Do you have pain in your tailbone that doesn’t seem to go away?
The tailbone (or coccyx if we’re getting technical) is the part of your spine that sits at the bottom back behind your pelvis. The pain can be a dull throb or a constant sharpness and it can make it difficult to go about your day.
It’s made up of several vertebrae, but it can also become fused to create one bone that resembles a tail. This area can be bruised or harmed in many ways, and this causes consistent pain when sitting or standing.
Tailbone stretches are one way to help ease the pain so that you don’t have to suffer throughout your day.
If you’re in need of a few options for stretching and soothing your tailbone, we’re here to help. Keep reading for some calming stretches and poses that can ease that pain.
Why we choose yoga
Most (if not all) of the poses and stretches in this list are yoga movements that can help to stretch out that discomfort.
There are many reasons for coccyx pain, and yoga is great for slow and steady movement that will help to release the tension and relieve some of the soreness. It’s great for people who want to exercise but can’t do anything more intense while they’re feeling that pain.
Yoga lets you work on full-body awareness and toning while also stretching that painful tailbone.
Triangle pose is a deep stretch that you’ll feel mostly in your sides. For this, stand straight up with your legs wider apart than your shoulders. Turn and face your right side with one foot pointing in that same direction and the other pointing straight forward as it was before.
Bend sideways as far as is comfortable with your arms extended until the right arm is on or near the ground and the left is extended upward. Hold this for 5 to 10 seconds while breathing deeply and then make a slow rise back to the centre.
Repeat this same series of movements on the left.
This pose will strengthen and stabilise your entire core. While the core is often considered just the abdominals, the back is a part of this.
Get on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Straighten your left leg and bring it up until it aligns with your back (you may need a mirror). If you’re stable, straighten your right arm and reach it forward.
Hold this pose for 5-10 seconds before releasing and moving to the left.
The back bow (or bow pose) is a deeper stretch. If you have problems with your upper back skip this one for now.
Lay on your stomach and bend your knees until your feet are straight up. Bring your chest up and reach your arms back until they can grab your ankles (or come close).
This will stretch your entire back in a way that you’re not used to. Normally we slouch forward.
Hold this pose for 5 to 10 seconds and then bring your arms and legs back down.
This can be an easier stretch than the triangle for those with less flexibility.
Standing with your feet wide apart, face your right side, and turn your right foot with your body as the left stays forward. Move into a lunge position with your right knee bend as far as is comfortable.
With arms extended, bring the right to the floor as the left reaches upwards. If this is too difficult, rest the right elbow onto the left knee.
Hold the pose and then switch to the other side.
Pigeon pose can be too much for some people but if you’re able to reach it it’s soothing on the legs and back.
While seated on bent knees, bring one knee forward and send it into a half of a “crossed legs” position. Bring the other leg back so it’s in the position that it would be in if you were laying on your stomach.
To stabilize and stretch, Hold yourself up with your hands on the ground and bring your shoulders and chest back.
Hold this pose and then switch sides.
This is a stretch with two parts but it’s simple and soothing on the belly and spine.
On all fours, stabilize your shoulders and knees and push your stomach area toward the floor and hold this for only a moment.
Next, push your back and tailbone up so you’re arched. You should feel a release in your tailbone area.
Repeat this as many times as you’d like, shifting to your hips to different sides. Find what feels comfortable.
Child’s pose is a soothing yoga pose that acts as a stretch for your back and shoulders.
Start on all fours and bend your knees while sending your hips back. You should be sitting on the tops of your calves while your arms and shoulders are extended forward.
This is a pose that shouldn’t feel difficult on any part of the body and you can stay here as long as you’d like.
Cobra is a pose that may be difficult if you have upper back pain, so skip this one if that’s the case.
Lay flat on your stomach and bend your elbows to bring your arms forward next to your chest. Push up while leaving your lower body on the ground.
This should curve your lower back and give some relief to that painful tailbone area.
Do these tailbone stretches work for you?
When your tailbone is in pain it can rest in the back of your mind all day. Working on some tailbone stretches can be what you need to move forward.
Soothe your body and get some gentle exercise in with these stretches.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.