The coccyx, also known as the tailbone, is a group of small bones that are fused together and connected to the sacrum, a triangle-shaped bone at the bottom of the spine. The coccyx provides a place for several of the muscles in the pelvic region to attach to, and it is also part of the structure that supports you when you sit down.
Pain in the coccygeal bone and nerve can result from an injury or trauma and can be debilitating, especially when sitting. In many cases, the cause of tailbone pain (coccydinia) is unknown.
If you’re suffering from severe pain at the base of your spine, a coccygeal nerve block could help.
A coccygeal nerve block is one effective coccyx pain treatment for relieving chronic pain that develops in the lower back, the coccyx(tailbone), and the rectum. This procedure is considered to be safe and it is minimally invasive procedure that does not require an overnight stay. However, due to the insertion of the needle, there are certain risks such as bleeding, numbness, nerve damage, or an infection.
The root of chronic back pain is often difficult to diagnose. This is often frustrating for patients as well as clinicians. Most of the available literature describes well-known conditions, such as herniated discs, sciatica, and spinal stenosis; however, conditions such as coccydynia, which causes pain in the coccyx region, are not documented as frequently.
For Coccygeal Nerve Block procedure, you will lie face down, and your skin will be sterilized and prepped for the injection. Intravenous sedation may be used to relax you for the procedure. If a sedative is used, your vitals will be monitored during and after the procedure.
Before the nerve block is injected, a local anesthetic will be used to numb your skin. The doctor will then use a real-time X-ray to guide the block needle into the appropriate space. Once the needle is placed correctly, a mixture of anesthetic and steroid medication will be injected. If you cannot have steroid injections, platelet rich plasma may be used.
If the pain goes away after the nerve block, the doctor may determine that the coccyx is the source of your problem. If this is the case, a neuroablative procedure may be recommended to more long term relief.