Lower spine pain characterizes coccygodynia or coccyx pain. The disease often heals after a few weeks. Symptoms are usually treated medically.
What is coccygodynia?
Tailbone pain should be evaluated medically.
Coccygodynia is also sometimes referred to as coccyx neuralgia. Thus, coccygodynia is a disease that manifests itself in the lower spine at the level of the coccyx (a few vertebrae that are atrophied and connected to each other), mainly through characteristic pain. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviations related to Coccygodynia.
The pain that occurs when coccygodynia is present is often burning, aching, or stabbing. As a rule, the pain associated with coccygodynia occurs primarily in sitting positions.
From an evolutionary perspective, the coccyx affected by coccygodynia is a degenerated part of the caudal skeleton. The name of coccygodynia goes back to the group of bones (os coccygis) that is affected by pain in the disease.
Coccygodynia is a disease that occurs relatively rarely. When coccygodynia occurs, women are predominantly affected.
There are many possible causes of coccygodynia. Coccygodynia cannot always be traced back to a specific cause. Coccygodynia is often the result of injuries resulting from falls on the buttocks.
But coccygodynia can also be caused by other stresses; for example by sitting on a hard surface for a long time. Coccygodynia can also be caused by other underlying diseases: For example, so-called lumbago (also known as lumbago), herniated discs or tumors in the coccyx region can lead to coccygodynia.
Coccygodynia can also be caused by gynecological diseases or by malformations of the coccyx. Furthermore, childbirth or surgical interventions can promote coccygodynia. In many cases, coccygodynia is also based on psychological stress.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Coccygodynia is manifested by clear symptoms. The disease is characterized by a burning or throbbing pain in the coccyx area. Those affected often feel a strong pulling or stinging sensation, combined with overheating of the affected part of the body. The symptoms are not necessarily limited to the coccyx region, but can also radiate to the upper spine and the lumbar region.
The pain occurs particularly when standing up and when sitting. Often the pain is so severe that activities such as sexual intercourse and bowel movements are no longer possible. This can result in other symptoms of a psychological nature. Accompanying this, general symptoms such as malaise and fever can occur.
In addition, the prolonged relieving posture can lead to malpositions, joint and bone pain, tension and cramps. The signs of illness usually subside after a while. In individual cases, chronic symptoms can set in. Possible secondary problems are coordination disorders, restricted movement, circulatory disorders and nerve pain.
Under certain circumstances, the respective underlying disease can cause further non-specific symptoms. Typical psychological complications include depressive moods, panic attacks and irritability. Provided that the individual symptoms and signs of coccygodynia are treated early, the health problems can be alleviated reliably and quickly.
Diagnosis & History
In order to diagnose coccygodynia, a comprehensive medical consultation is usually carried out first. This interview is then followed by a physical examination.
If there is a suspicion of coccygodynia in this context, this suspicion can be confirmed by various methods. Which diagnostic procedure makes sense depends, among other things, on the suspected cause of coccygodynia. It can be helpful, for example, to carry out an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography) of the pelvic region. The ultrasound method is also used to diagnose organically caused coccygodynia.
Depending on the cause of coccygodynia, this can vary greatly from person to person. In many cases, coccygodynia lasts for a few days to weeks and then subsides. Occasionally, however, coccygodynia can persist for several years and eventually become chronic.
In most cases, coccygodynia is cured without medical treatment. In most cases, the pain in the spine disappears on its own and there are no particular complications. It is not uncommon for those affected to suffer from burning or stabbing pain.
This pain can also spread from the coccyx to other regions of the body and also lead to considerable discomfort in these areas. The quality of life of those affected is significantly restricted and reduced by coccygodynia. Likewise, there are often limitations in movement and coordination disorders. Certain activities or the practice of sports are usually no longer possible for the person concerned.
It is not uncommon for these limitations to lead to psychological complaints or other upsets and depressions. In most cases, the treatment itself is only symptomatic, so that painkillers in particular are treated with medication or various therapies. There are no particular complications. In most cases, life expectancy is not reduced by coccygodynia.
When should you go to the doctor?
If you notice pulling, stabbing or burning pain in the coccyx area, you should go to your family doctor or a sports medicine doctor as soon as possible. If the symptoms occur after an accident or fall, an immediate visit to the doctor is recommended. Other warning signs that should definitely be clarified are pain when having a bowel movement or during intercourse and difficulty getting up or sitting down. If these symptoms are noticed, there may be an underlying health issue that needs treatment.
Anyone who has recently suffered a coccyx bruise, a herniated disc, or a gynecological condition is particularly prone to developing coccygodynia. Tumors in the coccyx area as well as lumbago and root irritation syndrome are among the risk factors that must be clarified quickly. Affected people should see their family doctor or an orthopedist within a few days and have the symptoms clarified. Other contact persons are the chiropractor and specialists for the respective complaints. Children who complain of pain in the coccyx area should be presented to a pediatrician.
Treatment & Therapy
The therapy of coccygodynia is initially based on the causes underlying the disease in the individual. In cases where no organic causes for coccygodynia can be found, medical treatment of coccygodynia usually focuses primarily on symptom control; fighting the pain.
The pain that occurs with coccygodynia can be managed with, for example, a local anesthetic (a local anesthetic). The anesthetic is injected into the painful part of the body and relieves the pain as long as it is effective.
Measures that can have a pain-relieving effect are, for example, targeted physiotherapy, acupuncture or various relaxation methods. Aids that can help with short-term pain relief in coccygodynia include seat wedges or rings.
If coccygodynia is based, among other things, on psychological factors, individual psychotherapy can help to combat the pain. If coccygodynia is associated with very pronounced and continuous pain in an affected person, there are options for providing a longer-term supply of anesthetic or pain-relieving agents via catheters.
Outlook & Forecast
In principle, coccygodynia can be cured. The treatment plan depends on the cause of the symptoms. Spontaneous healing can be documented in many patients. This is especially possible if there was a short-term overexertion and the body can regenerate itself through its ability to heal itself. If there is permanent stress on the lower spine, the prognosis worsens. In these cases, sudden sustained remissions are unlikely. The affected person is subjected to physiotherapeutic training and has to change his everyday life.
Relief of the affected region is necessary to improve health. The movement sequences must be changed over the long term and aligned with the needs of the organism. Long-term relief of symptoms can be achieved by optimizing stress and reorganizing everyday life. Otherwise, there is a risk of an increase in pain. In addition, secondary diseases can break out due to the persistent symptoms, which cause a further deterioration in the overall condition.
The prognosis is particularly unfavorable in the case of an existing tumor disease. Cancer therapy is required and tumor removal is indicated. Treatment and surgery are associated with numerous risks and side effects. There is a deterioration in the quality of life and severe mental stress. In an advanced stage of the disease, the patient is threatened with premature death.
To prevent coccygodynia, for example, it can be helpful to quickly treat injuries after falls on the coccyx. This is possible with the help of pain-relieving ointments. Also, engaging in early screening for pelvic disorders that may contribute to coccygodynia may help prevent coccygodynia. In order to prevent psychological conflicts from leading to coccygodynia, these can be worked through psychotherapeutically, for example.
In most cases, aftercare measures are relatively difficult in the case of coccygodynia. In the case of this disease, the reason for the disease must usually first be identified so that no further compilations can occur. In many cases, coccygodynia can also disappear on its own, so that aftercare is no longer necessary.
As a rule, the person affected with this disease should take it easy and not engage in any stressful, physical or strenuous activities. The legs in particular should be spared, although bed rest or the use of various walking aids can also have a positive effect on coccygodynia. In the case of pain, painkillers can also be taken, whereby it is important to ensure the correct dosage and regular intake.
If anything is unclear or if you have any questions, always consult a doctor. Furthermore, measures of physiotherapy or physical therapy can have a positive effect on the course of the disease. Patients can repeat many of the exercises at home, thereby accelerating the healing of coccygodynia. The disease usually does not reduce the life expectancy of the person affected.
You can do that yourself
In the case of coccygodynia, the person affected has various options for self-help. The condition can usually be avoided simply by examining and treating any coccyx injury or discomfort very quickly. Pain-relieving ointments or creams can also have a positive effect on the course of the disease. Furthermore, regular examinations in the pelvic area are advisable, especially if there are problems in this area.
The pain of coccygodynia can be relieved by various therapies. Acupuncture or various relaxation exercises such as yoga are suitable for this. Various objects, such as seat wedges, can also promote pain relief for the patient. In the case of very severe pain or acute emergencies, however, these should be examined and anesthetized by a doctor.
If coccygodynia leads to psychological problems, talking to a psychologist or therapist can help. Discussions and contacts with other affected persons or with close friends or family are also useful here. Other sufferers can contribute to an exchange of information and possibly offer advice on reducing the symptoms.