I have a very painful tailbone, which the doctor calls "coccygodynia." What can cause this condition?

Coccygodynia means "pain in the coccyx." The coccyx is the end of the spinal column or "tailbone." Risk factors for coccygodynia include obesity, trauma, or childbirth. Coccygodynia is most common when any of these factors are combined together.

Coccygodynia is much more common in women than men. It can occur at any age, but seems to develop more often during midlife. Fracture or bruising after a difficult birth is a common history given.

Some patients have coccygodynia without trauma. In these cases tight or spastic muscles, arthritis, or tumors may be the cause.