Tailbone (Coccyx) Pain Sitting on a doughnut pillow

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Sitting on a Doughnut Pillow as a Treatment for Coccyx Pain

For people who are experiencing the pain associated with damaged sustained to the coccyx, sitting on a doughnut pillow may be one conservative treatment option that can provide significant relief while the coccyx heals. Coccyx damage can be the result of an accident or sudden fall in which the patient lands on the tailbone. The coccyx is made up of three or more bones fused to the sacrum by a vestigial disc and ligaments.

Coccyx Pain Treatments – Sitting on a Doughnut Pillow

Most damage in the coccyx will heal on its own, but it will take a long time. Treatment is difficult due to the placement of the tailbone and the daily activities that aggravate the bone and ligaments. Sitting on a doughnut pillow may take the pressure off the coccyx.

Is Sitting on a Doughnut Pillow the Right Coccyx Pain Treatment for You?

The coccyx consists of three to five bones fused to the sacrum by a vestigial disc and ligaments. The triangular shaped bone has limited movement and is less prone to injury than other parts of the spine. However, the coccyx can still become damaged and when it is, the result can be incredibly painful for the person feeling it. Usually, coccyx damage is the result of an accident, fall, or difficult childbirth.

Generally, women report a higher incidence of coccyx pain. This is due to the anatomical differences in the position of the pelvis and rotation of the sacrum in females. In men, the pelvis is upright and the sacrum rotates inward. In women, the pelvis is wider and tilted so when sitting, the coccyx bears more pressure.

Most instances of coccyx pain will resolve on their own, but healing may take some time. Simple activities like sitting or standing from a sitting position can be consistently painful. A doughnut shaped pillow or wedge pillow may give some relief to patients as it takes the pressure off the coccyx. The best type of pillow to get will be firm with a hole or open space for the coccyx to rest without pressure. The pillow should distribute weight evenly to also take pressure off the legs and feet. Some pillows are made with a memory foam material to contour to the patient’s body for a better fit. These can be purchased at most retail stores or online.

In combination with sitting on a doughnut pillow as a treatment for coccyx pain, medication may be recommended by the treating physician. Over-the-counter medications like NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can decrease inflammation and pain. These drugs include ibuprofen and naproxen. If the patient is taking blood thinners or has stomach issues, acetaminophen will be a better choice. Acetaminophen has fewer risks associated with it, the exception being in those patients with liver damage or liver disease. For severe pain, prescription pain medications may be prescribed. The physician and pharmacist both should be consulted about any new medications, drug interactions, side effects, and risks.

At-a-Glance: Painful Straining of Bowel Movements as a Symptom of Coccyx Damage

  • Stool softeners and pain medication may help avoid constipation during coccyx pain episodes
  • Daily activities may aggravate the coccyx area
  • The lumbosacral joint may be a contributing factor in coccyx pain
  • Women are more at risk of coccyx injury than men

Health Tips For Coccyx Pain

  • Use a doughnut shaped pillow or wedge pillow when sitting, to relieve coccyx pressure
  • Use heat or ice packs for 10 to 15 minutes at a time as directed by your physician
  • Take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or naproxen to decrease swelling, but speak with your physician about it first
  • Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time

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