Coccydynia doesn't go along with back pain. Back pain can cause referred pain to the coccyx but this is not coccydynia. One of the things you need if you have pain in the coccyx is a pillow with a notch out in the center where your coccyx goes so it has no pressure on the coccyx when you sit. The classic donut does not do this. They do make pillows that have a U'd shape on the one side. The treatment depends on the cause. NSAIDS help sometimes, sometimes cortisone injections to the area, as a last resort surgery.
As far as I know, coccydynia is not related and definitely not like any other type of back pain. Most back ailments are because a nerve coming out of the spinal cord is being impeded by something, usually a disk. You could even have pain in your arms & legs that's the result of something wrong in your spine.
Here's what happened to me:
I had a pilonidal cyst (next to the tail bone) removed in 1980. I didn't start to get coccydynia (inflammation of the tailbone, not a disk problem) until 18 years later! After seeing several doctors and having a multitude of tests plus acupuncture, no one could figure out why it was inflamed. It lasted several months, then cleared up on its own. Within the past 10 years I've also been diagnosed with RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). Basically my sympathetic nervous system (which produces responses to trauma) is going haywire. Besides all the new inflamed areas I have, the old tailbone pain is also back. I'm seeing a great neurologist now, who treats some of my symptoms with prescriptions, but I had to figure out on my own how to really deal with it. I take Neurontin to help with the nerve pain. If I don't take the Neurontin soon enough, or if I have no choice but to sit down (like traveling), the muscles around my tailbone go into spasm, which makes it hurt twice as bad. When this happens, I take Flexeril for the spasms. But these 2 drugs don't fully take care of it. If it's acting up badly, I have to lay on my side with the top leg slightly crossed over the other, and with a pillow between my knees. NOTHING can touch the tailbone area because for me, the pain radiates all the way out to the skin. This is the best position for me to relax the muscles around the tailbone. Then I use a meditation technique where you convince your body to relax from your toes on up to your head, concentrating on your breathing, not the pain. Once I can get the area to relax, the pain gets much better. This is how I deal with a major flare-up.
But I was searching for ways to prevent flare-ups. I find that if I sleep in any position where my tailbone is on the mattress, I could easily wake up in a lot of pain. So I use pillows to prevent me from getting into a painful position. And allowing cold air to hit my tailbone, even with clothes on, is the worst. I now sleep with a pillow up against my tailbone so no cold draft can hit it, which is really helping me sleep without pain. In winter I wrap a heavy scarf around my back end along with my coat, and also when I go somewhere like the supermarket where cold air can hit those nerves, I do the same. (I also have to wrap my neck in a long towel like a scarf at the supermarket at all times of year to prevent a chill getting to the nerves in my neck! My neck is now just as sensitive as my tailbone.)
I don't care anymore how odd I may look! I'd rather look odd if it might help stop a flare-up. I now have ways I know stop flare-ups, and a routine to hopefully ease a flare-up as quick as I can. These are the only things I can do.
Coccydynia is an inflammation of nerves, so injections and other invasive treatments don't make any sense to me. If sitting down, even for a short while, can bring on pain, how is sticking in a needle supposed to help? No matter what medicine it's filled with. I accept that I have it and keep looking for ways to stop & prevent the pain.
The u-shaped pillow didn't work for me. The pillow was too hard, and it elevated me too much. And the part that's not supposed to touch the tailbone area wasn't wide enough for me. It actually hurt more than a regular chair. But it's an inexpensive thing to try out. I'm sure it works for some people. If you have a definite diagnosis of coccydynia, try anything you can
If you want to see a specialist in coccydynia, there's a Dr Patrick Foye in the NY, NJ, PA, CT area. You can read all about him at tailbonedoctor.com.
Best of Luck and God Bless
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