How to Treat Tailbone and Coccyx Pain

At our healing center in New York City we see women with broken coccyx after childbirth, surfers with sprained coccyx from falling on surfboards and also plain old coccyx injuries from individuals falling on their butts. I had a tailbone injury several years ago that left me with sitting pain for a year. I could find nowhere to turn and no one in the medical community could help me except to give anti-inflammatories and pain meds. At the time of the injury, I was not a physical therapist and knew nothing about pelvic floor physical therapy. I made a promise to myself that if I could ever help men, women or children with tailbone issues I would.

In this blog we will share our top eleven most successful exercises and tools for the treatment of coccyx pain, which comes from part of our very successful Renew PT Coccyx Treatment Program. We keep our exercises simple, yet they have a powerful healing effect on the coccyx bone. The strategies listed below are for coccyx that are not fractured. If you have a broken coccyx you should be under the care of a health care professional because you have to let the bone heal and there are precautions that need to be followed. It is best to always err on the side of safety and get the tailbone x-rayed.

Top Eleven Coccyx Healing Strategies:

1. Reverse Kegels help release a tailbone that is overly flexed, hypo-mobile and painful. This type of relaxation Kegel helps to get the coccyx into better alignment. Think of a reverse Kegel as a relaxation exercise for the coccyx bone. Mt book Ending Female Pain has a great chapter on how to perform Reverse Kegels.

2. For tailbones that are stuck in flexion position (most of them are) we use other parts of the body to get the tailbone to move. The tailbone follows the same motions as the lumbar spine. To encourage tailbone extension and proper motion and to get it out of flexion we use lumbar spine motions. As you inhale, arch your lower back and then exhale and return your lower back to a neutral position. As you arch your back imagine that your tailbone is moving towards the ceiling.

3. Avoid sitting in poor slumped posture such as sacral sitting. Sitting this way decreases coccyx bone motion and can reinforce poor alignment.

4. Avoid sitting longer than 15 to 20 minutes if you have coccyx pain. Shift your body weight as needed to decrease the tailbone pain and if necessary sit on a special pillow call a donut to relive tailbone pain.

5. Massage the pelvic floor muscles either intra-vaginally or intra-rectally to release any tension/trigger points in the muscles that can keep the tailbone stuck, hypo mobile and in a painful state. See one of our pelvic floor therapist for proper instruction on how to do this special massage.

6. Avoid traditional kegel exercises especially if they increase your tailbone pain. In fact avoid any exercise or body position that increases your tailbone pain. Listen to the messages your body is telling you. Pain is a signal that screams to you re-evaluate what you are doing.

7. Avoid pushing with defecation and avoid constipation. Pushing with bowel and bladder function can increase both coccyx and rectal pain. Come in to see us and we will show you how to relax your pelvic floor muscles for defecation.

8. Yoga exercises such as cobra and up dog can help relieve coccyx pain. These are high level exercises and they may not be appropriate for you. Get proper instruction from our expert physical therapists on how to do these exercises correctly.

9. Seek the help of a trained physical therapist can go internally and mobilize the coccyx and attached muscle. At Renew Physical Therapy we are all skilled in coccyx mobilizations. This involves gentle movement of the coccyx bone itself.

10. Ice the cocxyx bone as needed for pain relief and apply heat on the gluteal muscles. You can also apply heat to the coccyx. Make sure you don’t use high heat because you could burn yourself. When you apply heat it is a low level and gentle never apply extremely hot heat to your body. You can heat or ice for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure to check with your doctor and or physical therapist so you receive proper instruction on how to apply heat and ice to your body.

11. Trigger point therapy along with massage to the ligaments that attach to the coccyx bone can bring profound relief. Consult us at Renew Physical Therapy. We believe in showing you how to treat yourself and how to take care of this pain.

The information within this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not meant as a substitute for proper medical care. It is extremely important to work with a physical therapist, physician or Osteopath if you have tailbone pain. Tailbones are frequently broken and must be X-Rayed. Get yourself proper care and work with a someone who is trained to treat coccyx pain.

Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. Check with your Doctor before attempting any of the recommendations on this website. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE. Renew Physical Therapy IS NOT RESPONSIBLE NOR LIABLE FOR ANY ADVICE, COURSE OF TREATMENT, DIAGNOSIS OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, SERVICES OR PRODUCTS THAT YOU OBTAIN THROUGH THIS WEB SITE. If you are in acute pain and would like to have a physical therapy program developed for you for your condition please give us a call at 212-213-4660.