Physical Rehabilitation Medicine/Tailbone pain

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Question
Hello Doctor,

I'm a 30yo female with no health issues apart from Grave's disease which sometimes gives me hyperthyroid episodes and also a history of fertility issues (lost 4 pregnancies so far).

Last year I was pregnant and due to heavy bleeding and cramping I was forced to complete bedrest for approximately 2 months. I laid a lot flat on my back. I would only get up to use the toilet, eat and have ultrasounds. During this time after around a month of bedrest (at the end of October) I started noticing a pain/discomfort in my coccyx, at the very tip of the tailbone. This pain was worse when sitting or moving in certain positions that would affect the pressure in my tailbone area (getting up, changing sides etc).

In December I lost the pregnancy and stopped being on bedrest but despite resuming my normal activities I still have the tailbone pain. I do have a sedentary lifestyle, I work at a computer so I do sit a lot but try to lean forward. It's bothering me but not too much, some days it's worse some days it's better but it's not going away and it's been around 2 1/2 months.

It clearly hurts when I press with my finger around the tailbone area, sometimes directly over it, other times when I press more deeply from the area closer to the anus towards the underside of the coccyx. I can't tell if the bone hurts or the surrounding tissue... it feels like tissue pain sometimes but it's quite intense. I don't feel any unusual lumps or bumps, it just hurts like a deep wound/bruise right on/above the tailbone but there's no visible bruise.

Is this something very worrisome or is it likely a side-effect of the prolonged bedrest? Perhaps I laid in such a way that caused pressure in the coccyx area? I'd prefer not to have any X-rays since I'm trying to conceive. Does this sound serious?

Answer
Hey Christina,
It sounds like a side-effect of your positioning during bed rest. I would limit how much sitting you do on hard surfaces and look into purchasing one of those soft donut cushions so when you do sit, you limit the amount of pressure in that area.  If after a few weeks you still have this pain, I would go see your PCP or gyno. Good luck!

Physical Rehabilitation Medicine

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Mark Balch, PT, MPT, CSCS

Expertise

All questions relating to acute or chronic injuries or pain. Specialties include spinal conditions including cervical, thoracic, and lumbar strains, SI dysfunctions, and disc issues; orthopedics including post surgical; and sports medicine. No systemic disease or pediatric questions.

Experience

Masters in Physical Therapy, Strength & Conditioning Specialist certified, 6 years of outpatient orthopedic experience

Education/Credentials
BS in Exercise Physiology, Masters in Physical Therapy, CSCS

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