ZocdocAnswersWhat causes pain around the tailbone?

Question

What causes pain around the tailbone?

My son is complaining that his tailbone hurts ? what could cause this? He doesn't remember falling on it or injuring himself in any way. I find it worrisome because I know the coccyx is an important part of your spine. Even if his is just bruised, couldn't that be serious?

Answer

Pain around the tailbone is an uncommon medical condition but one that usually benign. Occasionally it does require medical intervention. The physicians who are best qualified to discuss your son's issue will include your pediatrician or your family medicine doctor. Pain around the tailbone is known officially as coccydynia. Especially in children, the most likely cause of coccydynia is trauma, often caused by falling down while running or otherwise being physically active. Trauma may just be bruising of the tissues or it may involve actual fracture of the tailbone. This is generally not a serious medical problem, but it should be evaluated by a physician, especially if the pain is persistent. Other causes of pain at the tailbone may include a pilonidal cyst, which is a structure found in some people at the base of the tailbone which can become infected, or some other skin infection in the region. Both of these conditions may require antibiotic treatment or possible drainage of a fluid collection. Rarely, spine pain may be a sign of a rare serious medical condition, such as a blood cancer or a tethered spinal cord. As always, the diagnosis and management of your son's specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. If the pain persists, scheduling a visit with your pediatrician or your family medicine doctor is highly recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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