What’s involved in the diagnosis of tailbone pain?

When you consult a doctor for treatment of tailbone pain, there are a few primary checks the doctor makes to identify the possible ‘cause’ of the injury. A direct fall or a sudden physical trauma could be the prime suspects if there were any such incidents. The physical examiner will try to find any possible swelling, bruising or rash near the area or even look for any signs of infections like redness, warmth or a discharge.

In some cases, the doctor may also conduct a rectal exam and try to evaluate the sacrococcygeal joint for any tenderness in the ligaments, as well as the range of the joint motion. Some patients describe the pain as a gradual onset, and this is when the doctor will have to look for other diagnostic methods to identify the cause and treat it accordingly. While X-rays don’t reveal a coccyx injury always, they will help the doctor in assessing the extent of the injury and look for any possible alignment problems, dislocations or fractures. For this assessment, the X-ray will be obtained while you’re in standing and sitting. If the doctor suspects a possibility of infection, an MRI scan is done to diagnose infection or even the presence of tumor growth.