Could this be coccygodynia?


I am female. I went to my doctor in Jan 2001 suffering with discomfort in the rectum (just up and to the right) . I felt as if I was sitting on a rod. I was told I may have bruised my tailbone and it would get better with rest. I was given anti-inflammatory tablets and painkillers. I had shooting pain on taking big strides when walking and a vague ache in my right hip. I suffered (and still do) recurring bouts of nausea and diarrhoea (my body's response to the pain and/or strain in the area?).

By February I had an ache in my groin, lower abdomen on the right which became progressively severe.

By April, my periods were disrupted - they stopped and came back in July and only returned to normal in October (again my body's response to the pain as they are better with rest at home?) The pain in my abdomen/groin was severe and took my attention away from the strange feeling in my behind. This also became the priority for medical investigation - inconclusive.

I ache all the time in the curve under my right buttock. My stomach is bloated. I frequently suffer pins and needles in my right leg and heel pain in my right foot after walking for a while. If I sit badly I get pins and needles in my right arm. I get frequent "ice-cream" headaches on the left of my head. I feel as if the nerves are stretched through my right buttock and over my right hip - as if they are caught in my tail. My abdominal and buttock pain is triggered by car and train seats and the associated vibration. It is present all the time, even on waking and aggravated by sitting in the wrong position (such as a car) or walking at a normal pace. Once triggered the pain stays all day and only eases with complete rest. Occasionally, when walking or moving suddenly, I get a shooting pain up through me as if someone has given me an electric shock. My mobility is decreasing and I feel if I move too much I will rip something. I often have a very strange itching sensation inside my back and abdomen as if something is trying to heal itself.

I have had ultrasound, x-rays, barium enema, internal examinations, physio and an MRI scan - all inconclusive. It is now November. The doctors have no idea what is causing my problem and can only treat the pain. I have been taking painkillers, anti-inflammatory tablets and anti-depressants (I have been told that they have some effect on this type of pain if taken at night - help to relax the muscles and change the brain's reaction to pain). I have also tried arnica cream and tablets.

I am not depressed and the pain is very real. I adore my work and am happy in my home life. Although I fear that I will become depressed as my life - both work and social - have been put on hold this year. I am terribly frustrated and looking for a name for the problem and appropriate treatment. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home otherwise I don't know how I would cope.

Could this be coccygodynia?

The worst of the pain is in my abdomen with only discomfort and occasional shooting pain in my tailbone when I bend forward or move from sitting to standing. I have trigger/tender points in various places up my spine to my neck but the most tender point is in my bottom. My tail area feels very odd and heavy all the time.

Reply from Jon Miles: This doesn't sound like the normal symptoms of coccydynia. Maybe it could be pudendal neuropathy, or some other trapped nerve problem, or a muscle/ligament problem. Have a look at the What is coccydynia? page. And have a look at the Investigations page, for the tests that can sort it out. The tests that you have already had help to rule out some conditions, like cancer, but they are not much help in telling whether or not it is coccydynia. The best tests for this are the dynamic sit/stand x-rays, and the injection of local anesthetic.

Updated 2001-11-18

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