Coccyx or tailbone pain is often misunderstood and can be debilitating for those who suffer from it.
When you consider how many of the pelvic floor muscles attach to the tailbone, it’s unsurprising that these muscles are frequently the contributor if not cause of tailbone pain.
While a tight or tense pelvic floor isn’t always the initial cause of a painful coccyx, the pelvic floor muscles inevitably hold tension and then further contribute to the pain.
How can you help tailbone pain?
1. Your pelvic floor muscles are probably a little tight. So no kegels or pelvic floor strengthening for now.
2. Avoid constipation. Increased weight on the pelvic floor muscles from poop in your rectum can make them tighten.
3. Try and keep a little arch in your lower back when you are sitting on a chair. A rolled towel under your sit bones can help with this. This puts the pelvic floor muscles in a more optimal position so you don’t get that stabbing pain as you stand up.
4. Check you aren’t holding your tummy in all the time. Over gripping the upper abdominals especially can increase intra-abdominal pressure and make the muscles activate in return.
5. See a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist. They will check your pelvic floor muscles and ideally do a vaginal or rectal exam to help you to connect to and lengthen the muscles. They will also help to release the internally with a little myofascial release ‘massage’.
Can stress cause tailbone pain?
A study done on women watching scary movies found that at the same time they tensed their shoulders when the movie was scary, the muscles around the pelvic floor tightened too. Many people report they can feel their pelvic floor muscles gripping when they are anxious. Addressing stress in your life will likely help to reduce your pain.
As with any pain we always encourage people to get themselves checked out sooner rather than later. The pelvis is integral to all movement and posture and whenever there is pain present, there are a lot of compensatory changes that occur.