Coccyx Pain Treatment: Conservative & Non-Invasive Approaches
Coccyx pain is referred to as Coccydynia and is often the result of inflammation around the coccyx (tail bone) area. Typically pain is described as a dull ache with local tenderness and is exacerbated when sitting for prolonged periods of time due to direct pressure upon the coccyx bone. Coccydynia can happen to anyone and for a variety of reasons. Commonly these reasons include injury, direct trauma to the area and surrounding tissue, pregnancy-related or idiopathic (no specific or unknown causes).
There are a range of problems which may mimic the pain of Coccydynia such as sciatica, infection, pelvic dysfunction or cysts so it’s imperative to have a comprehensive examination to determine the exact cause of your problem and subsequent pain.
COCCYX PAIN TREATMENT OPTIONS
Depending upon the cause of your pain, typical Coccydynia is treated via Chiropractic adjustments, relative rest, specifically designed coccyx cushions and in extreme cases pain relieving anti-inflammatory medications. Further information about each of these approaches is found below.
Majority of Coccydynia cases are the caused by Coccyx, sacrum and pelvic dysfunction which responds extremely well to conservative Chiropractic management. Chiropractors use a variety of techniques including traditional manual adjustments, gentle low-force instrument adjusting, drop-piece table or pelvic blocking that are all suitable for these types of complaints. Historically some Chiropractors have even employed intra-anal coccyx techniques but these are rarely used in modern clinical practice as less invasive and researched techniques yield better results.
In order to reduce inflammation and pressure upon the coccyx bone relative rest is crucial in relieving symptoms of pain. Relative rest may be as simple as not sitting down as much or not performing some of your regular gym routine until symptoms cease
Specifically designed coccyx cushions
In particular occupations where you’re required to sit for prolonged periods, specifically designed coccyx cushions can be a fantastic way for you to feel more comfortable while sitting and assist your coccyx to heal faster. Cushions are round in shape with a small hole in the centre to allow for your coccyx to rest without any direct pressure upon it. While slightly embarrassing around the workplace office, these cushions really are a great way to overcome your coccyx problem.
In certain circumstances anti-inflammatory medications may be advised to assist with reducing your coccyx pain. Anti-inflammatory medications do not assist healing but rather block the pain pathways that are sent from your injured area to the brain, effectively tricking your brain into thinking nothing is wrong.
WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US?
- Chiropractic coccygeal manipulation may be effectively delivered via instrumental or manual adjusting for certain cases of coccydynia. Polkinghorn, B. (1999). Chiropractic treatment of coccygodynia via instrumental adjusting procedures using activator methods Chiropractic technique. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 22(6); 411-416
- Massage and stretching is also a beneficial coccyx pain treatment modality that should be investigated by sufferers. Maigne, Y. (2001). Comparison of three manual coccydynia treatments: a pilot study. Spine, 26(20); E479-E483
- It was evident that Maigne’s technique of coccygeal manipulation is an effective coccyx pain treatment management technique and should therefore be incorporated into coccydynia cases. Maiwada, S. (2016). Manipulation in Coccydynia: A case study. Indian Journal of Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy, 10(1); 62-65