What Can Cause Tailbone Pain?

Pain in the tailbone, also known as coccydynia, is caused by inflammation (resulting from numerous factors) centered in or around the coccyx, the bony area at the bottom of the spine and between or just above the buttocks. When coccydynia occurs, affected individuals often feel tenderness and pain between their buttocks and around the tip of their tailbone. Sitting tends to make the pain from the inflammation worse, though not everyone will experience increased pain from sitting. The exact symptoms will vary depending on the cause of the inflammation and pain.

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Trauma or injury often lead to inflammation around and in the coccyx. There are a number of circumstances that can cause the tailbone to become injured. The most common cause of injuries to the coccyx is falling onto the tailbone in a sitting position. This may occur if an individual slips on ice or loses their balance and falls backward. Direct blows to the tailbone can cause injury as well. These are most often seen in athletes who play contact sports. It's possible for fracturing or injury of the coccyx to occur when a woman gives birth. If there's repetitive strain or increased friction against the coccyx area like with rowing or biking, individuals might sustain an injury.

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Katherine MacAulay