Having a sore tailbone can be a pain in the butt. Also called the coccyx, the tailbone is attached to the large, bony sacrum at the base of your spine and curves inward toward the pelvis. Anything from a fall to too much sitting can cause a condition known as coccygodynia, and the pain can range from a nagging ache to a burning sensation. Stretching your back with a sore tailbone means starting slow and knowing your limits, and when you find a stretch that feels good without aggravating the tailbone, stick with it.
Sit forward on the edge of a chair with your feet planted shoulder-width apart on the floor. If your sore tailbone was caused by too much sitting, you might as well make good use of the instrument of your pain to stretch your back. On an inhalation, slowly bend forward from your waist. Tip your lower back upward until the only thing making contact with the chair are the crease between your lower buttocks and your upper thighs. Let your back round naturally and let your head and torso hang freely between your legs. Scoot your hands under the chair to get a good stretch in your upper back, or if that's too intense, hold onto the chair legs. Take eight deep breaths in this position and then rise up to a sitting position with a straight back.
Lie on your back on a rug or yoga mat in preparation for the yoga exercise Knees-to-Side. Stretch your arms out to the sides at shoulder height. Lift your feet off the floor and bend your knees toward your chest. Exhale and lower both bent legs at once to the left. Pause for a breath and then inhale and return to the starting position. On your next exhalation, repeat the same action to the right. It's possible that your sore tailbone will have caused your lower back to become tense. If that's the case, place some pillows on either side of your legs so when your knees lower to each side, they can be propped up while your body gets used to the stretch. Remove pillows as your lower back becomes more flexible and you can execute the exercise unaided. Perform three on each side to start and work your way up to 20 per side over time.
Stand with your feet together about an arm's length in front of a desk or table. This exercise to stretch your back with a sore tailbone will be executed in degrees. Slowly bend forward from your waist and rest your arms on the desk or table. Breathe naturally and stay in this position for up to one minute. If there is no discomfort, deepen the stretch next time by standing in front of a chair. Place your hands on the chair as you bend forward from your waist and walk your feet backward until your back is fully stretched out. Breathe in this position for up to a minute. For the last phase, stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees bent, and fold forward from your waist until your arms and head are hanging loosely. Deepen the stretch with every exhalation and then return to standing after one minute.
- If your tailbone was broken or the pain was caused by any other condition than sitting in one spot for too long, check with your doctor to make sure these stretches are suitable for you.
Linda Kaban is a certified yoga teacher and professional life coach who specializes in helping people achieve their fitness goals. With a bachelor's degree in the humanities, Kaban has been writing since 1998 and has been published in YOGALife magazine along with other healthy living publications.