home
RSS
June 8th, 2011
01:28 PM ET

Can my tailbone pain be cured?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

Asked by Will of Denver, Colorado

I am an average person - good health and slightly overweight. Last year on a dare/challenge from a friend I rode my bicycle 50 miles without any previous training. I successfully completed the 50 miles, although I had extreme pain in my tailbone following the ride. I assumed this was temporary and continued to live my life. However, a year or so later it still has pain when I sit down. I'm not sure where to start besides seeing my normal doctor. Is this something that can be cured or could I have done lifelong damage to my tailbone?

Expert answer

Dear Will,

I think you already know that strenuous exercise without proper preparation through training is not a good idea.

That being said, the medical term for pain in the tailbone is coccydynia. It is usually caused by trauma and it usually gets better with conservative therapy over a period of several weeks, but it can sometimes take several months for it to improve.

The coccyx is a projection at the base of the spine. It is made of bone, cartilage and fibers. The coccyx bears weight when a person is sitting.

Some of the muscles that control defecation attach to the coccyx, and there may be pain in the injured tailbone upon defecation and when tightening the anal sphincter.

There are no national incidence numbers for this condition, but pain in the tailbone is a rather common problem. A busy primary care doctor usually sees a few cases per year. It is far more prevalent in women than men. It is rare in children.

The most common cause is traumatic injury from a fall backwards into a sitting position. Other causes include repetitive minor trauma from sitting a long time. People not only get it from long bike rides, but from sitting in a car or plane for a prolonged period. Sitting on hard surfaces is more likely to cause it.

Women can get coccydynia through trauma during vaginal birthing.

Obesity is a major risk factor in men and women. The diagnosis of coccydynia is made through the patient's history of the pain and trauma and from physical examination.

On examination, the physician can usually reproduce the symptoms through direct pressure on the tailbone. Initial treatment is conservative, using nonsteroidal pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen; protection of the area with a donut or wedge pillow; and alternating applications of heat and cold packs.

Patients with pain after more than three months of good conservative therapy merit further evaluation which might include X-rays of the pelvis and tailbone.

A very few patients will need to be treated with injections of local anesthetic, or local anesthetic and steroids, directly into the tailbone area. In a very rare case of protracted pain without improvement, the tailbone can be surgically removed. This operation is called a coccygyectomy.


soundoff (1,773 Responses)
  1. AnooEncox

    15 year old taking viagra http://llviagra.com/ crohn's disease and viagra

    May 7, 2021 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. toilet paper near me

    I really love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you build this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own blog and want to learn where you got this from or what the theme is named. Kudos!

    https://login.ermis.gov.gr/pls/orasso/orasso.wwctx_app_language.set_language?p_http_language=fr-fr&p_nls_language=f&p_nls_territory=france&p_requested_url=https://www.ocrv.world

    May 7, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Forklift Dealer California

    http://cse.google.pt/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://forkliftsforsalenearme.com

    May 7, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. all rv repair

    http://ukraincy.wm.pl/tv/video/youtube/9-iehpa-Qy4

    May 7, 2021 at 20:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Video Marketing Companies

    http://bultmanfamily.info/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 7, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. horse trailer paint colors

    This site really has all of the information I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    http://viewfromthewing.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    May 7, 2021 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Internet Marketing Companies

    http://gfimages.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 7, 2021 at 23:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. orange near me

    http://lifetimespendingplan.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    May 8, 2021 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. LbsoZisse

    online pharmacy for cialis https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis dapoxetine

    May 8, 2021 at 01:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Internet Marketing Agencies

    Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://www.kousei.web5.jp/cgi-bin/link/link3.cgi?mode=cnt&no=1&hpurl=http://affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 02:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Internet Marketing Companies

    This website certainly has all of the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    http://www.beef-wise.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Video Marketing Association

    https://yapi.com.tr/kategorisponsorsayfasinagit?categoryid=22&redirectionlink=https://affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Internet Marketing Experts

    http://www.forum.advocat-ac.ru/redir.php?url=https3A//affordableranking.com2F

    May 8, 2021 at 04:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. satisfyer

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this
    amazing site needs much more attention. I'll probably be returning to read through
    more, thanks for the information!

    May 8, 2021 at 04:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Digital Marketing Pictures

    That is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very precise info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!

    http://www.cosmeticchoice.com.au/index.php?route=banners/banners/clickthru&banner_id=159&expiration_setting=2&impressions=0&link=http://www.affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. GtnbCrulk

    does viagra help you last longer http://jokviagra.com/ taking viagra for fun

    May 8, 2021 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Content Marketing Consultant

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and the rest of the site is extremely good.

    http://funkydooryoga.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. JebgEncox

    overseas pharmacies https://pharmacylo.com/ Requip

    May 8, 2021 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Internet Marketing Contractors

    https://www.only40.com/go.php?url=https://www.affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Content Marketing Job

    http://www.hearinky.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Digital Marketing Ideas

    http://previewparty.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Social Media Marketing Agency Orange County

    Good blog you have got here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    http://www.explainittome.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. rv interiors san diego

    http://www.lmgdata.com/LinkTracker/track.aspx?rec=%5BrecipientIDEncoded%5D&clientID=%5BclientGUID%5D&link=https://ocrvcenter.com

    May 8, 2021 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. rv fiberglass repair shops

    Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to come back once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

    http://quantumbank.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    May 8, 2021 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Internet Marketing Experts Near Me

    https://sinfuldaddy.com/out.php?https://affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Internet Marketing Association

    Very good information. Lucky me I found your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!

    http://millajbeauty.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Internet Marketing Mentor

    http://www.officeworks.us/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Local Marketing Jobs

    https://interaction-school.com/?wptouch_switch=mobile&redirect=http3A2F2Faffordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Content Marketing Pictures

    Having read this I believed it was really enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://vikingwood.carlmhall.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Bathroom Near Me

    This web site certainly has all of the information I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    https://b.link/5qxbv4

    May 9, 2021 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Shades California

    https://is.gd/Gc3JGf

    May 9, 2021 at 05:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Internet Marketing Masters

    https://www.seminardesign.se/TellAFriend.aspx?url=https://affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Social Media Marketing Company Cypress

    http://www.boobsgallery.com/cgi-bin/at3/out.cgi?id=40&tag=top&trade=http://affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Internet Marketing Masters

    After looking into a handful of the blog articles on your web page, I really appreciate your way of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website as well and let me know what you think.

    https://www.wildfirex.us/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 10:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. FmrfEncox

    cialis cheap free shipping http://cialisee.com/ insurance that covers cialis

    May 9, 2021 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Content Marketing Job

    Very nice write-up. I absolutely love this site. Continue the good work!

    https://c-g-salis.de/url?q=https://affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Internet Marketing Help

    http://www.trugreenla.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Google Marketing Business

    https://www.ipa4fun.com/go.php?p=275734&s=0&l=https://affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Social Media Marketing Orange County

    http://filmfestdcmedia.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. AnooEncox

    trazodone vs viagra https://llviagra.com/ que efectos tiene tomar viagra

    May 9, 2021 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Video Marketing Experts

    https://www.mostotrest.ru/bitrix/rk.php?goto=https://www.affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Content Marketing Associations

    Good post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Keep it up!

    https://shekhmohemad.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Social Media Marketing Consultants Near Me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is also really good.

    http://www.colorprobe.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Internet Marketing Reviews

    http://fbso66.ru/?wptouch_switch=desktop&redirect=http://affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Mattresses Riverside

    http://kognitivmottagning.se/index.php?id=10&type=0&jumpurl=http3A2F2Focrvcenter.com

    May 9, 2021 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Digital Marketing Contractor

    http://vw-nn.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?goto=http://affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Cabinet Orange County

    http://eshop.tsimedo.gr/changecurrency/1?returnurl=http3A2F2Focrvcenter.com

    May 9, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Social Media Marketing Businesses Near Me

    https://www.qq8s.com/go.php?url=https://www.affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Entertainment System Near Me

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this issue here on your blog.

    http://megaidei.ru/go.php?to=http3A2F2Focrvcenter.com

    May 9, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Digital Marketing Specialists

    https://www.india-capital-managemant.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.