The tailbone pain is quite common these days. Often associated with pregnant women, it can affect men too and may have various causes. It is medically known as coccydynia, and it targets the triangular bone located by the lumbar spine – just above the buttocks. Tailbone pain relief can be done at home, yet there are situations when a doctor’s advice is recommended.
Causes of the tailbone pain
There are more causes associated with this affection and falling is the most common one. Slipping on ice or falling on stairs are some of the main causes. A bad fall can even dislocate or break the tailbone.
Repetitive injuries are just as common. For instance, sports like cycling or rowing imply moving all the time – stretching, leaning forward and so on. Exaggerating will inevitably strain the tissues around this bone.
Obesity and being underweight could add to the tailbone pain too. Extra weight puts too much pressure on it. Being underweight means there is not enough fat to prevent the bone from rubbing against tissues.
While quite rare, tailbone pain could be a cause of cancer – it is a very rare symptom too. Other than that, sitting is more common, especially if you are on a very hard surface. If you have to work in such conditions, stand up more often or perhaps take a walk or bring a pillow to work.
The problem is more common in pregnant women though – especially during the last trimester. The area is softened for the coccyx to move accordingly while giving birth. This movement may also cause too much stretching, leading to various pains.
Suggested article: Sciatica And Pregnancy – Causes, Symptoms, Stretches
Tailbone pain relief
1. Ice packs
You do not necessarily need ice for this pain relief option – cold packs are just as handy. Stick them into the fridge or freezer for a bit and they are ready to go. Apply them to the affected area and keep them for a few minutes. You can do it up to three times a day. Do it as soon as the pain kicks in. A few days later, inflammation should be reduced.
Choose this method when the pains are reoccurring. They may hit every now and then for various causes – start using the packs as soon as it kicks in and give them a few days for the relief.
2. Heating pads
Heat is just as efficient for tailbone pain relief. Some cases of inflammation require an alternative between cold and hot pads. For tailbone pain, you can still alternate, but give the procedures a bit of time. Give the pain a day or so before applying heating pads. You will relieve the muscular tension, which will add to the actual pain.
There are more sources of heat you can rely on. You can get a chemical heat pad or perhaps one of those adhesive strips that provide long relief. If you need immediate pain relief and you do not have any of these, a hot water bottle will do. Hot baths are also great, but make sure you sit in a comfortable position in the bathtub – no weight on the tailbone.
3. New activities
Certain activities will help in the tailbone pain relief by ameliorating pressure. As a direct result, you will feel less pain in the affected area. You need basic changes in your lifestyle. For instance, use a standing desk because you will reduce your sitting times – a common cause for the problem.
You can also use a pillow while sitting down – even at work. Maintain a proper posture and avoid leaving too much weight on the tailbone while sitting.
4. Extra pillows
Extra pillows will allow you to reduce the pressure on the lumbar area while sitting. Even if you try to avoid sitting, you will have to do it every now and then – whether you relax at home after a long day at work or you actually work in an office. There are certain pillows you can use to relieve pain.
Ideally, you should opt for U shaped pillows. V shaped pillows are just as common, not to mention wedge shapes. They usually come with a hole around the tailbone, only to reduce the pressure on it. However, any type of pillow that will reduce the pressure on this bone is great for pain relief. It makes no difference how many pillows you get or how you arrange them.
Such a cushion can be handy in the car as well, not to mention your office.
5. Changes in the diet
The tailbone pain can sometimes be caused by irregular bowel movements. Even if the cause is different, constipation and other similar issues can make it worse, so you need to work on these things. Constipation is the main issue and can be easily tackled.
Simply change your diet and get more fibers. Drink more water as well, while stool softeners are a must if the problem persists.
Drugs – most commonly, NSAIDs like naproxen or ibuprofen can help against painful sensations. These are actually painkillers. Ideally, this is the last resort and only if the pain is too severe to cope with. Keep in mind that all medications out there have side effects. Therefore, most people would rather try the natural solutions before actually going for drugs.
As a short final conclusion, tailbone pain relief is doable at home. No matter how problematic or common this pain is, there are ways to overcome it and ensure it will not return. Further maintenance may also be required if you are still exposed to its most common causes.
While drugs and painkillers can help, natural remedies are more common because they have no secondary reactions. Indeed, it may take a few days for the pain relief to occur, but at least you know there is nothing else to be concerned about.
Severe and consistent pains will require medical attention though.
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