Tailbone (Coccyx) Pain Avoid sitting for extended periods of time

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Avoid Sitting for Extended Periods as a Coccyx Pain Treatment

Some people who suffer from coccyx pain have found relief in avoiding being in a seated position for an extended period of time. For those with acute episodes of pain or those who are just beginning to feel pain that seems to be coming from the tailbone, some find relief when they avoid sitting for extended periods of time.

Coccyx Pain Treatments –Avoid Sitting for Extended Periods

The coccyx, also known as the tailbone, consists of three or more bones fused to the sacrum by the vestigial disc and ligaments. This triangular shaped bone has limited movement though it can become damaged by traumatic injuries like an accident or hard fall as well as by degenerative spinal conditions. For those suffering from pain in the coccyx, one first treatment step is to avoid sitting for extended periods of time.

Is Avoiding Sitting for Extended Periods the Right Coccyx Pain Treatment for You?

The coccyx provides limited movement so damage is usually rare unless it is received from an accident or sudden fall onto the tailbone. The triangular shaped bone actually consists of three or more bones fused to the sacrum by a vestigial disc and ligaments. The lumbosacral joint (L5-S1) provides rotation to the lower body at the bottom of the lumbar spine and if it becomes damaged may result in referred pain to the coccyx.

Women are more susceptible to coccyx pain from sitting for long periods of time. The reasons for this have mostly to do with the slight anatomical differences between men and women in this area of the spine. In men, the pelvis sits upright and the sacrum rotates inward so the pressure is placed on the lower parts of the hips. However, in women, the pelvis is tilted forward and the coccyx bears most of the pressure when sitting.

There are a few suggestions that may aid in pain relief while avoiding sitting for long periods of time as a treatment for coccyx pain. Whenever possible, take standing breaks every hour or sooner to stretch and keep the muscles from feeling stiff. If the person suffering has a job normally performed while seated but is otherwise capable of standing on their feet for the majority of the work-day,  a standing desk, also referred to as a manual adjustable standing desk, may help to decrease coccyx pain symptoms. Standing desks have become popular back pain prevention aids in recent years and are now available at many large retailers and online.

When sitting is required, one should lean forward to keep the pressure off the coccyx. Changing positions frequently and using a doughnut shaped pillow or wedge may also help provide relief.

Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications may be prescribed to help decrease pain and inflammation in the coccyx. Physical therapy should be considered to learn stretches and other exercises that may relieve pressure and make sitting easier.

At-a-Glance: Avoid Sitting for Extended Periods as a Coccyx Pain Treatment

  • Lean forward when sitting down is unavoidable
  • Consider using a standing desk, when possible
  • Use a doughnut shaped pillow or wedge pillow
  • Take standing breaks whenever possible
  • Talk to your spine health provider about taking an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) medication
  • Consider physical therapy to learn stretches that can help combat coccyx pain

Health Tips For Coccyx Pain

  • The lumbosacral joint (L5-S1) may contribute to coccyx pain due to its rotation
  • In women, more pressure is placed on the coccyx while sitting than in men
  • If a traumatic injury to the coccyx has occurred, a bruise may be visible
  • If your coccyx pain hasn’t already been diagnosed, seek evaluation from a trained spine specialist right away to help get to the bottom of the pain

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