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How to Relieve Tailbone Pain During Pregnancy

A pregnant woman’s body changes in many ways, and one of the most difficult changes to adjust to is tailbone pain. It’s something we hear a lot about at Healing Hands Chiropractic while treating expecting mothers. The good news is that tailbone pain is usually temporary, and if you’re experiencing it during pregnancy, there are a number of exercises that can help relieve your discomfort. 

This article will discuss how to get relief from tailbone pain while pregnant by adjusting your posture and performing stretches. We’ll also cover exercises for relieving your condition, such as Pelvic Tilts and Thread the Needle.

What Causes Tailbone Pain When You Are Pregnant?

Although a wonderful experience, pregnancy can create many unpleasant symptoms, chief among them being tailbone pain. If you are wondering what is behind the ache in your coccyx (the tailbone), it is often caused by the pelvic ligaments loosening and shifting when your body releases the hormone relaxin. The hormone is needed to make the ligaments in your pelvic region loose and flexible enough to make room for your growing baby and to give birth. 

Other reasons for it include pressure on your pelvic area, which happens as the baby grows inside you, and the extra pounds you carry around that may be weighing down on your body.

Exercises that Relieve Tailbone Pain and Soreness

One of the best ways to get relief from tailbone pain is by performing exercises. Here are some effective ones you can try at home:

Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic Tilts are great for relieving pressure on your pelvis and lower back. 

How to perform a pelvic tilt:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent. 
  2. Tighten the muscles of your buttocks and abs while you slowly flatten your lower back to the floor.
  3. Hold for three seconds, then release to return to the starting position. 
  4. You should do this 20-30 times each day to get temporary relief from tailbone pain during pregnancy.

Thread the Needle

Thread the Needle is another good exercise to relieve tailbone pain. It stretches the piriformis as well as the glutes. 

How to Thread the Needle:

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Raise your knees toward the ceiling while keeping your feet flat on a mat or floor.
  3. Bend your left leg close to your body and rest your left ankle across your right knee.
  4. Grasp your right thigh with your hands and gently pull it toward your chest. Hold it there for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

Go Swimming

Going for a leisurely swim in the pool or enrolling in a prenatal water aerobics class often does wonders for tailbone aches. In addition, the water supports your weight, making you feel as light as a feather while relieving all the uncomfortable pressure you feel on your joints and back.  

Adjusting Your Posture Relieves Coccyx Pain 

If you have poor posture, it might be contributing to your coccyx pain. It takes a bit more focus to maintain good posture than it did before you were pregnant, but don’t get discouraged — if you feel any discomfort, try changing the position by crossing one ankle over the knee or leaning forward at the waist. This movement helps in clearing the pelvic discomfort and therefore alleviating the coccyx pain. 

In addition, your chiropractor can work with you all during your pregnancy, including helping you learn how to assume and maintain good posture when pregnant. 

Yoga Stretches Can Bring Needed Relief to Tailbone Pain 

It is important to remember that during pregnancy, your body undergoes a lot of changes. Some of these are positive, while others, such as discomfort, might not be so wonderful. Yoga stretches can help relieve this discomfort and relieve tailbone pain too. The following section discusses some yoga poses that will help you get relief.

4 Prenatal Yoga Stretches that Relieve Pregnancy Tailbone Pain 

Here are 4 exercises that will relieve pregnancy tailbone pain while bringing you other benefits:

#1: The Pigeon Pose 

This stretch is fantastic for releasing the hips and lower back, which might also be contributing to your tailbone pain. This pose can help relieve discomfort after giving birth too, since it helps strengthen the muscles around the pelvic region while stretching them simultaneously. The Pigeon Pose is also good for relieving hip pain during pregnancy. 

How to do the Pigeon Pose:

  1. From all fours, move your right knee towards your right wrist using a forward motion. Depending on your body type, it may be behind your wrist or to the inner or outer edge.  Your right ankle should wind up somewhere in front of the left hip —the Pigeon Pose can be an intense stretch to your outer hips. Experiment with a position that feels right, stretching your outer hip while not causing your knee to feel discomfort
  2. Next, slide the left leg back, pointing your toes. Your heel should point upward. 
  3. Draw your legs in towards one another (this part should scissor your hips together). Use support under your right glutes if needed. You want to keep the hips level. 
  4. Inhale; come onto the tips of your fingers, lengthen the spine, draw in your belly button and open your chest. 
  5. Exhale; walk forward with your hands while lowering your upper body down to the yoga mat. You can place your forehead and forearms on the mat.
  6. Hold the pose for five breaths or more. Each time you exhale, attempt to release tension that’s built up in your right hip.
  7. Lastly, come out of the Pigeon Pose by pushing back through your hands, lifting your hips and returning back into the position on all fours. Repeat on the opposite side.

#2: The Cat Stretch

The Cat Stretch is a great exercise to open up your chest and hips. While it does stretch the back, it also lengthens and strengthens. It is a handy exercise to do before going into labor since this pose helps open up your hips for an easier delivery. 

How to do the Cat Stretch:

  1. Start by kneeling on all fours, keeping your spine neutral. Place the wrists underneath the shoulders. Place your knees directly under your hips.
  2. Next, balance your body’s weight evenly between these four points.
  3. Inhale; look straight ahead as you slightly engage your belly
  4. Exhale slowly and gently tuck your chin to your chest while lowering your head. Draw your belly button in towards the spine as you arch your spine toward the ceiling.
  5. Keep your fingers spread as you push the mat away. Concentrate on lifting the space above and between the shoulder blades. You’ve now achieved Cat Pose!
  6. Hold the Cat Pose for a few exhalations before you return to the initial position.

#3: The Butterfly Stretch

The Butterfly Stretch is another excellent way to open up the tight chest and hip muscles that can cause tailbone pain during pregnancy. 

How to do the Butterfly Stretch:

  1. Start by sitting down on the yoga mat or floor with legs in front. 
  2. Bend forward and grab your right foot. You can bend your knee a bit to assist in helping your foot and hand connect. 
  3. Gently pull the right foot up and back towards your groin area. Bend it until it is at a comfortable position and the bottom of your foot faces your left thigh.
  4. Next, bend your left knee and bring the left foot toward the groin area. Bend it until the soles of both feet touch each other. 
  5. Hold both feet with your hands. Rest your elbows on top of your knees.
  6. Straighten your back (no slouching). Allow your knees to fall towards the floor. Apply gentle pressure on your inner thigh if needed by slightly pressing your knees with the elbows. If you feel mild tension and some gentle pulling in the groin, you are doing the Butterfly Pose correctly. 
  7. Maintain the Butterfly Pose for 20-30 seconds.

#4: The Cobra Pose

The Cobra Pose targets lower back muscles that may be causing your tailbone pain during pregnancy. 

How to do the Cobra Pose:

  1. Start by lying prone on the floor (belly down). 
  2. Stretch your legs back with the tops of your feet on the floor. 
  3. Spread your hands underneath your shoulders; hug your elbows back onto your torso. 
  4. Press the tops of your feet, thighs and pubis firmly onto the ground. 
  5. Inhale; straighten your arms and lift your chest off the floor; only go to the height needed to maintain a connection through the pubis through your legs. Exhale. 
  6. Next, press the tailbone down to the pubis. Then, lift the pubis toward your belly button. Narrow your hip points; firm the glutes—but don’t harden them.
  7. Position your shoulder blades firm against the back, puffing your side ribs out. Next, lift through the top of your sternum, being careful to avoid pushing your front ribs ahead, which will only harden your lower back. 
  8. Distribute this backbend uniformly throughout your spine.
  9. Hold the Cobra Pose for 15-30 seconds while maintaining your breathing. Exhale and release back to the initial position.

Symptoms of Pain in Tailbone during Pregnancy

The symptoms of tailbone pain during pregnancy can range from a dull ache to sharp, stabbing and shooting pains in the lower back. In addition, the area around the tailbone can be kind of tender, which can cause you to wince when sitting down or getting up.

Some Tips to Help Ease Tailbone Pain 

If you’re experiencing that familiar ache or twinge in your tailbone, there are some other things you can do besides exercising and stretching. They are:

  • Using a pillow or cushion to help support your back while sitting down for long periods. This allows the baby to get comfortable inside your womb. 
  • Wearing a maternity support belt to help relieve pressure on the lower back and belly while you’re at home resting or hanging out with friends.
  • Seeing your chiropractor to establish pelvic balance and alignment during pregnancy. A misaligned pelvis can decrease the amount of room baby your baby has to grow, which can cause pregnancy issues related to intrauterine constraint.
  • Trying prenatal massages. They will work out those knots in your muscles that are causing pain while putting no pressure on the tailbone itself. 
  • Lying on your side with a pillow between the knees, which will improve circulation to this area while also helping stretch out the surrounding ligaments and muscles for pain relief in pregnancy. 

Talk to Your Doctor about Medications for Tailbone Pain 

If you’re suffering from tailbone pain during pregnancy, then it’s important to talk with your doctor about what might be causing this discomfort and how to treat it. They can often prescribe some medications that will help ease the pain. For example, they may give you a steroid injection which will block out any inflammation around the area so you can feel more comfortable. 

You may also be prescribed some anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen which will help to ease any pain you’re feeling in the tailbone region as well. However, always check with your doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy.

Some Risk Factors for Tailbone Pain During Pregnancy

There are some risk factors for tailbone pain during pregnancy, especially if you had trouble with your tailbone area before you got pregnant. 

  • Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)
  • Constipation
  • Lower back injury (herniated disc, sciatica, etc.)
  • Pregnancy weight gain
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Sitting for long periods at work or school 

If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to talk with your doctor and chiropractor about what might be causing your tailbone discomfort and how to treat it. They can help prescribe some medications that will ease the pain as well as recommend some stretches that will help get rid of any muscle tightness

The Takeaways

As you can see, there are a number of different things that may be causing your tailbone pain during pregnancy. However, the main takeaway from this article is to take care of yourself with exercises and stretches and to talk with your doctor about what treatments you should try for relieving any discomfort. Another important takeaway is to always make sure you’re getting enough prenatal care throughout your pregnancy.

Healing Hands Chiropractic Can Help with Tailbone Pain 

Pregnancy is full of ups and downs, but if you’re suffering from tailbone pain during pregnancy it’s important to get this checked out by your doctor right away so they can prescribe the best treatment for you. If you would like to know more about how Dr. Dee at Healing Hands Chiropractic can help you with tailbone pain during pregnancy and more, please call us at 615-203-3505 or email us at [email protected].