10 Reasons Why Tailbone Hurts When You Sit
As you sit there reading this article, you may be in an uncomfortable chair. You need not worry because we have some excellent tips to manage your tailbone pain and make your work experience more enjoyable! You can follow these steps to ensure your chairs are always as comfortable as possible. What else is there to do but be comfortable at work?
In my practice, tailbone pain may occur due to various factors. In most cases, tailbone pain is typically caused by an existing hairline break in the coccyx.
As a general rule, sitting can damage your tailbone (coccyx). When this occurs, your tailbone tissue can become damaged, leading to coccydynia. Long periods of sitting, such as when working or driving, can exert pressure on your coccyx, resulting in discomfort and unease.
In this post, I will explain how to deal with tailbone pain (coccydynia) and what to watch out for in the future. I have been treating coccyx injuries for 30 years, so I can offer you the benefit of my experience treating tailbone injuries caused by sitting at work all day or any other cause.
I even created a seat cushion for which I ran a successful Kickstarter to help with coccyx pain! So, I can help you reduce your tailbone pain after sitting for a long time, at work or at home, thanks to my hands-on experience.
10 Reasons How Tailbone Pain Can Get Worse
- When a person goes to the bathroom.
- Going from sitting to movement can lead to pain.
- Coccydynia can occur spontaneously.
- During delivery, the baby’s head comes in contact with the coccyx.
- Injury from a fall or through contact sports.
- Repetitive stress against the tailbone from prolonged sitting or cycling.
- Nerve root compression
What Causes Tailbone Pain Without Injury?
An injury usually causes Coccydynia to the tailbone, which causes inflammation. There may be no actual injury, and this condition may appear unconnected, without any real cause. If I dig deeper into the patient’s history, I usually find there was a coccyx injury caused by a fall or childbirth issue.
Is It Bad if Your Coccyx Hurts When Sitting?
Most people with coccydynia will experience tailbone pain when they sit or if something presses on their lower spine. When you sit the wrong way, the bones can get injured, or the surrounding tissues and muscles can also get damaged. If you have tailbone pain, make sure that your chair has the following to minimize exacerbation:
- Height adjustability
- Seat pan width function
- Forward tilt on the seat (at least 110 degrees tilting forward)
- Cut out for coccyx
- An excellent gas shock
How Do You Tell If You Have a Tumor on Your Tailbone?
A chordoma is the most common malignancy in the spine. It presents with the following symptoms:
- Tailbone pain or low back pain
- Leg weakness or numbness.
- A lack of bladder and bowel control.
- Long-lasting constipation.
- A mass is often found in the lower back or tailbone and is tender to touch.
If you are experiencing these signs and symptoms, you should get a proper examination by your doctor.
How to Relieve Painful Tailbone Pain
It is common for tailbone pains to subside on their own. You should do the following if you experience tailbone pain:
- Using coccyx cushions
- Heat and ice therapy to decrease inflammation
- Try to incorporate less sitting in your workstation
- Chiropractic or osteopathic treatment for coccygeal manipulation
After committing to these measures, you may consult a doctor if you still experience tailbone pain. A doctor may suggest the following:
- Steroid or nerve block injections
- Sporadic cases of surgery
How Long Will It Take for My Tailbone to Heal?
The time it takes to recover from a tailbone injury depends on its severity. The recovery takes between 8 and 12 weeks if the damage is a fracture. If a bruised tailbone occurs, the recovery takes about four weeks.
How Do I Know If I Have a Broken Tailbone?
The symptoms of a broken tailbone include:
- A very dull backache just above the buttocks.
- An increased pain level when sitting and standing up from a seated position.
- Tailbone swelling.
- When you have a bowel movement, it is more painful.
- An increase in pain during sexual activity.
What Is the Proper Way to Sit on a Doughnut Cushion?
In a comfortable sitting position, your hips should be in the center of the hole, with your buttocks slightly outward to allow for increased spinal clearance.
Can Tailbone Pain Last For Years?
A coccyx injury may appear as a dull ache, sharp stabbing pain, or a bruised, broken, or dislocated region for days, weeks, or months.
How Do You Relieve Tailbone Pain From Bed?
- If looking to change your mattress, make sure it has a medium-firm density.
- If you sleep on your back, you may need to place a pillow under your knees to reduce muscle tension in and around your coccyx.
- For side sleepers, sleep with the involved side (side with pain) up. Use a pillow between your knees to relax pelvic muscles.
How Can I Manage My Hip or Tailbone Pain?
- To decrease pain, you can support your coccyx with a doughnut-shaped cushion while sitting.
- Apply ice to reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness. You can apply an ice pack or crush ice in a plastic bag.
- Exercises for Tailbone Pain. The tailbone may be relieved of tension by performing specific stretches. This article describes the stretches for the tailbone that people can use to relieve pain.
Single-Leg Knee Hug for Muscles Around Tailbone
By doing this exercise, you stretch the pelvic muscles, which can tighten up and make it challenging to move around. The piriformis muscle, which originates from the tailbone, can affect the sciatic nerve if it becomes inflamed. The range of movement will expand by gradually increasing the stretching over time. Here’s how to do this stretch:
- Legs straightened out lie on the back.
- Then bend the knee toward the chest.
- Hold the knee bent and gently pull it closer to the chest.
- Keep it for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Piriformis and Gluteal Muscle Stretch to Relieve Coccydynia
These exercises stretch the piriformis as well as your gluteal muscles. You can also pull on your tailbone while walking or running. Here’s how you do this stretch:
- Lie down on your back.
- Maintain flat feet with the knees raised toward the ceiling.
- The right leg should be bent closer to the body and rested across the left knee.
- For 30 seconds, wrap the hands around the thigh on the right side and pull it toward the chest. Repeat on the other side.
Why Your Tailbone Pain From Sitting While Pregnant
Pregnant women commonly experience pain in the tailbone. Relaxin and hormones generally appear to be to blame. They cause relaxation and stretch of the pelvic floor, which also influences the movement of your coccyx. It’s not uncommon for pain during pregnancy to feel like lower back and hip pain.
Hormones and constipation can be to blame. Pregnancy-friendly natural remedies will help relieve discomfort or pain without putting your or your baby’s health at risk. You can ease the pain by practicing some stretches, but if your pain lasts more than a few days with no improvement or worsens, see a doctor. Here are some of my favorites:
- Get your sitting right. The doughnut-shaped pillow helps relieve your aching back and spine and distribute your weight evenly, allowing you to sit for longer.
- Good Sleep. In addition to the back pressure, sleeping on your left side relieves pressure on the placenta and ensures proper blood circulation. Adding a pillow between your legs may help relieve tailbone pain if this position isn’t doing much for it.
- Some of my patients found significant relief by using a full-body pillow (or sometimes called a pregnancy pillow). A full-body pillow can help maintain good sleeping alignment while relaxing the pelvic floor muscles.
- Keep moving. Exercise keeps you limber, soothes achy joints, keeps your muscles strong, and helps prevent weight gain.
Following my advice today, I’ve helped countless people avoid hip pain issues by setting up an ergonomic home office. By implementing these simple changes to your sitting environment, you should experience long-lasting benefits.
Therefore, it is vital to ensure your home office is ergonomically sound. What you must remember is that unconsciously complacent movements will eventually lead you to break down. If you stay active and aware throughout the day, you should avoid pain and develop lasting good posture habits.
Tailbone Hurt Sources:
- Foye, P.M., 2017. Coccydynia: tailbone pain. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics, 28(3), pp.539-549.
- Khandekar, S., Tailbone pain.
- Keller, L., A Real Pain in the Butt: Understanding Tailbone Pain During Pregnancy and Postpartum.
- Wilking, A.N., 2019. What is causing this patient’s tailbone pain?. Journal of the American Academy of PAs, 32(4), pp.54-56.