You never know how essential your tailbone is until you injure it. It’s located at the base of the spine, closely tied to your lower back and legs, and it controls much of your movement, whether sitting, standing, or walking. When pain hits, it can feel like every step you take sends a bolt of lightning through your nerve endings. Luckily, there are forms of tailbone pain treatment you can use to deal with pain naturally, including exercise and yoga. But, are there certain movements that can help you more than others? We’ve found some of the best exercises and yoga poses that can best give you tailbone pain relief.
Exercises for Coccyx (Tailbone) Pain
It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise could help relieve tailbone pain and help fix certain issues, depending on what has caused the pain. It can help sore muscles by stretching them out and loosening them up. The exercises can include:
1. Hand-to-Feet Stretch
Stand straight. Begin by bending down while keeping your legs straight (trying your best not to bend at the knee). Reach for your feet. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then return to standing straight. Repeat this movement five times a session, two sessions per day. Increase to 10 times a session after a week’s time.
2. Piriformis Stretch
While lying on your back, cross your left leg over your right leg so that your ankle rests on your right knee. Using your hands, grab a hold of your left knee and pull it gently toward the opposite shoulder. Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds. Relax and follow up with the same stretch on the other leg, and repeat this cycle two to four times.
3. Anal Lock
The name may sound funny, and you may even laugh the first time you perform it, but it can help. Do you know that muscle squeeze you do to prevent a “number two” accident? It’s that same muscle movement. Clench your anal sphincter for 10 to 20 seconds, and then gently release the muscle contraction. Do this for three to five sessions to start but working your way to 10 to 15 sessions a day.
Walking at a brisk pace (if possible) can help out your tailbone. The walk should be at least 15 to 30 minutes long and as brisk your injury may allow.
5. Weightless Squats
Squats, when done properly, can help your tailbone. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and begin the movement by flexing your knees and hips and sitting back with your hips. Go as deep as you can comfortably and then return to your starting position.
Swimming may help with your tailbone pain as you exercise the area much like you would while walking, but with little to no impact on your joints.
Beyond these exercises and stretches, you may find that certain yoga poses can help you deal with your tailbone pain, as well as aid in prevention.
Yoga Poses for Tailbone Pain Relief
Yoga is a set of exercises with low impact, and there are quite a few stretches and movements that can fall under the category of tailbone pain yoga. The following positions should help your tailbone, but you will need a yoga mat to perform them comfortably.
7. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Place the back foot parallel to the back end of the yoga mat and the front heel in line with the arch of the back foot. Keeping both legs straight, inhale and lift the arms up parallel to the ground. As you exhale, reach forward before tilting the side of the body and lowering the front arm toward the floor, keeping the legs straight as possible the entire time. Keep the hand to the inside of the front leg. Only go down as far as feels good to you, maybe stopping at the thigh or midway on your calf. Keep the heart and torso open by keeping your arms aligned, as if pressing your body against an invisible pane of glass behind you. Stay in this position for five to seven breaths before gently rising up and repeating it on the other side of the body.
8. Side Angle Pose (Parsvakonasana)
Start by standing tall at the front of your yoga mat with your feet flat on the ground. Move the right leg back a few feet behind you while keeping the outer edge of the right foot parallel to the back edge of the mat. Align the heel of the front foot with the arch of the back foot.
Bend your front knee while making sure that you do not extend it over the front ankle. As you inhale, lift the arms up so they’re parallel to the ground. Then, bend the left elbow while exhaling, and lower the forearm to rest on the left thigh. Extend the right arm up to the sky, allowing your gaze to follow only as far as your neck will comfortably allow, or you can keep gazing at the ground. Deepen the posture by stretching the right arm up, along with the ear, and toward the wall in front of you. Keep the torso open and lines in the body long. Hold this pose for five to seven breaths, and then repeat on the other side of the body.
9. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Lie on your belly with your arms resting by your side and forehead on the mat. Bend your knees and grasp the outside of your ankles. If you aren’t flexible enough or it hurts to reach the ankles, just reach toward the ankles. While inhaling, lift the torso up on the mat and send the soles of the feet toward the sky. Seesaw your way higher and send the feet up, allowing the movement to lift your chest higher. If reaching for your feet isn’t possible due to pain or flexibility, reach toward your feet. Stay for three to five breaths before lowering down to rest. Repeat this stretch three more times.
10. Cat/Cow Stretch
Begin by placing your body in a prone table-top position, with your hands directly under the shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Arch your back up toward the sky (the cat position). Follow this by arching your back with your head lifting up (the cow stretch). As you perform the cat stretch, exhale your breath; as the cow stretch is performed, inhale. Perform the exercise for one minute.
These yoga exercises should help you relieve your pain as well as strengthen your tailbone area, but please take note: Not all yoga exercises are helpful. Try to avoid setu bandhasana, or bridge pose, as it may further injure the tailbone.
Your Tailbone May Hurt, but Exercise Can Help!
The first impulse with any injury is to rest it. It’s what we’ve been taught to do for most muscles and cuts: Don’t move it for a while. And while the same applies for the tailbone to start, eventually, you want to get moving and get your tailbone back into place. These tailbone pain relief exercises and yoga poses should help you get your tailbone back into shape and get you back to moving without pain.
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