Pain in the "tail": Causes and ways of relief

Pain in the coccyx area can be caused by various causes and can lead to acute or chronic discomfort in this part of the body

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The coccyx, or “tail”, as it has come to be called, is the triangular bony structure located at the bottom of the spine between the buttocks. It consists of three to five bony segments held in place by joints and ligaments.

Ο πόνος in the region of the coccyx, also called coccygodynia, can be caused by various causes and can lead to acute or chronic discomfort in this part of the body.


There are many different causes that can lead to tailbone pain. Often, the cause of the pain is unknown (idiopathic) and is never adequately determined.

Common causes known to cause tailbone pain include the following:

  • Trauma: Injury to the coccyx is a very common cause of pain at this point. The injury can result in bruising, fracture, or dislocation of the coccyx.
  • A fall on the coccyx while sitting, usually on a hard surface, is a common cause of coccyx injury.
  • A direct blow to the coccyx, such as those that occur during sports activities, can also injure the coccyx.
  • Women's coccyx can also be injured or broken during childbirth.
  • Repetitive strain or friction (such as cycling, rowing, or sitting for long periods of time) can injure the coccyx.

Less common causes of coccyx pain include bone spurs, nerve root compression, infections and tumors.

What you can do to relieve tail pain

Coccyx pain can often be extremely painful and debilitating. In the vast majority of cases, tail pain can be treated with some simple options, such as:

  • Avoid sitting on hard surfaces for long periods of time. When sitting on hard surfaces, try to alternate which side of the buttocks you are resting your weight on. Also, lean forward to shift the weight away from the coccyx.
  • For traumatic injuries, apply ice to the coccyx area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day, for the first few days after the injury.
  • Buy a donut pillow or other similar pillow to sit more comfortably. This pillow has a hole in the middle to prevent the coccyx from coming into direct contact with the flat surface.
  • Eat foods high in fiber to soften the stool and avoid constipation, which can sometimes worsen coccyx pain.