What part of the spine is the tailbone?
The bottom of the spine is called the sacrum. It is made up of several vertebral bodies usually fused together as one. The remaining small bones or ossicles below the sacrum are also fused together and called the tailbone or coccyx.
What is referred to as the tailbone?
The coccyx is a triangular arrangement of bone that makes up the very bottom portion of the spine below the sacrum. It represents a vestigial tail, hence the common term tailbone.
What causes lower back pain near the tailbone?
Tailbone pain — pain that occurs in or around the bony structure at the bottom of the spine (coccyx) — can be caused by trauma to the coccyx during a fall, prolonged sitting on a hard or narrow surface, degenerative joint changes, or vaginal childbirth.
What is the function of a tailbone?
Despite its small size, the coccyx has several important functions. Along with being the insertion site for multiple muscles, ligaments, and tendons, it also serves as one leg of the tripod—along with the ischial tuberosities—that provides weight-bearing support to a person in the seated position.
Does the coccyx feel like a ball?
In most cases (but not all), you can feel a lump in your tailbone area. The lump can be as small as a pea or as large as a golf ball.
What muscles are attached to the tailbone?
Muscles inserting on the anterior coccyx include the levator ani, which is sometimes considered as several separate muscle parts, including the coccygeus, iliococcygeus, and pubococcygeus muscles.
When should I go to the doctor for tailbone pain?
You should call your doctor immediately if you have pain in the tailbone and any of the following other symptoms: A sudden increase in swelling or pain. Constipation that lasts a long time. Sudden numbness, weakness, or tingling in either or both legs.
Can a herniated disc make your tailbone hurt?
Rarely, coccydynia can be caused by a nearby tumor or infection that puts pressure on the coccyx. Referred coccyx pain. In rare cases pain will be referred to the coccyx from elsewhere in the spine or pelvis, such as a lumbar herniated disc or degenerative lumbar disc.
Can being overweight cause tailbone pain?
Being overweight or underweight
Being overweight or obese can place excess pressure on your coccyx when you’re sitting down. This can cause coccydynia or make existing coccydynia worse. You may also develop coccydynia if you are very slim.