If a long bike ride is quite literally a pain in the rear, your bike seat may be to blame. Excess pressure on the tailbone, which is usually caused by a lack of support or poor distribution of weight, can leave you with a sore coccyx after a ride.
By making a few small adjustments to your bike, you can go for longer rides more comfortably.
Sore Coccyx After Cycling?
The tilt and height of your bike seat can be a cause of a sore coccyx after cycling. If your seat pushes your pelvis too far forward or backward, it could shift your balance and increase the pressure on your tailbone, potentially leading to coccyx injury from cycling. Your seat should be parallel to the ground, so check to make sure it's not tilted.
You can also check the seat height — a seat that's too low could cause tailbone pain as well. If you plan on cycling a lot, it may be a good idea to have your bike professionally fitted at a cycle shop to ensure the most comfort for longer rides.
Explore Seat Types
While it might seem like a highly cushioned seat is the best bet for a coccyx pain with cycling, over-padding your saddle could do more harm than good by upsetting your balance and displacing pressure, warns Road Bike Riders.
Instead, look for a seat that supports your sit bones evenly so there's less pressure on the tailbone. A seat that features gel contours or is wider may also be more comfortable for a sensitive tailbone.
Additional Cycling Gear
Your cycling gear can help you protect your tailbone and decrease coccyx pain from cycling. By investing in a pair of cycle shorts that offer a padded chamois, you can do away with inner leg chafing and help pad your tailbone for a more comfortable ride. You may need to try a variety of bike shorts to find the pair that works best for you.
Training and Position
SpineUniverse warns that tailbone pain can be cause by repetitive actions like cycling. If you're new to cycling, altering your training and rides to account for your sore tailbone can help decrease pain and could also help you build up strength in the muscles around your tailbone over time.
Shorter rides may be more appropriate when you're getting started. By training and increasing ride lengths slowly, you may experience less pain.
According to a spring 2014 article published by the Ochsner Journal, the coccyx is the third leg of a tripod of bones that support your bodyweight in a seated position. Pain in this area — officially called coccydynia — typically increases when a person leans back in a seated position.
While riding, try standing up on your pedals when your tailbone feels sore or you have a numb rear. The short break can help increase blood flow to your bottom, which can help reduce pain.