You probably don't think about your tailbone — that is, until you've injured it. Injury to the tailbone, also known as the coccyx, can cause significant pain. Tailbone exercises can help reduce your symptoms and improve function.
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According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, most tailbone injuries affect supporting structures rather than actually breaking the bone. Coccyx problems can cause pain in your buttocks, particularly when sitting. Strengthening and stretching the muscles near the tailbone can help alleviate pain and prevent future problems.
Read more: 5 Exercises to Curtail Your Tailbone Pain
Move #1. Pelvic Floor Strengthening
Strengthening muscles deep in your pelvis can help provide tailbone pain relief. These pelvic floor exercises are also known as Kegel exercises or pelvic floor muscle training, as explained by Harvard Health Publishing.
The exercises are designed to make the pelvic floor stronger, which can help relieve tailbone problems and urinary incontinence. Identify your pelvic floor muscles by stopping the flow of urine when you are urinating. Once you've identified the correct muscles, you're ready to exercise them deliberately.
- Lie down on your back.
- Tighten your pelvic floor muscles.
- Hold for three to five seconds.
- Relax for five seconds.
- Repeat 10 times.
As strength improves, work your way up to holding your muscles tight for 10 seconds with each repetition. Perform 30 to 40 of these exercises per day.
Move #2. Piriformis Coccyx Stretch
Stretching the piriformis can help heal problems with the tailbone. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat three times on each side.
- Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and both knees bent.
- Cross one leg over the other.
- Hook your hands behind the bottom knee and slowly lift your legs off the ground.
- Stop when you feel a strong pull along your buttocks.
Move #3. Glute Stretches
Buttocks muscle stretches also can help alleviate pain and stiffness in the tailbone area and around the ligaments that connect to the tailbone.
- Lie on your back with both legs extended straight in front of you.
- Bend one knee and pull it toward your opposite shoulder until you feel a stretch.
- Hold for at least 20 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.
- Repeat three times on each side.
Read more: Can I Exercise With a Bruised Tailbone?
Try Other Remedies
Other remedies can be used with tailbone exercises to help relieve your symptoms. Deep tissue massage can help release tension and ease trigger points in the tailbone and surrounding muscles. The massage stimulates circulation, and increased circulation can help restore elasticity to the ligaments in the coccyx area.
Consider physical therapy for tailbone pain relief. A physical therapist can perform stretches and manual techniques to reposition your tailbone if needed.
Sit on a ring-shaped cushion to reduce pressure on your coccyx while it heals. Hot baths and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain reducing medications can help as well.
Seek Medical Attention
If your tailbone pain is not improving with exercise and other remedies, seek medical attention. Your doctor might recommend a steroid injection or prescription medications.
If medical interventions are not successful, surgery might be required, as discussed in an October 2016 article published by Austin Journal of Surgery.