Tailbone Pain Exercises & Coccyx Injury Exercises
Learn about tailbone pain, the reasons it happens, and how to exercise to improve the pain.
Let's start the conversation with -
What Can I do about Tailbone Pain?
The tailbone or coccyx is a non-functional tail in the human body. It is located at the bottom of the spine and is one of the attachment points for the pelvic floor muscles. Tension in the pelvic floor, childbirth, falls on the tailbone, and even sitting posture can all contribute to tailbone pain. A sore tailbone is also known as coccydynia.
So, how does this coccydynia thing happen?
It can happen for a multitude of reasons. Anything that can contribute to tension in the muscles of the pelvic floor or disruption to the surrounding ligaments can lead to pain in the tailbone. Snowboarders, horseback riders, gymnasts and other activities that have a high rate of falls on the buttocks can injure the surrounding tissues. If you do a lot of cycling, or motorbiking, that could also be a contributor. Even something such as sitting that seems benign, can lead to pain and discomfort especially if you are sitting for prolonged periods on hard surfaces and especially sitting with a tucked tailbone.
Tailbone pain is also common after childbirth sometimes as a result of the hormone relaxin, which makes the pelvic ligaments looser and flexible for the baby's growth but pain may also be as a result of the birth itself. The lithotomy position remains the most common birth position and it restricts the movement of the SI Joint and tailbone which can sometimes lead to injury. The loosening of the ligaments gradually causes tighter contraction of the pelvic muscles. These muscles are connected to the tailbone causing tight tail bone muscle or sore tailbone.
So, what can you do about tailbone pain?
A great place to start is to see a pelvic floor physical therapist. If you don’t have access to this type of practitioner, there are some stretches that may help you to soothe the tailbone pain or muscle tension. Below we are going to discuss four such exercises that you can try. But do these slowly and pay attention to any symptoms or messages your body may send you asking you to change or stop.
1. Wide Leg Child’s Pose
This exercise helps to stimulate the blood flow to the pelvic organs and can add a nice gentle stretch to the pelvic floor muscles. It helps stretch the back and allows the nervous system to relax and reset.
- Kneel on your yoga mat and allow the knees to sit wide, closer to the edges of your mat.
- Stretch your arms forward on the ground so that the palms are resting on the ground.
- Rest your forehead on the ground and breathe deeply.
2. Side Angle Pose
This exercise stretches the entire spine and tailbone. It allows better blood flow to the joints.
- Step the right foot forward and bend the front knee in line with the hip.
- Set your left leg a few feet behind and keep it straight and at an angle with the ground. The front foot should be straightened with the arc of the back foot.
- Inhale and make your right hand straight and touch the ground with the palm while bringing the left arm up and parallel to the ground. You can also place a bolster or block next to your front foot to rest your hand on.
- You can further stimulate the posture by stretching the left arm further but making sure you stretch it until it is comfortable and not painful.
3. SunBird Pose
This exercise is rather simple but very effective. It helps to strengthen the back while stabilizing the tailbone and spine simultaneously.
- Sit with your knees on the ground underneath the hips and wrists underneath the shoulder.
- Inhale and extend the right leg behind you and the left arm in front of you.
- Exhale and bring the right leg towards the forehead and touch the elbow.
- Before switching to the other side, do it five times continuously.
4. Kegel Exercise
Kegel exercise helps strengthen the pelvic muscle, which can help to release tailbone tension. Taking the pelvic floor through the range of motion of the contract, lift and release can help optimize function. This pelvic floor muscle training can be done just about anytime, but it has to be done correctly to get the best results.
- Try kneeling on a mat or sit on a stability ball.
- Inhale and visualize your pelvic floor muscles expanding or blossoming open.
- Exhale and imagine picking up a blueberry with your vagina and your anus. You can also visualize the tailbone and pubic joint and the 2 sitz bones all gathering together.
- When tension is present it may be helpful to spend more time focusing on the inhales and the release. Perhaps do 5 inhale and release for every 1 contract and lift.
Photo by Tim Chow on Unsplash
You can also try other Kegel exercise methods to get a better result and ease your tailbone pain. Whichever exercises you are doing, make sure you do them correctly to avoid any adverse effects on your tailbone muscle.
Releasing the posterior pelvic floor
We hope these exercises will help you to get better, balanced, and stable health. For more information and more exercises designed to help you release tension and find ease in your pelvis, check out my Kegel Mojo - Release program.