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Tailbone Pain: Causes and Effective Relief Strategies
CBD Topical
Chronic Pain

Tailbone Pain: Causes and Effective Relief Strategies

Are you experiencing discomfort in your tailbone area? If so, you're not alone. Many experience tailbone pain, also known as coccydynia, at some point. It's a unique discomfort that can make sitting, standing, and even walking difficult. However, thankfully, there's a lot we can do to help ease the tension. Understanding what's happening in your body is the first step towards finding relief. The more knowledge you have about coccydynia, the better you'll be able to manage it and communicate effectively with your healthcare provider. Let’s learn more about this condition.

What Is the Anatomy of the Coccyx?

The coccyx, or tailbone as it's often called, is a small, triangular bone located at the bottom of your spine. Picture it like the base of a house, supporting the structure above. It comprises three to five fused vertebrae and connects to the sacrum, which is part of the lower back. Despite its small size, the coccyx plays an important role in our bodies. It serves as an attachment site for muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It also helps support us when we sit and lean back. However, when experiencing tailbone pain, this small bone can cause big problems. That's why it's essential to understand what might be causing your discomfort.

What Are Common Causes of Tailbone Pain?

A variety of factors can cause tailbone pain. One of the most common is sitting on hard surfaces for extended periods. When you sit, your body weight puts pressure on the coccyx, leading to discomfort or pain. This is especially true if you're sitting on a hard, unforgiving surface. Another common cause of tailbone pain is constipation. Straining during bowel movements can put extra pressure on the coccyx, leading to discomfort. In some cases, the cause of tailbone pain might be more serious. For example, a cyst or dislocation could be the root of the problem. These conditions are less common but can cause significant discomfort in the tailbone area. Ultimately, tailbone pain can stem from many causes, from simple lifestyle factors to more serious conditions. By understanding these potential causes, you're one step closer to finding relief from your discomfort. The good news is there are effective strategies to help manage tailbone pain and improve your quality of life.

What Are the Symptoms of Coccydynia?

Coccydynia, or tailbone pain, often presents as a sharp or aching discomfort right at the bottom of the spine, especially when you're sitting or moving from sitting to standing. It can also become more noticeable during bowel movements or when simply leaning against a flat surface. Chronic coccydynia refers to tailbone pain that lasts for more than a couple of months. This persistent discomfort can impact your daily activities and overall quality of life. It's important to note that everyone's experience with coccydynia can be different. Some may feel a minor annoyance, while others might experience severe discomfort. Another area that may be affected by coccydynia is the pelvic floor, a group of muscles and ligaments that support your pelvic organs. These muscles and ligaments can be affected by coccydynia. For example, straining these muscles due to prolonged sitting or constipation can lead to tailbone pain. On the other hand, if coccydynia is present, it may cause tension or discomfort in the pelvic floor muscles. If you're experiencing persistent tailbone pain, seeking medical advice is important. Your healthcare provider can help determine the cause of your discomfort and guide you toward the best course of action.

How Is Coccyndynia Diagnosed?

Diagnostic tools like X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be incredibly helpful. These imaging techniques allow healthcare providers to get a detailed look at your coccyx and the surrounding area, helping them identify any potential issues that might be causing your discomfort. To ease your tailbone pain, understanding the symptoms and their possible causes is a significant first step. Remember, you're not alone in this, and resources and strategies are available to help you navigate this experience. The more informed you are, the better you can partner with your healthcare provider to find the most effective relief strategies.

What Are Ways To Find Relief for Tailbone Discomfort?

Tailbone discomfort can be quite challenging, but the good news is that there are plenty of ways to manage it. Here's an overview of some treatment options to help you regain comfort and balance.

Change Your Posture

A simple yet effective strategy is adjusting your posture. Leaning forward when sitting, especially for extended periods, can shift your body weight off your tailbone, reducing pressure and potential discomfort. This small change can greatly impact you, helping you maintain comfort throughout the day.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be a game changer. Working with a physical therapist, you'll learn specific exercises and stretches that target and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, helping to alleviate pressure on your tailbone. This tailored approach can offer significant relief and improve your overall physical function.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications like NSAIDs, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen can be useful tools in managing tailbone discomfort. If constipation adds to your discomfort, stool softeners can greatly help. They can facilitate easier and less straining bowel movements, thus reducing pressure on your coccyx and ensuing discomfort.

Heat and Ice Therapy

Heat and ice therapy can provide immediate relief. Applying an ice pack to the tailbone area helps reduce inflammation and numb the area, offering a soothing effect. On the other hand, heat therapy can help to relax the muscles and increase blood flow, supporting healing. Alternating between the two can be a beneficial strategy for managing discomfort.

Pressure-Reduction Cushion

Pressure reduction cushions can help bring relief when sitting, especially when you need to sit for long periods of time. Donut cushions, or coccyx cushions, are a simple solution with big benefits. They work by evenly distributing your body weight, significantly reducing pressure on your tailbone when sitting. Wedge-shaped cushions can also be beneficial as they encourage better posture and alignment.

CBD for Discomfort Relief

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound that can help ease feelings of discomfort and support balance in the body. It works with your body's endocannabinoid system (ECS) to maintain balance and normal functioning. By working with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, including scattered throughout and around the tailbone, CBD can be supportive when seeking out comfort. CBD topicals like Muscle MX’s Recovery and Activate Balms are particularly well suited for tailbone and lower back discomfort as they are applied directly to the skin for fast-acting support. Our Activate Balm helps heat the muscles, while Recovery provides a cooling sensation, offering a boost of hot and cold therapy for added support.

Coccygeal Manipulation

Coccygeal Manipulation is a procedure performed by a healthcare professional involving gentle manipulation of the tailbone through the rectum. It may sound a bit daunting, but it's a proven method that can provide significant relief by correcting the position of the tailbone.

Steroid Injections and Nerve Blocks

In some cases, healthcare providers might recommend steroid injections or nerve blocks. These treatments involve injecting a corticosteroid or local anesthetic into the tailbone. They can help reduce inflammation and block pain signals, relieving persistent tailbone discomfort. While more invasive, these treatments can be highly effective when other methods haven't provided enough relief.


In rare cases, a coccygectomy, or surgical removal of the coccyx, may be considered. This surgery is typically reserved only for rare cases where other treatments are ineffective. This procedure can provide relief, but it's usually seen as a last resort due to the potential risks and lengthy recovery period. As you explore different methods to respond to coccyx pain, remember that what works best will depend on your unique situation. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment. With the right approach, you can manage your tailbone discomfort and get back to enjoying your daily activities.

What Are Prevention Strategies for Tailbone Pain?

Preventing tailbone pain can often come down to a few simple lifestyle adjustments. Avoiding prolonged sitting on hard surfaces can make a significant difference. If your profession or daily activities require extensive sitting, using a donut or wedge cushion can be a game changer, helping alleviate pressure on your tailbone and making your sitting experience considerably more comfortable. Maintaining regular bowel movements can also play a key role in preventing tailbone discomfort. Consuming a fiber-rich diet, staying well-hydrated, and regular physical activity can help maintain bowel regularity and prevent undue stress on the tailbone. Incorporating CBD into your routine can also be beneficial. As CBD works with the ECS, it can help support overall balance in the body, responding to irregularities and helping us relax our minds. Chronic stress can lead to a variety of health issues, including constipation. By helping to encourage healthy stress levels, CBD contributes to overall wellness and can potentially ease feelings of stress wherever it appears — around the tailbone and beyond.

The Bottom Line

Tailbone pain can be a bummer. However, with a better understanding of its causes and effective relief strategies, you're now equipped to manage this condition effectively. Whether it's through physical therapy, lifestyle adjustments, or exploring natural alternatives like CBD, relief is within your reach. Always remember, you're not alone. Don't hesitate to seek medical advice if you're experiencing persistent or chronic discomfort. As you explore wellness, consider checking out our full collection of Muscle MX wellness CBD products. Managing tailbone discomfort is about discovering what works best for you. Sources: Tailbone Pain (Coccydynia): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic Association of coccygodynia with pelvic floor symptoms in women with pelvic pain | PMC Tailbone pain: How can I relieve it? | Mayo Clinic Using heat and cold for pain | Mayo Clinic Connect Stress and constipation: What is the link? | Medical News Today

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