What causes inflammation to the coccyx?

The coccyx is located at the bottom of the spine, and it helps to support the pelvis. It is mainly associated with the support that the body gets when we sit. It is possible to injure the coccyx or even the tissues surrounding it due to various causes. Such an injury or fracture leads to the inflammation of the coccyx causing pain.

Simple events like sitting, if done for a prolonged period of time or if you sit on a hard non-cushioned surface for long, can bruise, dislocate or even break your tailbone. Other causes may include a sudden fall or trauma to the area. The ligaments connected to the coccyx loosen during childbirth, making women five times more susceptible to Coccydynia than men. Being overweight or obese can incur more pressure on the coccyx when you sit down. Being underweight can also contribute to coccydynia as you may not have enough buttocks fat to prevent the coccyx from rubbing against the tissue surrounding it.

As you grow older, the discs of the cartilage holding the coccyx in place will wear down causing it to experience pressure from the bones being pressed together. Another rare cause is cancer or a tumor growth on the coccyx that can press its weight against the coccyx. All these causes bringing pressure on the coccyx will result in the inflammation, thereby leading to Coccydynia. The pelvic bone muscles, which assist in defecation, running, walking and leg movements, are inserted into the coccyx, and hence any injury to the coccyx can affect these muscles as well.