Self-manipulation of the coccyx


Posted 2003-06-08

I injured my tailbone somehow 4 months ago. It wasn't anything I could put my finger on, but the pain gradually increased in intensity pain until I had to completely forgo my workout program, as sitting at any weight station was painful. Shortly before that I had returned to work after a year's maternity leave, and had great difficulty as I am a bookkeeper and spend the day sitting at a computer.

Chiropractic adjustment of my lower back worked quite well initially to relieve the pain, but it came back, and further treatments didn't relieve the pain any further. Massage didn't seem to help, so I decided to insist that my doctor do x-rays and refer me to a specialist.

Four days before my doctor's appointment, I saw my massage therapist once more, and he asked if I would like him to try an adjustment by manipulation. This was applying pressure and "cupping" the coccyx with a finger externally (not inside the rectum but above it) and pulling the coccyx backward while I sat upright from a leaning over position. The relief was immediate, and I have performed it on myself several times since then, when I feel pain.

You sit down on a chair and lean forward, put your arm behind your back, then place a finger on your coccyx and pull it backwards, and then straighten your back up so that you're sitting upright. You need to apply quite a lot of pressure in order to get your finger to a position where it can pull back on the tip of the coccyx, and then keep the pressure applied under it and upwards in order to maintain contact with the tip of the coccyx. Sometimes I need to find the tip of my coccyx first, maintain that contact and then lean over to begin the manipulation. I don't know if it will be possible to figure this out by reading about it and not having someone show you how, but if it might possibly be of help to anyone, it's worth a try.

The following day I did the manipulation three times, the day after, once, and since then, sometimes not at all. I have high hopes that it will get to the point that it is realigned permanently and require no adjustment. I can finally sit on the floor with my children again.

It is such a relief, I had hoped it might be of help to readers of this site. I don't know if this would help everyone, but it is certainly a non-invasive method that is worth a try.

Note by Jon Miles, updated 2019-07-28:

This type of manipulation - pulling the coccyx backwards - is likely to be successful only if the coccyx is dislocated forwards, not if it is dislocated backwards. It is important to do the adjustment gently. Brenda writes that she has had many emails from happy people who have tried self-manipulation successfully.

So far 40 people have written to me after trying this method (no doubt many more have tried it). The outcomes reported to me were:

If you decide to try this, it is at your own risk. To clarify the steps recommended by Brenda:

  1. Sit down on a chair and lean forwards.
  2. Slide a finger down between your buttocks until you feel the tip - the lower end - of the coccyx through the skin. (Putting oil on your finger may make this easier.)
  3. Curl the tip of your finger around the tip of the coccyx.
  4. Gently pull the coccyx outwards.
  5. Straighten your back up so that you're sitting upright.
  6. Repeat up to 3 times a day.

If you decide to try this method, please let me know the result.

See also Manual treatments for coccyx pain

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