Coccydynia Exercises Physical Therapy, Causes, Signs & Symptoms

Coccydynia Exercises

Coccydynia is also called tailbone pain. Coccydynia is a medical term that refers to the condition characterized by pain and discomfort in the coccyx, which is the small, triangular bone at the base of the spine.

Most cases of coccydynia can be managed through conservative treatments like Coccydynia Exercises, cushioning, pain medications, and physical therapy, in some cases, more advanced interventions like injections or surgery may be necessary to provide relief.

Proper diagnosis and tailored treatment plans are essential for managing coccydynia and improving the quality of life for those affected.

Causes of Coccydynia

The most common causes of coccydynia include:

1. Trauma or injury:

Coccydynia often arises from direct trauma to the coccyx, such as a fall or impact on the tailbone.

Accidents, sports injuries, or even childbirth can lead to inflammation, bruising, or even fractures in the coccyx, resulting in persistent pain and discomfort.

The trauma can disrupt the surrounding tissues and nerves, leading to chronic pain in the tailbone region.

2. Repetitive strain:

Prolonged or repetitive activities that put pressure on the coccyx can contribute to coccydynia.

People who sit for extended periods on hard surfaces or those involved in occupations that involve a lot of sitting, such as truck drivers or office workers, may develop coccyx pain due to the strain on the area.

The continuous pressure can cause inflammation and irritation, leading to discomfort over time.

3. Poor posture:

Incorrect posture while sitting, standing, or even sleeping can strain the coccyx and its surrounding structures.

Slouching, hunching, or sitting on one side can put unequal pressure on the tailbone, leading to pain.

Maintaining proper spinal alignment is crucial to prevent unnecessary stress on the coccyx and minimize the risk of developing coccydynia.

4. Infection or abscess:

Although less common, infections or abscesses in the area around the coccyx can lead to coccydynia.

These conditions can cause localized pain, swelling, and discomfort. In some cases, an infected pilonidal cyst (a cyst that develops at the base of the spine) can trigger coccydynia symptoms.

Timely medical attention and appropriate treatment are essential to address the underlying infection and alleviate the pain.

5. Degenerative Changes:

Over time, wear and tear on the coccyx and its adjacent joints can result in degenerative changes.

Conditions like arthritis or degenerative disc disease can affect the coccyx, leading to pain and stiffness.

These changes may be exacerbated by movement and pressure, causing discomfort in the tailbone area.

6. Idiopathic causes:

In some instances, the exact cause of coccydynia may remain unknown, leading to what is termed idiopathic coccydynia.

This diagnosis is made when other potential causes have been ruled out.

Idiopathic coccydynia is often managed through conservative treatments like pain management strategies and lifestyle adjustments to alleviate the discomfort and improve the patient’s quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms of Coccydynia

The most common signs and symptoms of coccydynia may include:

  • Localized Pain: The primary symptom is pain that is localized to the coccyx region. The pain can range from mild to severe and may be described as aching, throbbing, or sharp.
  • Pain with Sitting: Sitting for prolonged periods or on hard surfaces can exacerbate the pain. Individuals with coccydynia often find it uncomfortable to sit for extended periods.
  • Pain with Transition: Changing from sitting to standing and vice versa can trigger a sharp pain. This transition can be particularly uncomfortable for those with coccydynia.
  • Pain with Movement: Activities such as bending, twisting, or even walking can lead to increased pain. The pain might radiate from the coccyx to the surrounding areas.
  • Localized Tenderness: Touching or applying pressure to the coccyx area may cause tenderness or discomfort. This tenderness is often a clear indication of coccydynia.
  • Painful Bowel Movements: Straining during bowel movements or sitting on the toilet can worsen the pain for individuals with coccydynia.
  • Pain During Intercourse: Some individuals may experience pain during sexual intercourse due to pressure on the coccyx area.
  • Reduced Mobility: The pain associated with coccydynia can limit mobility, making it challenging to perform certain activities or movements.
  • Muscle Spasms: In some cases, muscle spasms in the pelvic region may accompany the pain, further intensifying discomfort.

Coccydynia Exercises

Some of the exercises are listed below which may help in relieving the pain:

1. Gentle stretching exercises:

Start with light stretching to relieve tension around the coccyx. Seated forward bends, cat-cow stretches, and knee-to-chest stretches can promote flexibility. Gradually increase range of motion, ensure rest, and avoid overexertion.

2. Pelvic floor muscle training:

Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles is important for relief from coccydynia. Start with Kegel exercises, rhythmically contracting and releasing the pelvic muscles. As strength improves, advance to more complex pelvic floor exercises for better stability and support.

3. Mobility exercises:

Maintain flexibility and reduce stiffness with gentle spine, hip, and pelvic range of motion exercises. Circular hip movements and pelvic tilts are beneficial. Insist on gradual progress to prevent aggravation, and avoid sudden movements to protect the coccyx.

4. Core strengthening:

Core strengthening for lower back and pelvic support. Engage the deep abdominal muscles through exercises like planks and pelvic tilts. Prioritize proper form, start with low resistance, and progressively intensify to increase overall stability and reduce coccydynia discomfort.

Physical Therapy Rehabilitation of Coccydynia

Initial assessment and education:

The rehabilitation journey begins with a comprehensive assessment, which explores the patient’s medical history, pain levels, and functional limitations.

A physiotherapist educates the patient about coccydynia, its causes, and effective strategies to reduce pain.

This phase emphasizes proper sitting posture and reducing pressure on the coccyx.

Pain management:

In the early stages, methods such as ice or heat therapy are used to manage pain and prevent swelling.

Manual techniques, including soft tissue mobilization and gentle stretching, effectively reduce the tension of the muscles around the coccyx.

Postural correction:

Guidance on proper sitting, standing, and walking posture helps reduce stress on the coccyx.

Ergonomic advice for workplaces and seating arrangements aims to prevent the condition from worsening.

Pelvic floor muscle training:

Targeted strengthening exercises for the pelvic floor muscles contribute to coccyx support and increase pelvic stability.

Kegel exercises are included to improve muscle control and function.

Mobility exercises:

Gentle range of motion exercises for the spine, hips, and pelvis maintain flexibility, preventing stiffness. Progression is started gradually to avoid excessive exertion.

Core strengthening:

Focused core exercises engage the deep abdominal muscles and obliques, providing vital support to the lower back and pelvis.

Manual therapy:

Continued application of manual therapy techniques, such as joint mobilization and myofascial release, promotes pain relief and increases tissue flexibility.

Gradual return to activity:

A structured plan ensures patients are gradually included in daily activities and exercises, thereby reducing stress on the coccyx.

Continuous monitoring and plan adjustments are paramount.

Home exercise program:

Patients receive a customized home exercise program that includes stretches, strengthening exercises, and self-care techniques. Emphasis is laid on proper execution and consistent practice.

Follow-up and progress monitoring:

Regular follow-up sessions enable tracking of progress, addressing concerns, and modifying the rehabilitation plan as needed.

This approach to coccydynia rehabilitation ensures comprehensive care and optimal outcomes.


In conclusion, coccydynia management is important for a better quality of life. It is important to understand the diverse causes and symptoms. Physiotherapy emerges as an important solution offering a multidimensional approach. From initial assessment to pain management and rehabilitation exercises, it empowers individuals to actively participate in their recovery journey. With personal care and ongoing support, physiotherapy becomes a ray of hope, paving the way for lasting relief and a sense of improved well-being.

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