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Vertebrae of the Week: Coccyx

As the bottom bone in your spine, the coccyx is more commonly known as the tailbone. It’s a triangular bone arrangement and consists of anywhere from three to five fused or semi-fused bones. One interesting thing about the coccyx is that it represents a vestigial tail. That is, once many hundreds of thousands of years ago, we had a tail, and this bone arrangement represents what’s left of it after evolution!


While we no longer have need of a tail, the coccyx still does have a function. It helps to support you when you’re sitting down, distributing your weight evenly to provide for stability and balance. It’s also the connecting point for many of the muscles in your pelvic area. These muscles support many bodily functions as well as help you move your legs, walk and run.


Coccydynia is a term that refers to persistent tailbone pain. It’s a very common injury and manifests as localized pain which tends to worsen when you sit or perform activities that put pressure on the spine.

Women tend to suffer coccydynia more commonly than men. In fact, some literature shows that women are about five times as likely to suffer this condition. This is because women tend to have a broader pelvic structure, which can reduce the amount of pelvic rotation, as well as leave the tailbone exposed to harm.

In addition, women tend to place more weight on the tailbone when they sit. Finally, childbirth can cause acute damage to this region when the baby moves across the tailbone.

Your Tailbone and Chiropractic

A chiropractor can address the root cause of your tailbone pain, whether it’s a sprain, pinched nerve or some other problem, and can help to address the issue. They will usually begin with a physical exam, followed by dynamic X-rays to look at the position of your tailbone when sitting and when standing. This will help them to determine the proper course of adjustment and treatments that can eliminate the pain and restore your optimal mobility.

For over nine years, ACT Wellness Center has been the premiere chiropractic provider in the Woodbridge area. If you’re experiencing pain at the base of your spine, we can help. Give us a call for an examination today!

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