Coccyx Pain overview


Patrick M. Foye, MD

Director, Coccyx Pain Service, UMDNJ: New Jersey Medical School, 90 Bergen St., DOC-3100, Newark, NJ 07103-2499. Phone: (973)972-2802. Fax: (973)972-2825.

This article is a discussion of coccydynia intended for doctors, on the E-medicine website site.

Note by Jon Miles:

The discussion is in six sections: Overview, Presentation, DDx, Workup, Treatment, and Medication.

The first section starts:

Coccyx pain (tailbone pain) can frustrate patients and significantly impair quality of life, but relief is possible. (See Treatment and Medication.)

Coccyx pain was first documented in 1588, and the term coccygodynia was coined by Simpson in 1859. Currently, the term coccydynia is used somewhat more commonly than coccygodynia. The 2 terms are interchangeable, however, and indicate pain localized to the coccyx. Neither term specifies the underlying etiology. Coccyx pain can occur from local trauma or a tumor, but many cases are idiopathic, with no identifiable cause. (See Etiology.)

Patients with coccyx pain often report that their physicians minimize, dismiss, or belittle their symptoms. Indeed, many physicians may have a bias against patients with coccyx pain, which has been referred to as the "lowest" form of "low back pain." Tailbone pain is often relatively severe and persistent, causing significant compromise of the patient's ability to perform or endure various activities. Physicians who understand coccydynia and the available treatment options can provide a great service to this otherwise neglected patient population. (See Presentation, Workup, Treatment, and Medication.).

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