The structure and functions of the coccyx

The very structure of the coccyx starts from the first vertebra, where the branching coccygeal horns (articular processes that was entailed modifications). They combine with present sacral and sacrococcygeal joint. This connection is possible thanks to the intervertebral disc, thanks to which, the coccyx may deviate.

If we talk about the anatomy of the coccyx and where is this body, it represents the distal part of the spine and is a homologue of the caudal skeleton of animals.The coccyx is in the lower part of the spine. Its shape resembles a bird’s beak, and the Greek, even means “cuckoo”. Healthy the coccyx is in a curved position, and its length twice the width. The base is above the apex, which consists of the remnants of the bodies of the tail of the spine.

The coccyx for anatomist is a pyramid, which includes three to five fused rudimentary vertebrae. In most cases, composed of four vertebrae, more rarely three, five found only in 10% percent of all cases. Only the first coccygeal vertebra are the rudiments of the transverse processes of the other vertebrae on the sides of the body nothing.

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The fused vertebrae of the lower part and the upper division is about 12, while the distal vertebrae are fused by the age of 40.

The main functions of the coccyx

Why would a man need a tailbone? Despite the fact that the coccyx is deprived of participation in the serious functions of human life, he is involved in the musculoskeletal system.

More detail to understand what it can of its functions:

  1. Contributes to the normal movement of the hip joints.
  2. With the help of the attachment of the muscles, due to which the urinary organs and the intestine is fixed in the normal state.
  3. Serves as a support for vertebrae when doing physical exercise.
  4. Thanks to the coccyx the spine is not suffering from overload, the load is distributed evenly on the entire length.
  5. Facilitates the process of childbirth, due to the influence of the divergence and mobility of the pelvic floor.

Why would a man need a tailbone? It is worth noting that despite its relatively small size, thanks to it the total power load is distributed evenly on the whole body. In addition, it has direct relevance to the extension and flexion of the hips, as on it are fastened the muscles.

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The tailbone has really lost the need for the development in the process of evolution. Today he performs several essential functions as a vestigial organ.

Pain in the coccyx and treatment

Pain in the coccyx affects a large triangular bone, called the sacrum. Pain in the sacrum may be on the right side, left side or may be sick the coccyx.

The coccyx and sacrum is carefully protected, as damage and injury to the lower vertebrae can cause diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Diseases not only bring discomfort, but also hinder movement.
In the case of diagnosis and establishment of disease associated with coccyx it is necessary to address to the traumatologist.

The diagnostic process may consist of the following:

  • An x-ray. Allows to see the fracture and its location and possible damage and injuries.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Thanks to this procedure, you can explore nerves and blood vessels, as well as the pathological education.
  • Ultrasound. Is one of the common methods of diagnosis.

If patients concerned about pain, you should definitely be diagnosed as in some cases observed pathological education.

Special attention should be given to the results of the state of nerves on the MRI, as the plexus of nerves in the coccyx is of great importance. From this plexus depart nerve branches to the anus, the muscles of the pelvic day, and to the organs of the pelvis. The pain may occur due to displacement of intervertebral disc or pinched nerve endings, which is why the root cause should immediately locate and eliminate.

Treatment consists of removing the cause of pain through surgical methods and conservative methods or painkillers. To establish the root cause of pain and exact location of the place should consult with a qualified trauma surgeon or an orthopedic surgeon, self-treatment should be avoided.

After establishing the cause can appoint:

  • massages;
  • physiotherapy;
  • manual therapy;
  • acupuncture;
  • medication;
  • limitation of physical activity.

As a rule, pain in the coccyx is the cause of not an independent disease, as a result of bruises or injuries. Often it is associated with disorders of the urinary organs and intestines.

Since the coccyx is part of the constant movements of the musculoskeletal system for a speedy recovery will require rest in bed. If this is not possible, alternative is special Seating cushion that make the process convenient and comfortable.


Coccygodynia is a common disease, it is called anecortave disease. Most often this problem occurs with the coccyx in women older than 40 years.

Among the signs of the disease there are:

  • pain between the buttocks;
  • pain in the coccyx, when touching;
  • severe pain at a fixed position while sitting for a long time;
  • difficulty during bowel movements;
  • discomfort during sexual intercourse;
  • the feeling of ease when tilting the body forward.

There is also such a coccygodynia, the pain in the coccyx is a consequence of internal diseases, calls it a secondary. In this case, the pain experienced not only in the coccyx, but in the anus and rectum, and the pain is aching.

Atavism and the rudiments of a man

The coccyx is the human organ that has been modified in the process of evolution. People, standing on your straight leg, received an atavism in the form of a coccyx. Rudiments and atavisms are evidence of the theory of evolution. They are conventionally divided into hidden and those that are visible to the naked eye. The coccyx refers to the hidden fossils. This is due to the fact that before the ancestor of the human Primate, was a tail. According to Darwin’s theory an elongated coccyx is one of those signs that connects people with monkey. Because the process of evolution was that his role is useless, it has gradually started to disappear. However, in the structure of the spine still has the remains of the caudal vertebrae, which is now called the coccyx.

In medical practice there are rare cases when children are born with pronounced caudal continuations that is easy to fix with surgery. This fact once again proves the link between humans and primates.

The connection between atavism and a vestige of the close. However, atavism is that is not normal for modern human development, while the vestige is the norm for the body. Atavism is that it is a very distant ancestors and is a pathology in the modern world.

The coccyx is also a vestige. Despite the fact that its function in the human body, though important, but not yet fully understood. His presence in the spine is normal, as it has absolutely all people.

Coccyx and childbirth

Coccyx and childbirth have a number of important points. The birth of a child is possible through the extension of the pelvis and tailbone in the process plays a significant role. In the process of birth, it is slightly deflected, thereby increasing the birth canal. Besides, the mobility of the sacrococcygeal connection in women are higher than men’s, due to this childbirth is easier. Although it increases the birth canal, the process of deformation of the pelvis before the birth of a child may bring pain in its region. It may be associated with the birth process and the erroneous placement of the fruit or its large size.

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