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Spine and Back Health

Pain Near Tailbone but NOT on Tailbone

03/04/2010

Question:

I have bruise-like pain when pressed on either side of my tailbone---in the exact same spot on each side----but not ON my tailbone. Sitting can be painful and rising upon sitting can be especially painful. Ibuprofen helps the pain with sitting, but the pain is still there when the areas are pressed. I have had this for about a month; initially I thought it WAS a bruise at that location, but it isn`t. I`m a 54-year-old woman with moderate scoliosis that`s not noticeable to me. I have read about coccydynia (tail bone pain) but because I have no pain on my tailbone, I`m confused. A massage therapist has, in the past, expressed concern about a spot on my lower back that`s overly sensitive to the touch. I don`t know if this is a herniated disk, or another problem. What kind of health professional should I see for this tailbone problem?

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. You could either try an orthopedist with a specialty in pelvic problems (Not the kind of “pelvic” problems that we think of for gynecologists, but orthopedic ones), or perhaps a spine specialist or pain management specialist. Coccyx pain really hasn’t been “claimed” by any one particular specialty, and really there isn’t a lot known about it (yes, I understand your point that you don’t truly have coccyx pain, but you’re going to need someone who knows how to evaluate pain in that area, at any rate). These are tough ones to sort out, but I wish you good luck.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University