Tailbone pain relief for sitting and healing coccydynia with Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway.
Learn 4 cost effective ways to relieve tailbone pain with sitting and promote healing with these Physiotherapy treatment techniques.
This video is suited to women and men who suffer from tailbone pain.
Please scroll down below this Physiotherapy video for more information and to view tailbone pain exercises.
Causes of Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) Sitting
Coccyx pain with sitting is commonly caused because the tailbone is involved in weight bearing along with the 2 sitting bones (ischial tuberosities). Loading the coccyx bone with the weight of the upper body during prolonged sitting on hard surfaces1 and with inappropriate posture can contribute to chronic tailbone pain (coccydynia).
Common causes of tailbone pain include:
- Poor sitting posture
- Prolonged sitting on a hard surface
- Direct coccyx injury (e.g. fall onto the tailbone, during childbirth)
- Pelvic floor muscle spasm
Medical advice to avoid or limit sitting duration should be followed.
Pelvic Pain and Pelvic Relaxation Physiotherapy (Audio Download)
Physiotherapy home management program with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway. Designed for women with pelvic pain and pelvic muscle spasm conditions including:
- Painful intercourse
- Postpartum pain
- Pelvic nerve pain
- Vulvar pain (vulvodynia)
- Interstitial cystitis
- Pain after pelvic floor surgery (hysterectomy, prolapse or incontinence surgery)
- Sexual abuse and emotional distress
Tailbone Pain Treatment for Sitting
1. Wedge or Coccyx Cushion
Sitting a wedge shaped coccyx cushion reduces weightbearing by the coccyx bone1 (shown below). This cushion support reduces coccyx pain, tissue strain and provides the opportunity for the coccyx to heal.
Choose a firm coccyx cushion with a large space at the back of the cushion to unload the coccyx. A wedge angled cushion tilts the pelvis forwards, further reducing the load on the coccyx when sitting down.
Use the wedge coccyx cushion on a firm chair rather than a soft cushioned lounge chair.
2. Towel Roll Support
A cost effective alternative to purchasing a wedge coccyx cushion is to use 2 towels (same size) rolled up and placed lengthways under each thigh when sitting to raise the buttocks and coccyx off the chair (shown below).
Alternatively 2 wedge shaped pieces of foam can be used as a substitute for a wedge cushion. Using this type of support raises the tailbone off the chair, unloading the coccyx to reduce pain and promote healing.
3. Lean Forward
Avoid slumping when sitting as this increases tailbone pain when sitting.
Lean forward when sitting to reduce the load through the tailbone. Leaning forward tilts the pelvis forward, shifting the weight from the tailbone to the 2 sitting bones in the buttocks.
A rolled up towel or lumbar roll can be positioned in the curve of the lower back between the spine and the backrest of the chair. Using a lumbar roll supports the spine while sitting and prevents slumped posture (shown below). Slumped posture increases the load on the tailbone when sitting down.
4. Lengthen the Spine
Sit with the spine lengthened to reduce loading of the coccyx. Lift through the crown of the head towards the ceiling to maintain a tall long spine whilst sitting.
Physiotherapy Tips for Coccydynia Treatment
Tailbone Pain Exercises
Tailbone pain exercises can help some individuals relieve coccyx pain. These exercises stretch muscles that may be associated with tailbone pain2.
Avoid Kegel Exercises
Avoid Kegel exercises (pelvic floor exercises) with tailbone pain unless medically advised to perform. The pelvic floor muscles attach directly to the tailbone.
Kegel exercises involve contracting the pelvic floor muscles. This action pulls forward on the coccyx bone and can aggravate tailbone pain.
Cold Pack Application
A cold pack can be applied for pain relief to the lower back and sacrum. Apply the cold pack lying prone on your stomach for 20 minutes at a time to help relieve tailbone pain.
Anti inflammatory Gel
Non steroidal anti inflammatory gel or cream can be applied to the skin over the tailbone to relieve pain and decrease inflammation. Always check with your pharmacist or doctor regarding suitability for using anti inflammatory gel before applying to the skin only.
1. Lirette LS, Chaiban G, Tolba R, Eissa H. Coccydynia: an overview of the anatomy, etiology, and treatment of coccyx pain. Ochsner Journal. 2014 Mar 20;14(1):84-7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3963058/?report=reader
2. Mohanty PP, Pattnaik M. Effect of stretching of piriformis and iliopsoas in coccydynia. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 2017 Jul 1;21(3):743-6. https://daneshyari.com/article/preview/5564045.pdf