Coccyx Pain Exercises
Gluteal cross leg stretch – Both the glutes are attached to the coccyx and can be a major source of pain after long periods of running or exercise and can pull on the tailbone – causing discomfort. This stretch aims to loosen the glutes and relieve any inflammation in the lower spinal region.
Lying flat on the back, bring your left ankle over the right leg. Keeping your left knee out to the side, gently pull your right leg up to your chest. For an extension – hold the front of your thigh or shin and apply gentle pressure forwards your chest. Lower your legs and repeat the stretch on the other side.
How do you get rid of coccyx pain?
Causes of tailbone (coccyx) pain – Common causes of tailbone (coccyx) pain include:
pregnancy and childbirthan injury or accident, such as a fall onto your coccyxrepeated or prolonged strain on the coccyx – for example, after sitting for a long time while driving or cyclingpoor posturebeing overweight or underweight joint hypermobility (increased flexibility) of the joint that attaches the coccyx to the bottom of the spine
Sometimes the cause of tailbone pain is unknown. Page last reviewed: 15 March 2022 Next review due: 15 March 2025
How long does it take for a painful coccyx to heal?
You were treated for an injured tailbone, The tailbone is also called the coccyx. It is the small bone at the lower tip of the spine. At home, be sure to follow your health care provider’s instructions on how to take care of your tailbone so that it heals well.
Pain or tenderness in the lower backPain on top of the buttocks areaPain or numbness with sittingBruising and swelling around the base of the spine
A tailbone injury can be very painful and slow to heal. Healing time for an injured tailbone depends on the severity of the injury.
If you have a fracture, healing can take 8 to 12 weeks.If your tailbone injury is a bruise, healing takes about 4 weeks.
In rare cases, symptoms do not improve. Injection of a steroid medicine may be tried. Surgery to remove part of the tailbone may be discussed at some point, but not until 6 months or more after the injury. Follow your provider’s instructions on how to relieve your symptoms. These steps may be recommended for the first few days or weeks after your injury:
Rest and stop any physical activity that causes pain. The more you rest, the quicker the injury can heal.Ice your tailbone for about 20 minutes every hour while awake for the first 48 hours, then 2 to 3 times a day. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.Use a cushion or gel donut when sitting. The hole in the center will take pressure off your tailbone. You can buy the cushion at a drugstore.Avoid sitting a lot. When sleeping, lie on your belly to take pressure off the tailbone.
For pain, you can use ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and others) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, and others). You can buy these medicines without a prescription.
Talk with your provider before using these drugs if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, or have had stomach ulcers or internal bleeding in the past.Do not take more than the amount recommended on the bottle or more than your provider advises you to take.
It may be painful to urinate or have a bowel movement. Eat plenty of fiber and drink plenty of fluids to avoid constipation. Use stool softener medicine if needed. You can buy stool softeners at the drugstore. As your pain goes away, you can begin light physical activity. Slowly increase your activities, such as walking and sitting. You should:
Continue to avoid sitting for long periods.Not sit on a hard surface.Keep using the cushion or gel donut when sitting.When sitting, alternate between each of your buttocks.Ice after activity if there is any discomfort.
Your provider may not need to follow-up if the injury is healing as expected. If the injury is more severe, you will likely need to see the provider. Contact the provider if you have any of the following:
Sudden numbness, tingling or weakness in one or both legsSudden increase in pain or swellingInjury does not seem to be healing as expectedProlonged constipationProblems controlling your bowel or bladder
Coccyx injury; Coccyx fracture; Coccydynia – aftercare Bond MC, Abraham MK. Pelvic injuries. In: Walls RM, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice,10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 46. Cusack S. Pelvic injuries. In: Cameron P, Little M, Mitra B, Deasy C, eds.
Textbook of Adult Emergency Medicine,5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 4.6. Updated by: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M.
Does walking reduce coccyx pain?
Yes. Standing up and walking around decreases pressure on your coccyx, reducing pain.
Will my coccyx ever heal?
Pain management – Pain management includes massage, heat and ice, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Keeping up with your exercises is also very important. The flexibility of children’s bones decreases the likelihood of injury to the coccyx. But injuries to the coccyx are still common in children, because of their level of activity in sports and play.
Recovery times are quicker for children than adults. Coccygeal surgery is rarely needed. Women are five times more susceptible to tailbone pain than men. Much of this has to do with pregnancy and childbirth. Weight gain and the consequent changes to posture during pregnancy increase the risk of injury to the coccyx.
The location of the coccyx also makes it susceptible to injury during a difficult childbirth, especially one requiring use of instruments. A broken or bruised coccyx will usually heal on its own. Physical therapy, exercises, and a special cushion can all help ease the pain and speed recovery.
How should I sit if my tailbone hurts?
Pain in the Bottom – While the pain associated with a tailbone injury usually diminishes within a few weeks or months, it can be downright frustrating. Pain can range from dull and achy to sharp and severe based on the activity being performed. Here are ten tips to help relieve tailbone pain:
When sitting, avoid slouching by keeping your head, neck, and pelvis in a straight and neutral line. Consider using a donut-shaped pillow or V-shaped wedge cushion to reduce pressure on the coccyx. When moving to a sitting or standing position, lean forward as this helps alleviate pressure. Apply ice and/or heat to the tailbone area and gluteal muscles for 10-15 minutes. Do this four times per day to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Take over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) medication, such as ibuprofen as needed to reduce pain and inflammation. Avoid sitting for extended periods by taking short breaks every 20 minutes or so. Massage the muscles attached to the tailbone to help ease pain. Physical therapy can be beneficial in teaching pelvic floor relaxation techniques (reverse Kegels) which help get the coccyx into better alignment and can relieve the pain experienced when urinating or defecating. Avoid activities that stress the tailbone, including cycling. Add extra fiber to your diet to soften stools. This will make bowel movements more comfortable while also reducing the risk of constipation. Depending on your level of pain, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections.
If you have had recent trauma to your coccyx and are experiencing pain, schedule an appointment with your doctor or physical therapist, Through an evaluation, they can help determine the most appropriate treatment for your injury to help you get back to doing the things you love.
What does a damaged coccyx feel like?
Did you break your tailbone in an auto accident? A broken tailbone can feel like a mild irritation or a raging, end-of-the-world-it-hurts-to-breathe pain. You may have bruising at the site. Some people experience difficulty sitting, standing, or lying comfortably.
What are the symptoms of a damaged coccyx?
A coccyx injury results in pain and discomfort in the tailbone area (the condition is called coccydynia). These injuries may result in a bruise, dislocation, or fracture (break) of the coccyx. Although they may be slow to heal, the majority of coccyx injuries can be managed with cautious treatment.
A fall onto the tailbone in the seated position, usually against a hard surface, is the most common cause of coccyx injuries.A direct blow to the tailbone, such as those that occur during contact sports, can injure the coccyx.The coccyx can be injured or fractured during childbirth,Repetitive straining or friction against the coccyx (as happens in bicycling or rowing) can injure the coccyx.Sometimes, the cause of coccyx injuries is unknown.Less common causes of coccyx injuries include bone spurs, compression of nerve roots, injuries to other parts of the spine, local infections, and tumors.
Severe localized pain and tenderness may be felt in the tailbone area.If the injury is traumatic, a bruise may be visible in this area.The pain is generally worse when sitting for prolonged periods of time, or with direct pressure to the tailbone area. Bowel movements and straining are often painful.Some women may experience pain during sexual intercourse.
Call 911 and avoid moving the person if they have signs of spinal cord injury along with a tailbone injury caused by a fall. Symptoms of spinal cord injury include:
Severe neck or back painParalysis in part of the bodyLoss of bowel or bladder controlWeakness in the legs or armsNumbness
If you have the signs and symptoms of a coccyx injury or unexplained discomfort in the tailbone area, contact your doctor. It may be necessary for the doctor to decide if the injury is traumatic or if the pain is caused by other, more serious, problems. The cause of a coccyx injury is largely determined based on a medical history and a physical exam,
The entire vertebral column (spine) may be examined. A neurologic exam may be performed. A rectal exam may also be performed. For this exam, the doctor inserts a finger into your rectum to feel the area of the coccyx and determine if there is a dislocation or a fracture that can be felt and if direct pressure against the coccyx reproduces your pain.Rarely, if the cause of discomfort is unknown, a local anesthetic may be injected into the tailbone area to determine whether the origin of the pain is from the coccyx or another part of the vertebral column.X-rays may be taken to determine whether there is a fracture or dislocation. However, X-rays occasionally may not reveal these injuries. Some doctors recommend X-rays in both the standing and seated positions to better determine the presence of a fracture or dislocation.
Tailbone injuries are often extremely painful, so home remedies aim to control pain and avoid further irritation to the area.
Avoid sitting down for long periods of time. When seated, avoid sitting on hard surfaces and alternate sitting on each side of the buttocks. Also, lean forward and direct your weight away from the tailbone.For traumatic injuries, apply ice to the tailbone area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day, for the first few days after the injury.Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDS ) such as aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce pain and improve your ability to move around. Do not take NSAIDS if you have kidney disease, a history of gastrointestinal bleeding, or are also taking a blood thinner – such as Coumadin – without first talking with your doctor. In that case, it is safer to take acetaminophen, which helps lessen pain but does not reduce inflammation,You can purchase a “doughnut” cushion or pillow to sit on. This cushion has a hole in the middle to prevent the tailbone from contacting the flat surface.Eat foods high in fiber to soften stools and avoid constipation,
In addition to home care, a doctor may be able to provide further relief of pain with other medical and, rarely, surgical interventions.
Stronger pain medications may be prescribed at the discretion of your doctor.Stool softeners may be prescribed to prevent constipation,Injections of local anesthetics into the tailbone are sometimes required for continuing pain.Rarely, the coccyx may be surgically removed.
Follow-up is recommended at the discretion of your doctor and depends on the severity of the injury and the progress you are making with medical treatment. Most people do not require follow-up if their coccyx injury is improving with medical treatment.
- People with chronic tailbone pain, for whom medical therapy has not worked, require more frequent follow-up and may be referred to other medical or surgical specialists.
- Most tailbone injuries are accidental (such as slipping on ice) and therefore cannot be entirely avoided.
- Wear proper protective padding when participating in contact sports that can potentially lead to coccyx injuries.
The prognosis for tailbone discomfort depends on many factors.
The original cause of the problem (whether from a fall or other trauma, tumor, or infection)If traumatic, the severity of the injury (a bruise, fracture, or dislocation)Your ability to comply with medical treatmentYour natural ability to recuperate and heal
The majority of cases of traumatic coccyx injury get better within several weeks of the injury with proper medical treatment. A few people suffer from chronic discomfort despite proper medical treatment. This can be an extremely frustrating and debilitating problem.