Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain) Ayurvedic Treatment

Coccyx or tailbone is the bony projection at the end part of spine. Pain in or around coccyx is called coccydynia. Usually it is caused by fall, direct trauma, degenerative changes, sitting for a long time on hard surface etc. The pain may be dull but it can be sharp at times (by prolonged sitting/ standing, rising from sitting position etc). Normal delivery causes coccydynia in some women. Gradually, coccydynia imparts serious problems such as pain during defecation, sexual intercourse or menstruation. Mild cases often relieve by themselves, but serious one need specific medical care. 

Signs and symptoms

 Common symptoms are pain on or around tailbone which often increase on sitting, difficulty to sit or stand, pain on coccyx/ tailbone during defecation and sexual intercourse. 

Ayurvedic analysis

Vata is the causative factor of pain in body. The area below umbilicus is the territory of vata. It is mainly located in asthi (bones). Aggravation of vata cause pain anywhere in body, and if it is increased in asthi it results in bone pain. The end-part of prishta vamsha (spine) is called trika (comprised of sacrum and coccyx) in Ayurveda. Trika graha is the condition characterised by pain, stiffness, and movement difficulty of trika

Causative factors (Ayurveda)

 The cause of trikagraha is aggravation of vata due to injury, accidents, prolonged sitting, childbirth etc. 

Possible complications

 Acute cases if unnoticed or untreated may cause chronic pain. Later it causes disability to walk, stand, sit or even pass the stools. 

Other systemic diseases and precautions to be taken

 Sometimes, coccydynia can be a referred pain from urinary tract, genitals, lower intestine. Rule out tumour and infections of coccyx before planning treatment. Other condition that may misinterpreted as coccydynia are sacroiliitis, sciatica, pilonidal cyst, pelvic floor muscle pain etc. 

Management

 Internal medication along with local management is enough to reduce uncomplicated trikagraha. Treatments such as snehana (oil massage), swedana (eg: local kizhi), virechana (purgation therapy), vasthi (enema with suitable drugs), lepana (external application of medicines), bandage etc are provided in common. There may be personal differences in treatment depending on the severity of condition. Supportive treatments like physiotherapy, yoga, psychotherapy etc are also recommended. 

Diet

 The diet must contain green vegetables, cereals, fruits, nuts, small fishes, egg etc. Avoid food items that increase vata, such as peas, curd, cold items etc. 

Exercise

Mild to moderate exercise can be performed as per the guidance of physician.

Preventive aspects

 Avoid prolonged sitting, jerky movements while travelling, sitting on hard surfaces, chances of falls etc. Exercise regularly and maintain healthy body posture while sitting. 

Importance of diet

 During and after treatment, stick on to a diet that does not aggravate vata. Otherwise, it will worsen the condition even with proper treatment. 

Lifestyle 

  • Use cushions while sitting. 
  • Lay on soft and comfortable bed for sleeping.
  • Avoid prolonged sitting/ long journey. 
  • Practice moderate exercises as per the guidelines of physician. 
  • Follow a healthy diet that pacifies vata. 
  • Bath in warm water after performing body massage with suitable oil. 
  • Bandage with cloth soaked in medicinal oils. 
  • Hip bath in warm water can reduce the pain.

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