For many types of pain, the first instinct of a patient will be to rest. Sitting or lying down usually helps relieve pressure on various parts of the body – typically the legs, back or shoulders. However, rest and relaxation are not the cure for one type of pain in particular: coccydynia.
Referring to pain in the tailbone, coccydynia may appear in many forms and be caused by a few different things. But one cause in particular may surprise you: too much rest. Prolonged periods of inactivity and sitting down may be causing your tailbone more harm than good, leading to pain.
Fortunately, increasing your activity level and getting assistance from a chiropractor like the experts at Advanced Spine and Posture in Las Vegas, NV may be able to relieve your discomfort for good. If this type of pain is starting to sound familiar, read on and examine whether your lifestyle is playing a role.
Understanding coccydynia and its causes
Your tailbone, or coccyx, is a triangular section of bone situated at the very bottom of the spine near the sacrum. It usually comprises four bones and numerous semi-fused joints that permit some movement.
The coccyx plays an important role in supporting your body while seated and shifts with movement alongside the pelvic muscles and hips.
When coccydynia begins, it usually manifests in the form of localized pain that is usually intensified when sitting or putting pressure on the tailbone. Most people describe this pain as aching or sore until additional pressure is added to the tailbone, in which case severe pain may begin. Although seated position may cause pain, movement may also be difficult.
Your pain may become more intense when shifting from a seated position to a standing one due to the rotation of the pelvic bones and coccyx. Pain may also shoot down the legs or radiate up into the back.
There are a few common causes of this type of pain. Most commonly, coccydynia begins after a localized trauma to the coccyx, such as a fall or childbirth. Hypermobility may also contribute to pain because it stresses the joints between the sacrum and coccyx.
However, you may be surprised to discover that not moving enough can also have an effect on your coccyx. Sitting in one position for too long may cause your tailbone to tilt or become misaligned, adding pressure to the bones and joints in and around the coccyx. This can make it painful to sit after time. Sedentary lifestyles also don’t allow for much stretching of the muscles. With an inactive pelvic floor, the muscles in the area may begin to tense and shorten, making you feel uncomfortable or in severe pain while both moving and remaining still.
In a similar vein, obesity increases your risk for coccydynia. The pelvis tends to rotate less in people who are overweight, which puts continual stress on the coccyx for extended periods of time. Additionally, being overweight means there is additional mass adding pressure to the lower half of your body than there normally would be, increasing the likelihood of pain.
Getting active may reverse the problem
Fortunately, coccydynia caused by sedentary living is usually reversible. You may want to visit a chiropractor to discuss the health of your spine and tailbone and to receive recommendations for treatment.
One of the most important things you can do to reduce your coccydynia symptoms is to stay active. You don’t need to go from sitting on the couch all day to running marathons, but make it a point to go on a daily walk or try yoga at home. Additionally, your doctor may recommend you lose weight if it is putting more pressure on your coccyx and causing you pain.
A chiropractor may also be able to provide some pain-relief techniques, both while in the office and for at home. At-home ice and heat therapy may help reduce swelling, minimize pain and improve healing. In-person manipulations of the coccyx, in which the joint of the coccyx is manually adjusted, may help promote additional mobility.
The spinal experts at Advanced Spine and Posture have years of experience assisting Las Vegas, NV patients with their spinal pain problems. Using our specialized, holistic approach to patient care, Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), we aim for total-body wellness through adjustments to the musculoskeletal system and lifestyle recommendations. Contact us for more information.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.