5 Yoga Poses That Relieve Tailbone Pain (Coccydynia)
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To relieve tailbone pain with yoga, focus on the spine. The movements of the cat-cow pose will alleviate tension and strengthen the back. If you need more support, do a reclining twist on the floor. You’ll feel a nice stretch in the lower back. Other beneficial bending poses include the cobra pose and standing forward bend. To stretch the entire body at once, do the downward facing dog.
Is your lower back in pain? Your tailbone, or coccyx, might be the culprit. This small bone at the bottom of your spine is super easy to injure.1 Tailbone pain is called coccydynia.
Common causes include childbirth, backward falls, and constant sitting.2 These might even put pressure on the surrounding nerves, leading to pain in the arms and legs.
Needless to say, coccyx pain isn’t pretty! This is where the healing power of yoga comes in. Poses that strengthen the spine, hips, and pelvis are the best bet.
To get started, try these 5 yoga exercises for relieving coccyx pain.
1. Cat-Cow Pose
Cat-cow, or chakravakasana, alternates between two different poses. This movement will make your back and stomach stronger, giving your spine awesome support. It’s one of the best yoga exercises for coccydynia.
- Place your hands and knees on the floor.
- Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart.
- Keep your back neutral and straight.
- Exhale and do the cat pose, or marjarasana.
- Round your spine and tuck your tailbone inward.
- Drop your head and tuck your chin inward. The top of your feet should touch the floor.
- The next inhale is for the cow pose or bitilasana. This move should start at your tailbone and flow up to your neck.
- Stick your tailbone upward, arch your spine, then look up to the ceiling.
- Curl your toes so that they touch the floor.
- Repeat the flow for 5 to 10 rounds.
2. Cobra Pose
For the ultimate back stretch, do the cobra pose, or bhujangasana. This backbend will strengthen the spine and surrounding muscles. Even your shoulders will feel good. Cobra pose benefits all kinds of back pain, including coccydynia.
- Lie down on your stomach. Position your hands flat on the floor, right below your shoulders. Bring your elbows in.
- On the next inhale, raise your chest upward. Your lower ribs and pelvic bone should stay on the floor. Make the pose stronger by engaging your abs.
- Roll your shoulders back to open up your chest. Keep your gaze straight ahead and don’t strain your neck upward.
- Hold for 5 breaths. On an exhale, release into a downward dog or lie back down on the floor.
3. Standing Forward Bend
At first glance, the standing forward bend, or uttanasana, seems too simple. Yet, this yoga pose is perfect for tailbone pain treatment. Your own body weight will lengthen your spine and take pressure off the coccyx. It’ll also stretch out your hamstrings.
- Begin in the mountain pose or tadasana.
- Place your feet hip-width apart and keep your hands at your sides.
- On inhale, lift your arms toward the ceiling and look up.
- Roll your shoulder blades toward each other to prevent hunching over.
- As you exhale, lower your arms out to your sides.
- Meanwhile, bend forward at your torso until your chest hits your thighs.
- Rest your hands on the mat or on your ankles to assume uttanasana.
- Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, remembering to inhale and exhale.
4. Reclining Twist
A major goal of tailbone yoga is to release tension in the lower back. You can do this with jathara parivartaranasana, or the reclining twist, which uses the floor as support. It’ll strengthen and stretch the spine, chest, and torso.
- Lie down on your back. Position your feet flat on the floor so that your knees bend.
- Extend your arms straight out on each side.
- Move both your knees toward the chest, then lay them down on the right.
- Keep them together the entire time. Here, you’ll feel a nice spinal stretch.
- After 15 to 30 seconds, bring your knees back to the center. Repeat on the left side.
5. Downward Facing Dog
Downward facing dog, or adho mukha svanasana, is one of the most popular poses out there. It’s great for your tailbone but also engages your shoulders, arms, and legs. Your entire body will get stronger, giving your back the support it needs.
- Start on all fours. Lift your hips up and toward the ceiling.
- Your heels should be as close to the floor as possible.
- Drop your head and neck toward the floor.
- Keep your back straight so that your body looks like an upside down “V” shape.
- Hold for 5 breaths.
The hamstrings are attached to the spinal column through the pelvis. It is hard to elongate the spine when the hamstrings are tight. Try micro-bending your knees in Downward Dog or any forward folds, as it helps create space in the lower spine and allows it to lengthen.
Registered Yoga Teacher
Aside from yoga, ice and gel seat cushions will alleviate tailbone pain. It’s also a good idea to avoid sitting for a long time. When sleeping, lie on your belly to remove pressure from your coccyx.3
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Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.