Tailbone injuries are more than just a pain in the butt. Pain in this area can make it difficult to do basic daily tasks such as getting dressed or sitting in a chair. Although muscles don't directly connect to your tailbone, stretching muscles around the area can help relieve tailbone pain. Because tailbones injuries most often occur with trauma -- such as a fall -- see a doctor before performing stretches if you have tailbone pain.
As strange as this exercise sounds, the anal lock relaxes tight muscles that contribute to tailbone pain.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie down on your back. Squeeze your anal sphincter as if you are trying not to have a bowel movement. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat three to five times in a row, several times per day.
As you bend forward, the bones in your spine spread apart, relieving pressure on your tailbone.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bring your chin to your chest and slowly round your back. Bend your knees slightly to decrease tension in your leg muscles. Reach your hands toward your feet as far as possible, without pain. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat three times.
The piriformis muscle lies under your glutes. Tightness in this muscle can contribute to tailbone pain.
HOW TO DO IT: Start on your hands and knees. Cross your right leg in front of your left so your right shin is perpendicular to your body. Straighten your left knee behind you. Slowly push your butt backward and lower yourself onto your forearms. Stop when you feel a strong pull in your right buttock. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat three times on both legs.
The yoga cat pose gently separates the spine bones and relieves tailbone pain.
HOW TO DO IT: Start on your hands and knees. Breathe in. As you breathe out, bring your chin to your chest and slowly arch your back toward the ceiling until you feel a stretch along your spine. As you breathe in, return to the starting position. Repeat for several breaths.
Child's pose is another yoga position that stretches the lower spine and tailbone area.
HOW TO DO IT: Start on your hands and knees. Bring your big toes together and spread your knees apart. Sit back on your heels. Slowly bend your chest forward and lower it between your thighs until your forehead is resting on the ground. Keep your arms back by your sides. Hold this position for several breaths. If the stretch is too intense, place a small folded blanket between your butt and legs.
- University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic: Coccygodynia “A Pain in the Rear”
- Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy: Clinical Decision Making for the Evaluation and Management of Coccydynia: 2 Case Reports
- Highland Midwife: Exercises for Back, Hips, Tailbone, & Pelvic Pain
- eChiropractor.org: Coccydynia Treatments
- BayCare Clinic: Stretching Exercises for Piriformis