"Why does my tailbone hurt when I sit?" is a common question people ask their physician. In fact, it is the most common question that people ask post-surgery.
Tailbone pain or coccydynia is one of the complaints people may experience during some time in their life. The pain may vary in intensity and make doing everyday activities uncomfortable. The severe tail bone pain is unbearable and can take a toll on your physical and mental health.
Typically, you develop a sore tailbone from sitting in the same position for long hours. That may be because of the tiny triangular bone "coccyx" present at the bottom of your spinal cord fracturing bruising.
While walking is one way to relieve the pain, you may try over-the-counter medicines and home-based remedies to reduce it.
If your tailbone hurts when sitting, learning about its symptoms and causes can help you mitigate the pain.
What is Tailbone Pain or Coccyx
The word "coccyx" has a Greek background and is the transformation of the term "cuckoo." As the shape of the tailbone looks like a bird's beak, experts named it accordingly. The pain shooting from your coccyx is "coccydynia," and it may range from light to intense.
Keep in mind that the small tail bone has some important functions to perform. It not only stabilizes your sitting position but also provides a space for muscles, ligaments, and tendons to run through. Your medical professional may address your tailbone as "coccyx," which is its medical term.
As mentioned earlier, a sore tailbone from sitting the same way can affect you at any age. The pain basically centers at the last disc of the spine. You may feel pain throbbing right above the buttocks or at the point where your multi-segmented cord sits.
The pain may deteriorate when a person sits down, stands up from a sitting position, or leans back to take support. However, pain from sitting is not the only problem affected people may face. They may feel soreness while using the bathroom or even during intercourse.
Women with tailbone pain often feel discomfort during periods as well. In many cases, the pain shoots from the coccyx and radiates all the way down to the legs. Walking or standing helps women lighten the pressure on the tailbone and relieve discomfort.
Symptoms of Tailbone Pain
Diagnosing coccydynia is often challenging for medical professionals as it mimics symptoms of other disorders. For example, the pain that accompanies coccydynia is more like lower back pain. That is why it is important that you consult a medical professional if you experience or notice symptoms similar to coccydynia.
Tenderness with achy pain in your tailbone is one of the main symptoms of coccydynia. It feels like shooting from the bottom of your spinal column or between the buttocks. Leaning or sitting against the backside worsens the pain.
Precisely, coccydynia's symptoms include:
-Piercing or achy pain at the center of the tailbone
-Severe pain in the tailbone when changing positions (standing up from sitting)
-Severe pain in the tailbone when sitting in the same position for long -periods
-Pain or discomfort during bowel movement
-Pain or discomfort during sex
Some other symptoms coccydynia may have are:
Causes of Tailbone Pain
Trauma or injury is usually the main cause why your tailbone hurts when sitting. The condition causes inflammation in most people. However, there can be other factors causing coccydynia. Let's delve into the details to find them out.
What Causes Tailbone Pain without Injury
In some cases, people have no trauma or real injury to their tailbone. The painful condition often appears on its own and has a real cause. However, it may be because of repetitive motion or even aging tissues. Sometimes, obesity causes tailbone pain as it applies pressure to the tailbone. The condition causes the coccyx to move backward and change its position.
Tailbone Pain During Pregnancy
Most women's bodies release special hormones during their third trimester. These hormones make the area between the coccyx and sacrum extremely soft. Their condition allows the tailbone to move from its place during childbirth.
Though it is a natural process, it stretches the ligaments and muscles around the tailbone, causing pain. Such stress and strain on the soft tissues rob the coccyx of the support it needs to stay at the correct angle.
Causes of Tailbone Pain When Sitting
One cause of a sore tailbone is a continuous strain on the coccyx. It happens especially when you're underweight or overweight. Sitting in a poor posture for long hours can also develop or increase pain in your tail bone.
Why You May Feel Your Tailbone Pain When Sitting
Tailbone pain from sitting is a primary indication that you have coccydynia. The simple act of sitting increases pain in your coccyx, especially if you sit on a narrow or hard surface. Your doctor may suggest you taking a short walk or stretch often to reduce the intensity.
Better yet, look for a comfortable and softer chair to sit on. Try using a cushioned seat.
5 Tips to Get Fast Relief from Tailbone Pain
There's an array of causes that may lead to you developing tailbone pain. Therefore, it is important that you know some effective tips to get fast relief from tailbone pain.
Here are some of them you can try if you have a tailbone ache;
1. Cushion for Tailbone Pain
Try to avoid slouching when sitting. Instead, keep your head, pelvis, and neck in a neutral and straight line. The best way to get fast relief is to use a V-shaped cushion or donut-shaped pillow. These pillows minimize pressure on your coccyx.
2. Massage for Tailbone Pain
While the condition has no instant cure, stretches, massages, and exercises may help you relieve the additional pressure causing tailbone pain.
We recommend you visit a massage specialist who can press muscle using the right technique to ease the pain. Consider taking pelvic floor relaxation massage to improve the alignment of the coccyx and relieve the tailbone pain.
3. Ice Treatment for Tailbone Pain
Apply ice to your tailbone area or gluteal muscles for 15-20 minutes. You can do it four to five times a day to reduce inflammation and relieve pain and.
4. Physical Therapy
A physical therapist may help you strengthen the tailbone muscles supporting the coccyx. He/she can show a floor relaxation technique, which involves breathing deeply to relax your pelvic floor. It will help you urinate or defecate pain-free.
Also, coccygeal manipulation is another technique that a physician might use. In this particular technique, the therapist inserts a finger in the rectum to move the tailbone and improve its position. They may also give you an injection into the tailbone to relieve pain for two to three weeks.
Anti-epileptic medications or certain antidepressants can help you relieve tailbone pain.
All in all, tailbone pain shoots around the bony structure of the coccyx (the last disc of the spinal column). It increases during some activities like standing or sitting down. It may have causes like fracture or trauma to the tail bone but sometimes occurs without any reason.