Will tail bone pain ever go away?

3 answers | Last updated: Oct 13, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Will tail bone pain ever go away? The pain came from a fall about five years ago. I use a V-pillow to sit, drive, and for any visits that require a long wait time. It has worsened and I think it is larger than when it first started causing me pain. An infection has been ruled out. One doctor thinks the area of pain can be removed. I'm considering this surgery because I can't take the pain anymore.

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Since you've had this tailbone (coccyx) pain for years, I doubt at this point in your life it will go away on its own. It sounds as though you may have injured the bone and/or damaged the nerves in that area when you fell 5 years ago. At this point, you have chronic pain, which is very different than acute pain. While I am glad that you don't have a bone infection, you do not mention any tests that you have had done or what they showed. Since you have a doctor that wants to do surgery, you must have had a MRI. Did it show a fracture or growth on the bone? Was there nerve damage? Is this something they can fix?

I understand that you are at your wit's end regarding the pain. You should consider surgery as long as you are: 1) healthy enough to do it, and 2) your chances of feeling better after the surgery are excellent.

If surgery scares you or is not an option due to other health issues, the doctors need to aggressively treat your chronic pain. They can try some of the following suggestions if they are appropriate for you:

1) Nerve medications: Ultram, Gabapentin, Lyrica 2) Opioids: Vicodin, Percocet, even Morphine; use laxatives for constipation! 3) Antidepressants: Cymbalta (which is great for nerve pain), Nortriptyline, Effexor. Studies show that they help reduce pain in people with chronic pain disorders. 4) Topical analgesics: Capsacin, Lidocaine patches 5) Hot or cold packs

I hope this has helped you. Please understand that there are treatments out there for chronic pain. If you have not gone already, I would recommend a consult with a pain management clinic for additional suggestions. Good luck!

Community Answers

Hurting58 answered...

I am not a Dr but a patient. As the Dr said I don't know if you have had any test done, such as an Mri, Cat scan, etc. If you haven't you should. I go to a pain management clinic that has been a livesaver for me. I not only get injection in the tailbone but several other places. If your Dr does send you to a Pain Clinic and you try it but it doesn't seem to help don't give up!!!! I kept looking until I found one that is fantastic. The Dr is very, very caring and very, very great!!! My prayers are with you and I wish you good luck!! Billie Mae

Drcassie answered...

Hi--To the patient who raised this question, I wish I'd seen your question and Ms. Serafin's caring and intelligent response a couple of years ago. In any case, I hope this finds you in a much better place by now, related to your pain.

Having suffered the aftermath of a similar injury, I wanted to validate your experience as I suspect this is not something a lot of people take very seriously--heck, I was joking about it even after months of pretty agonizing pain.

In my case, I had managed to whack my head while painting a room at home; essentially, I got a puncture wound when my head connected with the sharp underside of a stair bannister, leading to a lot of bleeding and ER visit and a couple of staples for my head wound.

It was kind of dramatic, so everyone including the ER (and I) focused on my head injury.

BUT after a few weeks my real concern became the incredible all-surrounding pain related to what had happened after I bashed my head. Apparently I was unconcious for a moment or two during the transition from stairwell to landing, because I realized (much later) that somehow I'd ended up sitting flat on my butt on the basement floor below, which was carpet over concrete.

By the time I got to my FORMER g.p. to remove the staples in my head, I couldn't sleep, stand, sit, etc. with a horrible level of pain. Unfortunately this doctor insisted the visit was 'focused' only on staple removal. In the end, webmd.com proved more helpful, as did the pillow ;'].

If it's any consolation, it's been a couple of years now and I'm no longer bothered with this, though concerned it might flare up later. I hope your experience is much better, in that our NP here really addressed your pain concerns and the seriousness of this type of injury. Please please pursue all avenues and take it seriously, indeed.