Tailbone pain is the most common medical problem faced by majority of the desk workers. There can be several reasons such as poor posture, obesity, injury, or strain. But the most common is prolonged sitting on a hard surface.
If you’re suffering from “tailbone pain from sitting at desk”, you’re at the right place. You will be glad to know that, in minor cases, the tailbone gets relieved within a few weeks with simple preventive measures such as going for a walk, performing easy stretches, pinching the buttocks, or applying ice cubes on the hurt area.
You may also make certain changes in your working space such as bringing an ergonomic office chair or replacing the ordinary office desk with an adjustable standing desk. If the pain persists, it’s high time to see your physician and seek expert medical advice.
In the following article, we have explained in detail the causes as well as possible remedies for tailbone pain from sitting at a desk. So without wasting a minute, read it in detail and get rid of your irritating tailbone pain.
What Exactly is Tailbone Pain?
Tailbone is a small triangular bone present at the end of the vertebral column. It bears the weight and supports the human body in a seated position. It is susceptible to different types of injuries and strains.
The most common condition is pain in and around the bony structure of the lower spine. In medical terminology, this region is called coccyx, therefore, the tailbone is also called coccydynia or coccygodynia.
Causes of Tailbone Pain
Let’s take a look at the chief causes of tailbone pain which may include:
One of the chief causes of tailbone pain is sitting for long hours especially on hard surfaces or without any support. Sitting on a desk for extended periods put pressure on the coccyx and surrounding muscles, potentially leading to pain and discomfort.
Fall or Accident
A fall or accident may dislocate, bruise, or fracture the tailbone resulting in pain and discomfort in it. This situation keeps you uncomfortable till the time you don’t get it fixed by proper treatment.
If you sit in a poor posture for long hours, it directly triggers pain in different parts of your back including the tailbone.
Overweight and underweight people will likely experience tailbone pain more often than normal-weight people. Underweight people don’t have enough fat on their buttocks region to shield the coccyx. On the other hand, overweight people put additional pressure on the tailbone while sitting, potentially leading to pain and irritation.
Certain Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions such as Arthritis can also trigger pain in your tailbone. Many women experience it during childbirth due to the pressure exerted on the region during delivery. Aging may also cause pain or stress in the coccyx, resulting in pain and discomfort.
How Can You Relieve Tailbone Pain From Sitting at Desk
Now that you have understood the potential causes of tailbone pain, let’s take a look at the recommended solutions for it. If you have minor tailbone pain, it generally gets relieved on its own within a few weeks. However, it is recommended to bring the following changes to your daily routine to avoid it from happening.
Go for a Regular Walk
Regular physical activity is the best armor against tailbone pain. Walking helps to increase blood flow and lose body fat. It also strengthens the bones and muscles which reduces stiffness in the lower back and tailbone area. Therefore, incorporate a walk of at least half to one hour in your routine to get the best results.
Take Regular Brakes from Work
Take regular breaks from your work and perform some simple stretches or go for a small walk. A sedentary lifestyle is not only dangerous for your spine but it may also have serious impacts on your overall health and productivity. While sitting, actively engage your legs in a constant movement so that your body weight remains evenly distributed and tailbone pain gets relieved.
Different leg movements may include keeping them close to the chair, extending them in front of you while keeping your feet flat on the floor, or bending the knees at a comfortable angle. In the same way, when you stand and move around, pressure from your tailbone shifts to other body parts.
There are tons of other benefits associated with regular movement but we are confining to the tailbone pain in this article. Therefore, get rid of your inactive lifestyle before it’s too late and integrate some physical activities into your routine.
Perform Simple Stretches
Perform simple stretches such as neck rolls, shoulder rolls, upper back stretches, and forearm stretches. Incorporating these simple stretches into your daily routine can do wonders in reducing the risk of repetitive tailbone pain associated with prolonged sitting and your overall health and fitness.
Pinch the Butt
No matter how absurd it may sound but pinching your butt for a few seconds would relax your muscles and helps in relieving tailbone pain. You can perform this simple exercise after every two to three hours or whenever you feel the need.
Practice Good Sitting Posture
Start practicing a good sitting posture while sitting in your office, driving your car, or doing other activities at large. Always try to keep your back straight and avoid slouching or leaning forward.
Keep your shoulders in a relaxed position while sitting or standing. Practicing a good sitting posture may sound difficult in the beginning, but once you get used to it, your physical health and productivity will be significantly enhanced.
Apply Cold Packs
Applying an ice pack on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes can give you instant relief from the pain. Holding an ice cube against the potentially painful area numbs it, lowering its pain or aches.
Warm Water Baths
Warm water baths are also effective against the tailbone pain. Soaking your body in warm water for at least 30 minutes a day relaxes your muscles and relieves the cramping pain.
Use an Ergonomic Office Chair
The use of an ergonomic office chair helps in relieving different types of body aches including tailbone pain. Features of ergonomic office chairs such as adjustable height, backrest, lumbar support, and armrests help achieve a good sitting posture.
There are different types of ergonomic office chairs ranging from kneeling chairs to mesh chairs and balance ball chairs to simple executive ergonomic chairs, allowing users to choose one that suits their demands and preferences. An ergonomic office chair evenly distributes the body weight and pressure in your spine without overburdening a particular part, thus relieving the tailbone pain.
Switch to an Adjustable Standing Desk
Incorporating a standing desk in your workspace allows you to alternate between sitting and standing resulting in reduced pressure on the tailbone. The use of a standing desk improves blood circulation and activates your body muscles during working hours, which helps alleviate pain in them.
There are different types of standing desks such as manually adjustable standing desks, adjustable desk converters, and motorized standing desks. All of them have distinct benefits and drawbacks. If you want to know more about the working of a standing desk, you can head to this article: How does a Standing Desk Work?
Seek Medical Treatment
If your tailbone pain is not healing by the above-mentioned remedies or treatments, you must be suffering from a condition called chronic coccydynia. In this case, it is advised to consult a medical practitioner who may conduct MRI testing or a rectal exam to examine the condition of your lower back region.
It would help in finding out if you have a fracture, joint changes, or, in rare cases, a tumor in the coccyx. Possible treatments for chronic coccydynia may include physical therapy, massaging the tailbone muscles, injecting a local anesthetic into the tailbone for instant relief, or surgery to remove the coccyx in extreme conditions.
Concluding all the critical points, it can be said that tailbone pain is common in many desk workers primarily due to the sedentary lifestyle. It may also get triggered by sudden falls or accidents, poor posture, or inherent medical problems.
It can be prevented by bringing certain changes in your lifestyle such as incorporating regular exercise, using an ergonomic office chair, taking warm water baths, or applying ice packs to the painful area. In case, these remedies are not proving to be effective, you need to seek a medical practitioner for professional healthcare advice.
Can a desk job cause tailbone pain?
A desk job can significantly contribute to tailbone pain due to prolonged sitting and lack of activity associated with this type of work.
Can sitting too much cause tailbone pain?
Sitting for a long period on a hard surface without any physical movement leads to tailbone pain.
Will tailbone pain go away?
With proper rest and precautionary measures, the tailbone gets away within a few weeks. However, it may also last longer under certain conditions.
How long does the tailbone take to heal?
Minor tailbone pain heals within a few weeks, however, if you have a severe injury in your tailbone, it may get several months for complete healing.