What Causes Tailbone Pain?

Some causes of tailbone pain include sitting for an extended time on a hard surface, vaginal childbirth, degenerative joint alterations and trauma resulting from a fall, explains Mayo Clinic. The pain is usually dull and achy but grows sharp when sitting or standing for an extended period of time. It can also be painful during bowel movements, sexual intercourse and menstruation.

Medically known as coccydynia or coccygodynia, tailbone pain affects the bone at the end of the spine, called coccyx, notes Mayo Clinic. In some cases, it gets better on its own within weeks. Pain is the main symptom of this condition, especially while sitting, states the Cleveland Clinic.

Home measures that can help relieve the pain include sitting on a wedge cushion, applying ice or heat, leaning forward while sitting down, and taking over-the-counter pain medication. It is crucial to consult a doctor if the pain fails to improve. Magnetic resonance imaging helps to determine the exact cause of the pain.

For chronic tailbone pain, a doctor may recommend physical therapy, manipulation, medication or surgery, explains Mayo Clinic. Medication may involve injections or antidepressants to help contain the pain. Surgery is necessary for cases that fail to respond to other treatments.