Actuator Causing Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain)

Just this week, our medical article was published on the topic of a chiropractic actuator (also called an actuator gun or activator gun) being used to apply force to the coccyx (tailbone), resulting in new-onset tailbone pain.

Actuator Causing Tailbone Pain Coccyx Pain


  • Coccyx pain (also called coccydynia, or tailbone pain) has a broad range of etiologies, including traumatic and non-traumatic causes.
  • Iatrogenic etiologies of coccydynia are rarely reported.
  • This is the first report of iatrogenic coccydynia due to the use of a chiropractic actuator.
  • An actuator (also known as an activator adjusting instrument, actuator gun or activator gun) is a spring-loaded hand-held device that delivers a sudden mechanical force to the anatomic site where it is applied.
  • We report a patient whose neck and shoulder pain were assumed to be due to cranio-dural stress syndrome.
  • An actuator was used to deliver forces to the coccyx region in hopes that relieving dural tension at the coccyx might improve her neck pain, which it did not.
  • Upon receiving the actuator treatments to her coccyx, she had immediate onset of coccyx pain, which lasted for many months.
  • The patient had no prior history of coccyx symptoms or trauma.
  • She eventually presented for treatment at our Coccyx Pain Center, on an academic medical school campus.
  • Actuator use at the coccyx should be added to the list of causes of tailbone pain.
  • Patients and clinicians should be aware of this risk.


The full article is available for free online here:


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Book: “Tailbone Pain Relief Now! Causes and Treatments for Your Sore or Injured Coccyx” by Patrick Foye, M.D.


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