Sitting comfortably

Find comfortable clothes

Some clothes can make the problem worse, such as tight jeans. Loose clothes that do not squeeze your bottom together are the most comfortable.

Change positions

It is best not to stay in one position (whether sitting, standing or kneeling) too long - you could easily cause other aches and pains. Use the timer on your phone to remind you to change position every 15 or 20 minutes. Set it to vibrate so it doesn't attract attention.

Lean forward

Leaning forward in your seat may lessen the pain. It helps if you have a table to rest your arms on. It needs to be the right height, and you need to be careful to avoid straining your back. Anonther patient writes: "Sit down with legs really wide open and waist pushed forward so that the spine does a wide forward curve. This lifts the coccyx out of the way from the seat. Don't lean forward, the head should be above the buttocks. This works best on a flat wooden seat without a cushion." Sally Cowell writes: "With two chairs, one in front of the other, I sit leaning forward and rest on the back of the other. I always take a small air cushion which I place well forward on the chair."

Lean to one side

Many people find that leaning to one side while sitting, taking all the weight on one buttock, reduces the pressure on the coccyx and lessens the pain. If you do this, don't do it too much, or you can cause yourself low back pain from the strain of keeping that position. I overdid it, and had to go to a chiropractor to sort out the low back pain, which he did successfully. Leaning sideways works better if you have a supportive easy chair with high sides, and you can bring your feet up beside you. Or you can bring up one foot underneath the opposite buttock, or under the same buttock. Lisa writes: "I've discovered that sitting on one of my feet really helps. I'll slide one of my legs underneath me, and it greatly reduces the pressure and pain. On long car rides where I'm not driving, I'll switch or sit on both". With all of these you need to keep swapping sides to avoid strain, and avoid spending too much time in these positions anyway.

Exercise while sitting

Jane writes: I was taught pelvic floor strengthening exercises at antenatal classes, and have tried doing these again. Initially I felt sharp pain in the coccyx area when I did the exercises, but have since noticed that contracting the pelvic floor muscles seems to help relieve the pain when I'm sitting down.

Comfortable position for sex

A woman writes: The "Lover's Cushion" (available online) alleviates pressure on the tailbone while it supports your back and hips during those "special moments" which could otherwise be quite painful. (Pay attention to the orientation since it is counterintuitive and I had it backwards at first. The thicker part is by your legs and the thinner part by your back.)

Written by Jon Miles

Updated 2019-07-28

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