the very base of the spine and may be injured by falling backwards onto the floor and landing in a seated position. Other causes include childbirth and poor posture. Although it may ache all the time, it is typically much worse when sitting down for periods of time. This can make sitting at a desk or driving a car very difficult. It may also be made worse by going to the toilet and having sexual intercourse. In many cases, it may resolve spontaneously over time as the bruising and inflammation settle, but in some cases, the pain may persist for months or even longer.

Simple measures include avoiding sitting for prolonged periods and using a special ring-shaped cushion when sitting down. Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen may help in more mild cases, but stronger medications may be required in the most severe cases. Other treatments include physiotherapy, massage and stretching. In some cases, cortisone injections may be required to get on top of the symptoms rapidly and permit further rehabilitation. Very rarely, surgical manipulation under anaesthesia is performed.

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