Tailbone pain is a pain that occurs in or around the bony structure at the bottom of the spine (coccyx) and can be caused by trauma to the coccyx during a fall, prolonged sitting on a hard or narrow surface, degenerative joint changes, or vaginal childbirth. The pain may radiate to the hips, thighs, or even to the rectum. It can make sitting difficult, exercise painful, and may even disrupt sleep.
The technical term for tailbone pain is coccydynia. In most people, the pain is a dull, throbbing ache that feels like a muscle spasm. Some people with tailbone pain also experience sharp, stabbing pain. This pain may occur when physically active or when sitting for extended periods of time. The pain may also radiate down the legs or up the back. It can feel like it is in the tailbone itself, or in the surrounding muscles and structures. The right treatment, as well as some home management strategies, can help.