Tailbone Pain Cancer Symptoms


Tailbone Pain Cancer Symptoms
Chordoma (core-DOME-ah) is a type of cancerous (malignant) tumor that can occur in the bones of the spine and the base of the skull. It is very rare, accounting for only about 1 to 4% of all malignant bone tumors. Although slow-growing, chordomas can be difficult to treat because of their location near vital structures such as the spinal cord and brain.

  1. In most cases, treatment for the tumors involves a combination of surgery and radiation therapy.
  2. Chordomas develop in leftover cells from the notochord — a cartilage-like structure that helps form the early spine in the beginning stages of fetal development.
  3. Most of the notochord is replaced by the spine during the first six months of development.

Small areas can remain, however, and it is believed that chordomas can form in these areas. Chordomas can occur anywhere along the spine, but most often occur at the base of the spine (sacrum), the tailbone (coccyx), or the base of the skull. Most chordomas occur in patients between 40 and 70 years of age, with a slight predominance in males.

Occasionally, they occur in younger patients—including children. Chordomas are potentially life-threatening tumors. In some cases, they can spread, or metastasize, to other areas of the body. This can occur in up to 30% of patients. When chordomas spread, they most often spread to the lungs. Chordomas occur spontaneously.

They are not known to be caused by trauma, environmental factors, or diet. Chordomas are not inherited. They are not associated with any medical conditions or with the use of any medications or supplements. Because chordomas are slow-growing, patients often have symptoms for a long time—in some cases, more than a year—before they seek medical attention.

Tumors in the skull can cause headaches, difficulty swallowing, or vision problems. Tumors in the spine can cause pain in the area of the tumor (neck, back, or tailbone). A tumor pressing on nearby nerves can cause symptoms similar to a slipped or herniated disk. These symptoms may include pain, weakness, numbness, clumsiness, or tingling in the arms or legs. Tumors in the tailbone area can cause a noticeable mass; numbness in the groin area; bowel and bladder problems; or numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs.

Your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination and use imaging studies to diagnose a chordoma.

What kind of cancer causes tailbone pain?

Tailbone pain, or coccydynia, can be a dull ache or a sharp pain at the bottom of your spine, It might hurt when you stand up, have sex, or go to the bathroom. It usually goes away on its own in a few weeks or months. Sometimes the cause is unknown, but common causes include injury from falls or childbirth infections or sitting too long on a hard surface.

  • It’s rare, but tailbone pain may be caused by cancer.
  • It may be bone cancer or another type that spreads to into your bone, which is called metastatic cancer,
  • Whatever the cause, if your aches don’t get better, see your doctor.
  • The sooner you figure out what’s causing the problem, the sooner you can treat it and start to feel better.

Tailbone pain can result from bruising, dislocation, or a broken bone caused by a trauma or injury. It may happen if you fall backward or get hurt while playing sports like skating and gymnastics. It can also result from repetitive strain that comes with activities like cycling or rowing.

Pain and swellingNumbness or tinglingWeakness in your legsBowel or bladder problems

If you are having any of these symptoms, especially weakness, numbness, tingling, or bladder or bowel problems, see a doctor right away. If you’re injured, take time for rest and recovery. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help. If you have a lot of pain or it interferes with your regular activities, see your doctor. Treatment may include:

Pain medication Doughnut-shaped pillows for sitting Physical therapy Steroid injections

If you sit on a hard chair or hard surface for too long, you may feel pain in your tailbone. It can also happen when you’re driving or if on a heavily cushioned surface if you’re in awkward position. Standing up or walking may ease the ache. You can also try heat, massage, over-the-counter pain relievers, and sitting on a doughnut-shaped cushion.

Sit upright.Keep your back against the chair.Keep your knees level with your hips.Keep your feet on the floor.Relax your shoulders.

Ligaments and muscles around the coccyx can get stretched and strained during delivery and cause pain, It’s rare, but the bones in your coccyx could break during delivery. You may still feel pain months after giving birth. Talk to your doctor if it doesn’t get better. They may suggest:

Icing the areaNonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ), like ibuprofen and naproxen Physical therapyA U-shaped coccyx cushion

If you have hemorrhoids, the tissue that cushions and protects your anal opening gets inflamed and muscles pull on your coccyx. That can cause tailbone pain. Other signs of hemorrhoids include:

Bleeding from your bottomBurning or painProtrusion or prolapse Itching Swelling

To treat hemorrhoids, your doctor may suggest:

Over-the-counter medicationA high-fiber diet Drinking more water Sitz baths, or soaking the area in warm, shallow water

If it doesn’t get better, your doctor may be able to remove the hemorrhoid in their office. Carrying too much weight puts extra pressure on your coccyx when you sit down. That can lead to tailbone pain. But it can also hurt if you’re thin. When you don’t have enough fat on your buttocks, your tailbone can rub against nearby tissues and cause pain.

A doughnut-shaped pillow when you sit downHeat or iceOver-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin

Tailbone pain may stem from chordoma, a rare, cancerous tumor that develops in your spine, the base of your skull, or your tailbone. As the mass grows, it can cause pain. Symptoms of chordoma include:

A noticeable massNumbness in your groinBowel problemsBladder problemsLeg weakness, numbness, or tingling

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. If you have chordoma, your doctor may recommend treatment with:

Surgery Radiation Proton beam therapy

Tailbone pain is sometimes related to prostate cancer, a common cancer in men. As prostate cancer grows, it can lead to bone pain. Symptoms of prostate cancer include:

Burning sensation or pain when you pee or ejaculatePeeing often, especially at nightChanges in urine flow Erectile dysfunction that comes on suddenly Blood in your urine or semen

If you have these symptoms, talk to your doctor. If you have prostate cancer, your doctor may recommend:

SurgeryRadiationCryotherapy Hormone therapy Chemotherapy Immunotherapy

A vertebral tumor is a tumor in your spine that affects your bones or vertebrae. As it grows, it may cause pain in your tailbone. Symptoms of a vertebral tumor include:

Back pain, especially at nightPain that moves to other parts of your bodyWeakness or loss of sensation in your arms or legsTrouble walkingLess sensitivity to cold, heat, and painLoss of bladder or bowel function Paralysis

See a doctor if your tailbone pain gets worse or doesn’t go away, you have other symptoms, or you have a history of cancer. A tumor or cancer in your colon or rectum can cause tailbone pain. Your colon is your large intestine. Your rectum is the last 6 inches of your colon. Cancer in these areas is called colorectal cancer. Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

Constipation or diarrhea Narrow stoolBlood in your stool Cramps or pain in your pelvis or lower abdomen Weight loss Fatigue

If you have these symptoms, talk to your doctor. Treatment may involve:


Most pilonidal cysts, or abnormal pockets of hair and tissue debris in your skin, develop near your tailbone. When a cyst gets infected, it causes swelling and pain. If you have a pilonidal cyst, you may notice:

Pus or blood draining from the skin openingSkin rednessAn odor or foul smell from the pus

If you have a pilonidal cyst, your doctor may numb the area and make an incision to drain the cyst, If it comes back, you may need surgery to remove it.

How do you detect tailbone cancer?

How is chordoma diagnosed? – Symptoms of chordoma can be very different depending on where in your spine the chordoma starts. When chordoma starts at the base of the skull you may have headaches or double vision. Chordoma near the tailbone can cause pain down your legs and trouble controlling your bladder or bowels.

Imaging: When you have symptoms of chordoma, your doctor will take an image of your spine using an MRI to look at the size of the tumor and where it is. They may also use a CT scan to see if the tumor has spread. Biopsy: To check if the tumor is chordoma, your doctor will do a biopsy, taking a small sample from the tumor with a needle.

An expert, called a pathologist, will study cells from the sample under the microscope to see what kind of tumor it is. When viewed under a microscope, chordoma cells look like notochord cells.

Can tailbone pain be cancerous?

Chordoma treatment – Standard radiation and chemotherapy aren’t typically effective, so surgery is usually the preferred treatment option. Surgery on a tailbone chordoma may be difficult because it’s so close to the spinal cord. When removing the chordoma, the surgeon must also remove some of the normal tissue surrounding it.

loss of pelvic bone stability leg weakness bowel or bladder control issues loss of sensation in the area of the groin

According to the Mayo Clinic, most cancerous vertebral tumors are metastatic, meaning they spread from cancer elsewhere in the body. Although any type of cancer can spread to the spine, the most likely are:

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lung cancer breast cancer kidney cancer prostate cancer

The symptoms of a vertebral tumor on the tailbone are basically the same as for chordoma. Tailbone area pain can also be the result of conditions unrelated to cancer, such as:

benign tumors, such as a tailgut cyst bruise, dislocation, or break from trauma proctitis prolonged sitting on a narrow or hard surface anal fissure loosening of ligaments around the coccyx in the last trimester of pregnancydegenerative joint changesvaginal childbirth

Persistent tailbone pain could be related to some forms of cancer. It may also come from cancer elsewhere in your body, such as your lungs. However, tailbone pain may often have a benign, less concerning origin. Either way, see your doctor if you’re concerned or if you have intense or persistent pain. Many conditions are best treated when caught early.

Will an xray show tailbone cancer?

X-rays – An X-ray is a procedure where radiation is used to produce images of the inside of the body. It’s a particularly effective way of looking at bones. X-rays can often detect damage to the bones caused by cancer, or new bone that’s growing because of cancer.

Should I be worried if my tailbone hurts?

Tailbone pain that doesn’t improve is called chronic coccydynia. For tailbone pain that doesn’t go away, consult your health care provider. A rectal exam may be needed to rule out any other conditions. Sometimes MRI testing is used to find out if you have a fracture, joint changes or, in rare cases, a tumor.

What does Stage 1 bone cancer feel like?

The main symptoms include: persistent bone pain that gets worse over time and continues into the night. swelling and redness (inflammation) over a bone, which can make movement difficult if the affected bone is near a joint. a noticeable lump over a bone.

How does bone cancer usually start?

The information here focuses on primary bone cancers (cancers that start in bones) that most often are seen in adults. Information on Osteosarcoma, Ewing Tumors (Ewing sarcomas), and Bone Metastases is covered separately. There are different types of primary bone cancers (cancers that start in the bones), and while they might have some things in common, these different cancers most likely do not all have the same causes.

  1. Researchers have found some risk factors for bone cancer, but often it’s not clear exactly how these factors might affect how cells in the bones become cancer cells.
  2. Research is underway to learn more about the causes of these cancers.
  3. Scientists have learned how certain changes in the DNA in bone cells can cause them to become cancerous.

DNA is the chemical in our cells that makes up our genes, which control how our cells function. We usually look like our parents because they are the source of our DNA. But DNA affects more than how we look. It influences our risks for developing certain diseases, including some kinds of cancer.

Genes that normally help cells grow, divide, or stay alive can sometimes change to become oncogenes. Genes that help keep cell division under control, repair mistakes in DNA, or make cells die at the right time are called tumor suppressor genes.

Cancers can be caused by gene mutations (defects) that create oncogenes, or that turn off tumor suppressor genes. Some people inherit gene mutations (changes) from a parent that increase their risk of bone cancer. (See Risk Factors for Bone Cancer,) Some of these mutations are now known, and genetic testing can look for them.

But the gene changes leading to bone cancer are usually acquired during life rather than inherited from a parent. These changes sometimes result from factors such as exposure to radiation, but most of these changes are probably just random events that sometimes happen inside a cell, without having an outside cause.

These mutations are present only in the cancer cells, so they cannot be passed on to the person’s children. Scientists are making progress in understanding these genetic changes and how they happen, but there are still many things that are not completely understood at this time.

At what age does bone cancer start?

Types of bone cancer – Some of the main types of bone cancer are:

osteosarcoma – the most common type, which mostly affects children and young adults under 20 Ewing sarcoma – which most commonly affects people aged between 10 and 20 chondrosarcoma – which tends to affect adults aged over 40

Young people can be affected because the rapid growth spurts that occur during puberty may make bone tumours develop. The above types of bone cancer affect different types of cell. The treatment and outlook will depend on the type of bone cancer you have.

How do I know if my tailbone pain is serious?

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if: –

tailbone (coccyx) pain has not improved after a few weeks of trying treatments at homethe pain is affecting your daily activitiesyou have a high temperature, tailbone pain and pain in another area, such as in your tummy or lower back

How often is tailbone pain cancer?

Coccyx CANCER as a Deadly Cause of Tailbone Pain, Coccyx Pain, Coccydynia. LESS THAN 1% HAVE CANCER as the cause.

How do doctors check tailbone pain?

A coccyx injury results in pain and discomfort in the tailbone area (the condition is called coccydynia). These injuries may result in a bruise, dislocation, or fracture (break) of the coccyx. Although they may be slow to heal, the majority of coccyx injuries can be managed with cautious treatment.

A fall onto the tailbone in the seated position, usually against a hard surface, is the most common cause of coccyx injuries.A direct blow to the tailbone, such as those that occur during contact sports, can injure the coccyx.The coccyx can be injured or fractured during childbirth,Repetitive straining or friction against the coccyx (as happens in bicycling or rowing) can injure the coccyx.Sometimes, the cause of coccyx injuries is unknown.Less common causes of coccyx injuries include bone spurs, compression of nerve roots, injuries to other parts of the spine, local infections, and tumors.

Severe localized pain and tenderness may be felt in the tailbone area.If the injury is traumatic, a bruise may be visible in this area.The pain is generally worse when sitting for prolonged periods of time, or with direct pressure to the tailbone area. Bowel movements and straining are often painful.Some women may experience pain during sexual intercourse.

Call 911 and avoid moving the person if they have signs of spinal cord injury along with a tailbone injury caused by a fall. Symptoms of spinal cord injury include:

Severe neck or back painParalysis in part of the bodyLoss of bowel or bladder controlWeakness in the legs or armsNumbness

If you have the signs and symptoms of a coccyx injury or unexplained discomfort in the tailbone area, contact your doctor. It may be necessary for the doctor to decide if the injury is traumatic or if the pain is caused by other, more serious, problems. The cause of a coccyx injury is largely determined based on a medical history and a physical exam,

The entire vertebral column (spine) may be examined. A neurologic exam may be performed. A rectal exam may also be performed. For this exam, the doctor inserts a finger into your rectum to feel the area of the coccyx and determine if there is a dislocation or a fracture that can be felt and if direct pressure against the coccyx reproduces your pain.Rarely, if the cause of discomfort is unknown, a local anesthetic may be injected into the tailbone area to determine whether the origin of the pain is from the coccyx or another part of the vertebral column.X-rays may be taken to determine whether there is a fracture or dislocation. However, X-rays occasionally may not reveal these injuries. Some doctors recommend X-rays in both the standing and seated positions to better determine the presence of a fracture or dislocation.

Tailbone injuries are often extremely painful, so home remedies aim to control pain and avoid further irritation to the area.

Avoid sitting down for long periods of time. When seated, avoid sitting on hard surfaces and alternate sitting on each side of the buttocks. Also, lean forward and direct your weight away from the tailbone.For traumatic injuries, apply ice to the tailbone area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day, for the first few days after the injury.Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDS ) such as aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce pain and improve your ability to move around. Do not take NSAIDS if you have kidney disease, a history of gastrointestinal bleeding, or are also taking a blood thinner – such as Coumadin – without first talking with your doctor. In that case, it is safer to take acetaminophen, which helps lessen pain but does not reduce inflammation,You can purchase a “doughnut” cushion or pillow to sit on. This cushion has a hole in the middle to prevent the tailbone from contacting the flat surface.Eat foods high in fiber to soften stools and avoid constipation,

In addition to home care, a doctor may be able to provide further relief of pain with other medical and, rarely, surgical interventions.

Stronger pain medications may be prescribed at the discretion of your doctor.Stool softeners may be prescribed to prevent constipation,Injections of local anesthetics into the tailbone are sometimes required for continuing pain.Rarely, the coccyx may be surgically removed.

Follow-up is recommended at the discretion of your doctor and depends on the severity of the injury and the progress you are making with medical treatment. Most people do not require follow-up if their coccyx injury is improving with medical treatment.

People with chronic tailbone pain, for whom medical therapy has not worked, require more frequent follow-up and may be referred to other medical or surgical specialists. Most tailbone injuries are accidental (such as slipping on ice) and therefore cannot be entirely avoided. Wear proper protective padding when participating in contact sports that can potentially lead to coccyx injuries.

The prognosis for tailbone discomfort depends on many factors.

The original cause of the problem (whether from a fall or other trauma, tumor, or infection)If traumatic, the severity of the injury (a bruise, fracture, or dislocation)Your ability to comply with medical treatmentYour natural ability to recuperate and heal

The majority of cases of traumatic coccyx injury get better within several weeks of the injury with proper medical treatment. A few people suffer from chronic discomfort despite proper medical treatment. This can be an extremely frustrating and debilitating problem.

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Why has my tailbone been hurting for years?

Tailbone pain, also known as coccydynia or coccygodynia, is the pain in or around the bottom of your spine (coccyx). It can be caused by impact trauma, a sedentary lifestyle (sitting all the time), degeneration of the joints, and even giving birth. In this blog, we will be looking at the following:

What are the causes of tailbone pain? What are the symptoms of tailbone pain? How is chronic tailbone pain diagnosed? How is tailbone pain treated?

Can tailbone pain last for years?

Is Coccydynia Treatable? – Acute coccydynia typically resolves within weeks or months. However, tailbone pain can become chronic (lasting longer than three months), if instability, soft tissue strain and inflammation aren’t treated. Some people live with the pain for months or even years.

Applying ice packs to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation Applying heat packs to soothe tense, tight muscles Modifying activities to take pressure off the tailbone (like sitting on a cushioned chair) Taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation Receiving a nerve block injection Stretching the low back and pelvis muscles Trying alternative therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic care and massages to relieve pain

Does tailbone pain come and go?

Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain) Symptoms Tailbone pain is usually accompanied by other, more specific symptoms that can sometimes indicate how pain is occurring. Coccydynia may be further characterized by one or a combination of the following symptoms:

Localized pain and tenderness. Pain is generally confined to the tailbone, and does not radiate through the pelvis or to the lower extremities. Pain is usually described as an aching soreness and can range from mild to severe. Tightness or general discomfort around the tailbone may be constant, or pain may come and go with movement or pressure. Increased pain with sitting. Coccydynia is generally more intense when weight is placed on the tailbone, as in when a person leans backward in a sitting position. Likewise, sitting on hard surfaces without a cushion (such as a wooden bench or a metal folding chair) or leaning back against a wall puts added pressure on the tailbone, causing pain to worsen.

Symptoms may differ from patient to patient, depending on one’s unique anatomy and the underlying structures causing pain. See Coccyx pain has the potential to become chronic, lasting longer than 3 months, if the bones’ structural instability persists and the surrounding muscles and ligaments continue to be strained, and/or if there is local inflammation.See

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What are the chances of tailbone cancer?

Symptoms of tailbone cancer include pain, noticeable mass, and weakness or numbness in the lower back and legs. Cancer in the tailbone, also known as the coccyx, may be a chordoma or a cancer that has spread from elsewhere in the body. Chordomas are a rare type of cancer that can grow anywhere along the spine.

  1. They account for only 3% of all bone tumors.
  2. Chordomas are slow-growing, but they can be hard to treat.
  3. Cancers of the tailbone are either primary, known as chordoma, or secondary, meaning they have spread from elsewhere in the body.
  4. People with chordoma require ongoing follow-up even after treatment because it often reoccurs.

As the symptoms are not specific to the condition, up to 70% of people with chordoma receive a misdiagnosis. This article will explain the symptoms of tailbone cancer, as well as the types of cancer that can occur in and around the tailbone. It will also detail the causes and treatment.

lower back pain tendernesstinglingweakness in the lower back and legsissues with bladder and bowel function, including loss of controlpalpable mass in the lower back

Since the symptoms usually occur gradually, they can be easy to miss. A person may not receive a chordoma diagnosis until the tumor is at an advanced stage, making it harder to treat. The symptoms of a tumor that has spread from another type of cancer will be similar to those of a chordoma.

Chordoma: A chordoma is a type of tumor that may grow anywhere along the spine. It is most likely to grow around the skull base, known as a clival chordoma, and the tailbone area, which is a sacral tumor. Chordomas are rare, with only 1 in 1,000,000 people receiving a diagnosis each year. Colorectal cancer: Colorectal cancer pain may occur in the tailbone, but it is rare for it to spread to the bones. Only about 3–7% of people with colorectal cancer will have it spread to the bones.

Other types of cancer are more likely to spread to the bones. Breast, prostate, lung, thyroid, and kidney cancers account for 80% of all skeletal metastases. Read more about cancers that occur along the spine, including chordoma, here. The underlying causes of tailbone cancers are unknown, as they tend to occur spontaneously.

Some theories suggest that they can occur due to genetic abnormalities or chromosomal abnormalities, such as an abundance of the T gene on chromosome 6. Often, cancer spreads from another site in the body. In about 70% of breast and prostate cancer cases where cancer has spread, tumors are found in the bones.

Treatment will depend on the exact type of cancer and the tumor size. For cancers of the tailbone, treatment may include:

Surgery: Surgery is the typical first treatment for a sacral chordoma. As they often spread into nearby tissues and grow around nerves, they can be difficult to remove, especially as they continue to grow. If the tumor cannot be completely removed, a surgeon may be able to cut out parts of it. Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy can shrink any remaining tumor. Radiation can also help prevent the tumor from growing again. If surgery is not an option, radiation may be the primary treatment. Immunotherapy: Certain immunotherapy drugs can be used to trigger the immune system to fight cancerous cells. These drugs are only used if surgery or radiation are not an option or not effective.

Chemotherapy does not tend to work well in the treatment of sacral chordoma. Doctors may use it as part of overall treatment if the tumor in the tailbone area has spread from another site. The outlook for someone with a sacral chordoma depends on how much of the tumor is surgically removed.

Sacral chordomas rarely spread to other areas in the body and often grow back in the same place. Even if doctors fully remove the tumor, research shows that it grows back in about half of patients within 15 years, The best outcome is the complete removal of the tumor. According to a 2022 study, after 5 years, about 50% of patients are in remission without any signs of cancer returning.

This survival rate decreases to 20% if doctors cannot remove the entire tumor. If the tumor in the tailbone area is from cancer that started somewhere else in the body, the survival rate depends on the type and stage of the cancer. There are a few cancers that may occur in the tailbone area, including primary tumors such as chordoma or secondary cancers that have spread from another area of the body.

  1. Colon cancer pain may radiate into the tailbone and sacrum, and it is possible for other cancers elsewhere in the body to spread to the tailbone region.
  2. The main symptoms of cancer in the tailbone include pain, weakness in the lower back and legs, and changes in bowel and bladder control.
  3. Treatment for chordoma can include surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy.

Chemotherapy is not usually part of chordoma treatment, but it is used for other cancers if they have spread into the tailbone or sacrum. Chordomas are hard to treat and often grow back in the same place. Full surgical removal of the tumor has the best outcome.

Can blood test detect bone cancer?

Blood tests – Blood tests are not needed to diagnose bone cancer, but they may be helpful once a diagnosis is made. For example, high levels of chemicals in the blood such as alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) can suggest that the cancer may be more advanced.

Should I get an MRI for tailbone pain?

Lumbosacral MRI – Lumbosacral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies usually fail to include the coccyx unless a specific request is made for coccygeal visualization. Thus, patients whose imaging studies have been limited to a standard lumbosacral MRI scan (without plain radiographs first and without additional MRI of the coccyx) have often received no radiologic imaging of the coccyx.

Lumbosacral MRI would be most helpful in cases in which the coccygeal pain is suspected to be referred from anatomic structures located more superiorly within the spine (ie, at the lumbar or sacral regions). Lumbosacral MRI can help to diagnose lumbosacral disc pathology, degenerative joint disease of the lumbosacral facet joints (zygapophyseal joints), and pathology of the sacroiliac joints.

However, the notable caveat is that many degenerative changes of these structures are considered to be a normal, often nonsymptomatic, part of the aging process. Thus, any such abnormalities must be put into the context of the patient’s overall history and physical so that the physician can make an educated determination as to whether the lumbosacral MRI findings represent pain generators or incidental findings.

Is tailbone pain normal?

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We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness. Treatment for tailbone pain can depend on the severity of the injury and may include medication, physical therapy, stretching, and surgery. You probably never gave your tailbone a single thought until it started to hurt.

Tailbone pain is centered at the very bottom of your spine, right above your buttocks, where this multisegmented bone sits. The tailbone is small, but it does have a few important jobs. It helps stabilize you when you sit. Also, many tendons, muscles, and ligaments run through the area. Your doctor might call your tailbone by its medical name: “coccyx.” The word comes from the Greek term for “cuckoo.” The name was given to the tailbone because the coccyx looks a lot like the beak of a bird.

Pain in your coccyx is called coccydynia. Pain from an injured tailbone can range from mild to intense. The pain can get worse when you sit down, stand up from a chair, or when you lean back while sitting. You can also feel soreness when you use the bathroom or have sex.

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Women may feel discomfort during their period. Sometimes, the pain can shoot all the way down your legs. Standing or walking should relieve the pressure on your tailbone and ease discomfort. Your tailbone might have started hurting after sitting on a hard bench or other uncomfortable surface for a long period of time.

Falls and other traumas can bruise, dislocate, or break your tailbone. Joint damage from repetitive motions or general wear and tear from aging can also contribute to tailbone pain. During the last trimester of pregnancy, the ligaments connected to and around the coccyx naturally loosen to make room for the baby.

That’s why women are about five times more likely than men to experience tailbone pain. You’re also more prone to tailbone problems if you’re overweight. However, if you lose the weight quickly, you’ll lose the padding that protects your tailbone and may be more likely to injure it. In rare cases, the cause of coccyx pain may be an infection or tumor.

See your doctor if the pain is severe or lasts more than a few days. Most of the time, tailbone pain isn’t serious. It can sometimes be a sign of an injury. In very rare cases, tailbone pain can be a sign of cancer, You may get an X-ray or MRI scan to look for signs of injury, such as a bone fracture or a tumor pressing on the bone.

  1. X-rays may be taken both sitting and standing to show possible problems with your tailbone in different positions.
  2. The doctor will also feel around the area for any growths that might be putting pressure on your coccyx.
  3. The pain should go away in a few weeks, but it may sometimes be months.
  4. You can try over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve discomfort until your tailbone heals.

These drugs include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). Acetaminophen (Tylenol) also can relieve pain. For more severe pain, your doctor can inject a local anesthetic, nerve block, or steroid medicine into the area. Some people get a combination of anesthetic and steroid injections.

  1. You can also take an antidepressant or antiseizure medication by mouth to ease the pain.
  2. Be sure to discuss your treatment options with your doctor.
  3. To ease discomfort, sit on a heating pad or ice pack, or go for a massage.
  4. The way you sit also matters.
  5. Poor posture can put too much pressure on your coccyx.

Sit with your back against the chair and your feet flat on the floor to take the weight off your tailbone. Lean forward when you go to sit down. You can also sit on a special donut-shaped pillow or wedge-shaped cushion to relieve pressure on the sensitive area.

  • A physical therapist can show you exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your tailbone.
  • These include your stomach muscles and pelvic floor,
  • You can also try a technique called coccygeal manipulation.
  • This is when a doctor inserts a gloved finger in your rectum and moves the tailbone back and forth to shift it back into position.

Most of the time, these treatments will relieve your pain until your tailbone heals. If no treatment has worked, your doctor might recommend surgery as a last resort to remove part or all of the coccyx. This procedure is called a coccygectomy. Surgery doesn’t always work right away.

It can take time before the pain goes away. In some cases, it doesn’t work at all. Surgery can also carry risks, like infection. Whether or not to have surgery is a decision that you need to make very carefully with your doctor. Start with home pain-relief measures like NSAIDs, heat, and massage. If your tailbone still hurts, check in with your doctor, who can help you find a treatment that works for you.

While there’s no instant cure for tailbone pain, some exercises and stretches can help relieve the pressure that causes tailbone pain. Various yoga poses can be wonderful for stretching out the muscles and ligaments connected to the tailbone. Pregnant women with tailbone pain can also benefit from stretching.

What should you not do if your tailbone hurts?

Do not sit on hard, unpadded surfaces. Sit on a doughnut-shaped pillow to take pressure off the tailbone area. Avoid constipation, because straining to have a bowel movement will increase your tailbone pain. Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet each day.

What are the chances of tailbone cancer?

Coccyx CANCER as a Deadly Cause of Tailbone Pain, Coccyx Pain, Coccydynia. LESS THAN 1% HAVE CANCER as the cause.

How do I know if my tailbone pain is serious?

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if: –

tailbone (coccyx) pain has not improved after a few weeks of trying treatments at homethe pain is affecting your daily activitiesyou have a high temperature, tailbone pain and pain in another area, such as in your tummy or lower back

What are the symptoms of sacral cancer?

When you have a rare cancer that only affects one in a million people, it can be difficult to find the answers and information you need. That’s why we sat down with spinal neurosurgeon Laurence Rhines, M.D., and skull base neurosurgeon Shaan Raza, M.D.

, to discuss chordoma, a rare, malignant tumor diagnosed in about 300 people each year in the United States. What is chordoma? Chordoma is a bone cancer that belongs to the sarcoma family. About 50% of chordomas occur in the sacrum, the bone at the base of the spine that forms part of the pelvis. About 30% occur in the skull base, the area behind the eyes and nose that slopes down to form the “floor” of the skull.

The rest are found along the spine. What are common chordoma symptoms? The symptoms vary, depending on the tumor’s location. The spine and skull base contain important nerves. When a tumor presses on these nerves, it can cause pain or neurological issues.

For sacral chordomas, neurological symptoms frequently include bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction. For skull base chordomas, common symptoms include double vision, headaches, neck pain and trouble swallowing. How is chordoma diagnosed? An MRI scan can help rule out other tumor types, but a tissue sample is needed for a definitive chordoma diagnosis.

If your tumor is in the spine, an interventional radiologist will typically perform a CT-guided core biopsy to obtain a tissue sample. Most skull base chordomas grow in a bone called the clivus. This area is difficult to access for biopsy, so a skull base chordoma diagnosis cannot be confirmed until after your neurosurgeon accesses the tumor during surgery, which is also the first step for treatment.

In the spine: The goal is to not only remove the entire tumor, but to remove it in one piece. This is called an en bloc resection. Normally, a spine surgeon’s No.1 priority is to protect your neurological function. With a chordoma, however, patients have the best long-term outcomes if the tumor is removed in one piece, even if that means sacrificing nerves to do so. It’s important to have an experienced neurosurgeon who can realistically explain the potential neurological consequences of the surgery upfront, so you can make an educated decision. When a spinal chordoma is “broken” during the surgery and not removed in one piece, it’s more likely to recur and cause further neurological complications. We work very hard with our patients to help them back to a high a quality of life after surgery. At MD Anderson, radiation therapy is most often used for a spinal chordoma if the tumor recurs or if the tumor is not removed in one piece. In the skull base: Removing a tumor from the skull base may take a combination of open and minimally invasive techniques, which use the nasal passages to reach the tumor. Complete removal of the tumor and any invaded bone is known as gross total resection. If your entire tumor was not successfully removed with the first surgery, consider getting a second opinion on removing the remaining tumor before staring radiation. After surgery, most skull base chordoma patients receive proton therapy, Chordomas require a high radiation dose, and proton therapy provides the most precise, concentrated dose while minimizing disruption to surrounding normal tissue.

Currently, there isn’t a very effective chemotherapy option for newly diagnosed chordomas. If your chordoma recurs, your doctor may suggest trying a chemotherapy that has worked for other types of cancer or that is part of a clinical trial. Additional surgery and radiation therapy may also be used to treat a chordoma recurrence.

How common is a chordoma recurrence? About 50% of skull base chordomas and 30-40% of spinal chordomas recur. After treatment, we follow patients closely with regular MRI and CT scans to catch any recurrence as soon as possible. When a chordoma grows back, it usually does so near the location of the original tumor, within five to seven years of the initial diagnosis.

In some cases, the cancer will spread to other parts of the body. What research is currently underway for chordoma? We currently don’t know which chordoma patients are at high-risk for recurrence. We’ve been gathering fresh frozen tissue from spinal chordomas for three years, alongside detailed clinical histories.

Our goal is to find out if there are molecular clues to how the tumor will behave. Because this is a rare and typically slow-growing disease, we’re collaborating with other cancer centers around the world to share data, so we can hopefully make progress faster. What’s your advice for newly diagnosed chordoma patients and caregivers? If you’re researching treatment options, look for a center with multidisciplinary expertise in treating chordomas.

Know that you have reason to be hopeful. This is a new and exciting time for chordoma research, and the future is bright. To learn more about chordoma, register for the Chordoma Community Conference at MD Anderson on Saturday, Oct.28. Any chordoma patient, friend or family member is welcome to attend to learn about the latest in disease management and research in progress, network with others affected by chordoma and ask the physicians questions outside of the clinic.