Tailbone pain, also known as coccygodnia, is pain caused by anything that affects the coccyx. The coccyx is a tiny triangular bone made up of four bones that have never completely developed and is located at the very end of the sacrum of the vertebral column. Tailbone pain typically radiates to the lower sacral and perineal areas of the body and can materialize in both acute and chronic forms. Acute coccygodynia usually occurs after a fall onto the tailbone. Chronic coccygodynia is caused by several factors including malformation of the coccyx, bony spurs on the coccyx, muscle strain, pinched or damaged nerves, dislocation of the coccyx, or damage to the sacrococcygeal ligaments from a difficult pregnancy, intense activity, or faulty posture. While conventional medical coccygodynia treatment will help to alleviate the symptoms, strengthening the structural weaknesses of the body through everyday gentle pelvic exercises and stretching will address the origination of the problem.
Mula Bandha Exercise
Mula Bandha is the “root lock” in yoga practice which is an energy technique, involving the contraction of the perineum, the section of the pelvic floor between the anus and genitals. Contract these muscles as if you are stopping the urge to urinate or have a bowel movement. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat this three to four times. The purpose of this exercise is to stimulate nerves in the sacral and coccyx region while toning and strengthening the pelvic area. This exercise also eases pain in the sacrum and coccyx.
The purpose of this exercise is to limber and stretch the back and neck muscles, stimulate spinal nerves, align the vertebrae, promote blood flow, and relieve back and neck pain.
Place the body in a prone (faced-down) table-top position with the hands directly under the shoulders and the knees directly under the hips. Round your back up to the sky (Cat) and then arch your back with your head lifting up (Cow). As the Cat stretch is performed, exhale. As the Cow stretch is performed, inhale. Perform this exercise for one minute.
If the hand placement hurts the wrists, make the hands into fists to alleviate the pain.
Yoga Child's Pose
The purpose of this exercise is to tone the muscles of the pelvis, stimulate blood flow to the pelvic organs, and stretch the ankles, knee joints, and back.
From a kneeling position, sit your buttocks back onto your heels and lower your chest to the floor. Your arms rest on the floor alongside the body with the palms facing up. The head rests on the floor. As you hold this stretch, breathe into the stretch sinking into the forehead. Keep drawing into yourself. Hold this stretch for 1 minute. For an added stretch all along your spine and upper body, extend your arms overhead with the palms down.
The purpose of this stretch is to massage the abdominal muscles and organs and stimulate blood flow through the spine and into the coccyx. It keeps the spine supple, elastic, and revitalized. It keeps the pelvic organs healthy, and tones the legs and glutes.
In a lying down position facing up, your knees are bent and the soles of the feet are on the floor hip-width apart. The arms are resting alongside of the body with the palms of the hands in a prone position. Lift the torso to the sky by first starting at the hips. Articulate the vertebrae one at a time as you lift the entire torso and hips towards the sky. Keep lifting your hips to the sky while you push your heels into the floor. Send your eye gaze to your navel. Hold this position for one minute. Continue to breathe deeply as you hold the bridge position.
The purpose of this stretch is to release the lower back and stimulate blood flow to the internal organs and spine.
Lie down on your back. Bring the left knee into the chest. The right leg is extended on the floor. Lower your left knee across the right leg. For an added stretch, place your right hand on your left knee, gently pressing it downward. Look over your left shoulder. Keep your shoulders in contact with the floor. Hold stretch for 1 minute.
The purpose of this stretch is to open the chest, keep the back supple and healthy while regenerating the muscles of the torso and relieving lower back pain.
In a prone (faced down) lying down position, place the elbows on the floor under the shoulders with the hands forward. Stretch and lift the chest to the sky while extending the elbows and straightening the arms. Keep your hips in contact with the floor. Keep lifting out of the lower back. Squeeze the shoulder blades together. Squeeze the glutes. Look between your eyebrows. Breathe deeply as you hold this stretch for one minute.
If you do not have the flexibility to straighten the arms, lift as high as you can with the elbows bent.