Coccyx Pain and Chiropractic treatment

The chiropractic approach to coccydynia, pain in the tailbone.


The coccyx or the tailbone is a small bone at the end of the sacrum, which is part of the pelvis. It is sometimes the source of severe and disabling pain. Coccyx pain is referred to medically as coccydynia.

Coccydynia is often associated with falling on your behind or other events such as giving birth, but in many cases there are no obvious reasons.

Quite often pain is referred from the sacroiliac joints, pelvic muscles and the lower back.

It is therefore important to have a proper examination to determine why the pain is there and where it is coming from.

The Unstable Coccyx

Sometimes the pain is due to an unstable coccyx. You have a joint between the coccyx and the sacrum, which can be sprained.

If this joint is unstable you may sprain it every time you sit down, hence recurring and chronic pain. When you have coccydynia it is especially painful to sit down.

For enquiries please call:

Chiropractic Care

Milton Keynes: 01908 307075
Northampton: 01604 460200
Aylesbury: 01296 489231

Tell Your Friends About This Page:

Diagnosis and investigations

The history can give a clear indication of what the cause is but that is not the case for every person. The first aim for the chiropractor is to find out if chiropractic treatment is appropriate for you. It is therefore often necessary to take x-rays or even MRI-scans to rule out more sinister causes of pain.

Dynamic x-rays are often very useful in order to rule out a dislocating coccyx, which can account for as many as 50% of the cases of pain from the coccyx.

The chiropractor would also palpate the coccyx and related muscles from the outside to determine if there is any localised tenderness on or around it. In some cases it might be necessary to do this internally.

The chiropractor will also examine related areas such as the pelvic joints and the lumbar spine.

Dynamic x-rays

The chiropractor would take two X-rays, one sitting and one standing. Comparing the X-rays shows whether your coccyx moves more than normal when you sit down.

Flexion greater than 25-30 degrees represents a hypermobile coccyx.

It is very rare to have instability in extension, but movement greater than 15-20 degrees is a sign of instability.

In about 40-50% of the cases, the dynamic X-ray examination fails to demonstrate a problem.

In these cases with normal x-ray films the diagnosis is "idiopathic" coccydynia and the pain may be related to different problems such as:

  • Intradiscal inflammation or chronic joint inflammation.
  • In case of a rigid coccyx, with pain located at the tip, a bursitis is possible.
  • In some cases, the pain is located at the sacral insertion of the sacrotuberous ligament.
  • Pain referred from the sacroiliac joints and the lumbosacral area are often possible origins of referred pain over the coccyx.

When there is no obvious problem on the x-ray films, careful palpation is the only way to determine where the pain is coming from.

Other causes of coccydynia include infections and tumours, but thankfully they are very rare.

In Summary

Coccydynia is related to coccygeal instability in almost half of the cases.

The diagnosis can be documented with dynamic X-ray films, which will show evidence of hypermobility.

Many times the coccydynia is due to referred pain from the lumbar spine, pelvic joints (sacoiliac joints) and related musculature.

An accurate diagnosis is important in order to direct the most appropriate treatment.

Certain conditions are not suitable for chiropractic treatment and we will then refer you to your GP.

An excellent website for more information on coccydynia is

If you want to discuss this further with a Chiropractor please contact us here.

Go to ISIS Chiropractic Home Page

For enquiries please call:

Chiropractic Care

Milton Keynes: 01908 307075
Northampton: 01604 460200
Aylesbury: 01296 489231

Tell Your Friends About This Page:

Awarded by

Sign Up For Health News, Special Event And Offers Here!

* indicates required

Your e-mail address is totally secure and will not be shared with third parties.

Recent Articles

  1. Fat loss Body Sculpting Laser, Effective Treatment Backed by Research

    May 16, 22 04:35 AM

    Safe, effective and pain-free treatment, backed by clinical research. Clear fat in regions hard to reach, Look and feel at your best. We can help you!

    Read More

  2. Don't Let Pain Spook You This Halloween!

    Oct 04, 21 09:15 AM

    Halloween is nearly here and as you're preparing for a night of frightful fun make sure to remember our top tips to prevent pain for all the family this year!

    Read More

  3. Full-time Chiropractor in our Aylesbury Clinic.

    Mar 29, 21 10:27 AM

    We are looking for a full-time Chiropractor in our Aylesbury Clinic.

    Read More

Running Injuries And Prevention

The Queen Awards Chiropractic  Royal Charter!

Chiropractic Royal Charter Milton Keynes Aylesbury Northampton

Stop Injuries Play Golf Better And Hit The Ball Further?

Find out more about our Golf performance assessment here!

Titleist Performance Institute

Titleist Golf Performance Institute

For Enquiries Call:

Milton Keynes:
01908 307075
01604 460200
01296 489231

If You Can't Find What You Are Looking For, Click Here And Make An Enquiry!

To Find Out More About Chiropractic Treatment, Watch Our Video!

Bigger Screen? Click The Bottom Right-Hand Corner!

Gardening and Preventing Back Pain. Watch Our Video!