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J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Aug;44(8):615-21. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2014.4850. Epub 2014 Jun 23.

Clinical decision making for the evaluation and management of coccydynia: 2 case reports.

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Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, Boston University, Boston, MA.



Case report.


Coccydynia is a painful condition of the sacrococcygeal region, with symptoms associated with sitting and rising from a seated position. There is no gold standard for diagnosis of this condition; however, coccyx mobility assessment, pain provocation testing, and imaging have been proposed as reasonable diagnostic approaches. Once correctly diagnosed, treatment options for coccydynia include conservative management and surgical excision. The purpose of this report is to describe the different but successful clinical management strategies of 2 patients with coccydynia.


Two women, 26 and 31 years of age, presented to physical therapy with persistent coccygeal pain that increased with prolonged sitting and intensified when transitioning from sit to stand. One patient had a traumatic onset of symptoms, in contrast to the other patient, for whom prolonged sitting was the precipitating factor. Both individuals were considered to have hypomobility of the sacrococcygeal joint, as assessed through intrarectal mobility testing, which also reproduced their symptoms. In both patients, examination of the lumbar spine was negative for alleviation or reproduction of symptoms. The patient with a traumatic onset of symptoms was referred to physical therapy at the onset of her symptoms, whereas the patient with a nontraumatic onset of symptoms was initially treated with a cortisone injection and, when symptoms returned 1 year later, was referred to physical therapy. Both individuals underwent manual therapy to the sacrococcygeal joint over 3 treatment sessions.


The patient with traumatic onset of symptoms had almost complete resolution of symptoms, whereas the patient with a nontraumatic onset only had temporary relief. This patient required further diagnostic examination and surgical excision.


Although the mechanisms of injury were different, both patients presented with similar clinical symptoms, and both were considered to have coccydynia through coccyx mobility assessment and pain provocation testing. Successful clinical outcomes were achieved in both cases; however, the interventions were significantly different. Level of Evidence Therapy, level 4.


coccyx; manual therapy; musculoskeletal imaging; physical therapy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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