Tailbone (Coccyx) Pain Medications

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Medication as a Coccyx Pain Treatment

The coccyx, also known as the tailbone, is composed of three to five bones fused to the sacrum by a vestigial disc and ligaments. Damage to the coccyx is usually the result of traumatic accidents, although some spinal conditions can affect this part of the spine. Medication therapy is often a first step in treating coccyx pain.

Coccyx Pain Treatments –Medications

Coccyx pain, also known as coccydynia, is difficult to treat due to the location of the tailbone. The pain is aggravated by simple activities like sitting down, walking, or standing. Medications in combination with other suggestions may help to relieve the pain. However, the coccyx takes a long time to heal and medications will probably be used long-term which may lead to other consequences.

Is Medication the Right Coccyx Pain Treatment for You?

Coccyx pain, also known as coccydynia, can sometimes be effectively treated with medications. However, due to the length of recovery time it typically takes for a coccyx injury to heal, medication use must be closely monitored by a pain management specialist so that side effects of prolonged usage are well managed.

The coccyx, also known as the tailbone, consists of three to five bones fused together at the sacrum by a vestigial disc and ligaments. This triangular shaped bone has limited movement and is rarely damaged unless it is due to a traumatic accident or hard fall and landing on the tailbone. Women tend to experience coccyx pain more frequently than men because of their anatomical variations including a wider pelvis and a rotation present in the coccyx. Childbirth may also exacerbate coccyx pain in women. Due to a woman’s pelvis tilting forward, the coccyx bears more pressure when sitting.

Usually, the coccyx will heal on its own when it is injured, but that healing can several months in some patients with severe pain present throughout the process. An over-the-counter medication may be recommended to relieve pain initially. NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are often recommended to decrease inflammation. However, the risk of long-term use of such potent medications can include stomach problems, some quite severe. In addition, if a patient is taking a blood thinner for another concern, then acetaminophen may be recommended instead as a medication treatment for coccyx pain. Acetaminophen has very few side effects and is well tolerated, but must be avoided by those with liver conditions. Both of these medications as coccyx pain treatments work centrally (within the brain) to “switch” off the pain signals.

If the coccyx pain is moderate to severe, an expert pain management physician may prescribe prescription pain medication. Generally, these are intended for short-term usage. But in coccyx pain patients, the medication may be required for a longer duration due to the often lengthier healing process for coccyx conditions. The pain management physician and pharmacist should be consulted about side effects, drug interactions, and risks of long-term use. Narcotic medications carry the possibility of addiction from long-term use as well as a tolerance level increase.

At-a-Glance: Medication as a Coccyx Pain Treatment

  • More efficient if taken while following other suggestions to alleviate pain (doughnut pillow, stool softener, stretching and physical therapy)
  • Discuss the best medication options based on your specific circumstances and pain relief needs
  • Discuss all side effects, drug interactions, and risks with both the pain management physician and the pharmacist
  • Medications may come in various forms including oral (pill or liquid), topical (cream or ointment) and injection

Health Tips For When Taking a New Medication

If you experience any of these reactions to a new medication, call 911 immediately

  • Trouble breathing
  • New and sudden chest pain
  • Severe headache never felt before
  • Inability to move one or both legs

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