Coccydynia

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy to Resolve Tailbone Pain

WHAT IS COCCYDYNIA (TAILBONE PAIN)?

Coccydynia is the medical term for tailbone pain.  Typically this pain is worst when sitting or rising from a seated position, and centered right between the sit-bones.  

There are many potential causes for coccydynia.  A fall onto the tailbone - even in childhood - can result in tailbone pain or pelvic floor dysfunction later in life.  If the fall was bad enough that you still remember it, it may have been enough to start a chain of dysfunction.  Childbirth is another common trauma for the tailbone and pelvic floor.  Sports like cycling or rowing can put prolonged pressure on the tailbone and cause coccydynia. And our sedentary lifestyles also put us at higher risk for tailbone pain than generations past.

There are several myths that prevent patients from receiving prompt and effective treatment for tailbone pain, including:

  • Surgery is NOT generally effective in treating coccydynia. A more conservative approach should always be tried; surgery is often ineffective and results in lifelong dysfunction in the pelvic floor muscles that were previously anchored to the tailbone.  

  • The tailbone doesn't need to get 'adjusted' back into place.  While it can be tempting to think that the tailbone can simply be tugged back into it's right place, the pelvic floor muscles that connect to the tailbone are often responsible for the mis-alignment.  Even if the tailbone is forced back into place temporarily, they would simply tug it out of alignment again unless the underlying issue is addressed.

  • Tailbone pain likely won't 'just go away eventually.'  Some of our patients come into our clinic after waiting years - often on the advice of a doctor - for their pain to simply go away. Tailbone pain can ebb and flow, especially depending on how much you have to sit or strain your body, but the underlying dysfunction doesn't just correct itself. Even if the pain lowers to an acceptable level, there is still pelvic floor dysfunction brewing that will eventually cause additional pain or pelvic symptoms and needs to be addressed.

HOW DOES PELVIC PT HELP?

All of the muscles of the pelvic floor attach to the tailbone, so pelvic floor physical therapy is highly effective in alleviating tailbone pain.  Tight pelvic floor muscles can be tugging on the tailbone, pulling it out of place and causing pain.  Pelvic floor physical therapy removes the trigger points in these muscles and restores their normal function, guiding the tailbone back into correct position through a combination of internal and external treatment.  

Many patients also experience secondary symptoms with coccydynia.  These commonly include urinary symptoms like urgency, frequency, or incontinence. Sexual dysfunction, including pain with sex or erectile dysfunction, are also associated with tailbone pain, as is low back pain and sciatica.  Physical therapy can help resolve each of these associated symptoms as well.  

THE PELVICSANITY DIFFERENCE

At PelvicSanity, your physical therapist will be a specialist in the field and an expert in dealing with coccydynia, tailbone pain, and the associated symptoms.  Many of our patients have been to multiple doctors for their symptoms before finding success here at PelvicSanity.

We believe full-length sessions are crucial to success with pelvic PT, so all appointments at PelvicSanity are an hour in length and spent entirely with a pelvic floor specialist. You’ll never be hooked up to electrodes, see an aide instead of a physical therapist, or be told to ‘just do your Kegels.’  We create a positive, calm environment for healing in private treatment rooms.

We also believe the pelvic floor can’t be treated in isolation, so your treatment will address both the pelvic floor and the external muscles that connect and influence the entire pelvis for optimal results. 

YOUR INITIAL EVALUATION

Your initial evaluation will be an hour in length, and have three major components:

  • Consultation: Most of our patients have been to multiple doctors, but have never really felt listened to in their appointments.  In your initial evaluation you’ll have a chance to go through your medical history with your physical therapist.  We’ll listen to you and ask about your personal goals for physical therapy.

  • Assessment:  Next your physical therapist will do a complete assessment.  They will look at your posture, hip and pelvic alignment, fascia, scar tissue, and anything else influencing your pelvis.  Then they will do an internal evaluation, looking for trigger points and dysfunction within the pelvic floor muscles.

  • Treatment:  We also want to know how your body responds to treatment, so your initial evaluation also includes targeted treatment.  You’ll also leave with ‘homework’ that you can be doing in between your visits to build on the improvements with physical therapy.

RESOURCES

TAILBONE PAIN (COCCYDYNIA)

Every pelvic floor muscle attaches to the tailbone, and can be putting stress and strain that cause the pain of coccydynia.

"I would highly recommend this place for any nerve, pelvic floor, or soft tissue pain...I am a Golf Pro, and came to PelvicSanity because I had nerve pain from a groin injury and other injuries over the years. Nicole has been able to help me eliminate all my nerve pain with consistent weekly sessions.  I'm very thankful I have found PelvicSanity - you will be too!"

-Ryan T.

With just 10 visits of physical therapy, male patients with pelvic pain saw significant improvements in pain, urinary symptoms, and quality of life.

"The excellent and precise treatment I have received has shifted me from a plateau where I was still very disabled, despite nearly three years of varied treatments, to feeling nearly pain-free for a full two weeks. I had given up hope that I would ever experience anything more than a temporary respite from intractable pain. I am extremely grateful."

From our Patients

1

Pelvic Pain

"I love PelvicSanity!  They have helped me live pain-free, and taught me techniques to manage my pain at home.  I don't feel hopeless in pain anymore!"

2

Pelvic Pain

"I'm so thankful to have found this place. I appreciate the comprehensive knowledge of my condition and the encouragement to keep working toward my goals."

3

Pelvic Pain

"The excellent and precise treatment I have received has shifted me from a plateau where I was still very disabled, despite nearly three years of varied treatments, to feeling nearly pain-free for a full two weeks. I had given up hope that I would ever experience anything more than a temporary respite from intractable pain. I am extremely grateful."

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