How do I know if my tailbone pain is serious?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

Tailbone pain can be quite bothersome, but in most cases, it is not a cause for alarm. However, there are certain signs and symptoms that may indicate a more serious underlying condition. It is important to be aware of these signs and seek medical attention if you experience them.

1. Persistent or chronic pain: If your tailbone pain persists for a prolonged period and does not seem to improve with self-care measures, it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider. Chronic tailbone pain may be an indication of an underlying medical condition that requires further evaluation and treatment.

2. Radiating pain: If you experience pain that radiates from your tailbone to other areas of your body, such as your hips or lower back, it could be a sign of a more widespread issue. This can include conditions like sciatica, where the pain originates in the lower back and radiates down the leg, or sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which causes pain in the buttocks and lower back.

3. Numbness or tingling: If you notice any numbness or tingling sensation in addition to your tailbone pain, it could be a sign of nerve involvement. Nerve compression or irritation can cause these symptoms and may require medical intervention to alleviate the underlying cause.

4. Bowel or bladder dysfunction: If you experience difficulty controlling your bowel or bladder movements along with tailbone pain, it may indicate a more serious condition. This can be a sign of cauda equina syndrome, a rare but serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.

5. Trauma or injury: If your tailbone pain is a result of a fall, accident, or any significant trauma, it is important to get evaluated by a healthcare professional. In some cases, tailbone fractures or dislocations can occur, which may require medical intervention for proper healing.

It is important to note that these signs and symptoms are not definitive indicators of a serious condition, but they warrant further evaluation by a healthcare provider. They can help determine the underlying cause of your tailbone pain and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Remember, everyone’s experience with tailbone pain may vary, and it is always best to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and guidance tailored to your specific situation.