How to Sleep With Tailbone Pain (The Best Sleeping Positions)

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Doctor pointing to Coccyx (tailbone) pain

If you are struggling with tailbone pain, you know how difficult it can be to get a good night’s sleep. But with the right sleeping positions and some self-care strategies, you can finally find some much-needed relief from your pain.

We’ve compiled a list of the best sleeping positions for tailbone pain and some simple tips to help you get more comfortable and prevent further injury. These are the key points we will cover:

Read on and get ready for a good night’s sleep!

What Is Tailbone Pain?

Tailbone pain is a common problem that can cause discomfort when sitting or standing. The tailbone, also known as the coccyx, is a small bony structure at the base of the spine. It comprises several fused vertebrae and supports the muscles and tissues around it.

Tailbone pain can occur when any of these structures becomes irritated or inflamed. In some cases, the cause of tailbone pain may be an injury, such as a fall. However, tailbone pain is often the result of prolonged sitting or other activities that put pressure on the area.

For many people, tailbone pain is a temporary problem that goes away with time and self-care. But, in some cases, it can become chronic and may require medical treatment. If you are experiencing tailbone pain, talk to your doctor about ways to find relief.

What Triggers Tailbone Pain?

There are several things that can trigger tailbone pain, also known as coccydynia. Here’s a list of the most common causes:

Prolonged Strenuous Exercise

Exercise that involves strenuous activities, like running, can stress your tailbone and result in inflammation and pain.

Sudden Strain or Injury

A sudden strain or injury, such as a fall or car accident, can also cause tailbone pain. Even a minor injury to the area can be enough to trigger inflammation and discomfort.

Pregnancy

Tailbone pain is quite frequent among pregnant women. During pregnancy, the pelvic floor relaxes due to the release of certain hormones, causing the coccyx to move. This, plus the extra weight and pressure on the pelvic area, can lead to coccyx pain.

Sitting for Long Periods

Sitting for long periods puts pressure on the tailbone. This can be especially problematic if you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk all day.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as infections or hemorrhoids, can also lead to tailbone pain.

Symptoms of Tailbone Injury

The symptoms of tailbone pain can vary depending on the underlying cause. However, some common symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the area of the tailbone
  • Soreness to touch
  • Difficulty sitting or standing for long periods
  • Pain when pressure is applied to the area
  • Pain when moving from sitting to standing or vice versa
  • Inflammation
  • Tenderness

How Can You Help a Sore Tailbone Heal?

If you’re dealing with tailbone pain, several strategies can help relieve your symptoms and speed up the healing process.

Get Regular Exercise

Regular exercise can also help reduce tailbone pain. Choose low-impact activities like swimming or yoga. These can help strengthen the muscles around your tailbone without putting too much pressure on the area.

Pelvic tilts, hamstring stretches, and gluteal stretches will also help ease the pain and discomfort associated with tailbone pain.

Sit on a Donut Pillow or a Ring-Shaped Cushion

Sitting on a ring-shaped cushion or a donut pillow can help take the pressure off your tailbone and provide some relief from pain.

Stay Hydrated

Keeping your body hydrated can also help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.

How to Sleep With Tailbone Pain (The 5 Best Sleeping Positions)

If you’re experiencing tailbone pain, you probably know it usually gets worse while lying down. This is because when spending a lot of time in one position, the chemicals that can cause inflammation tend to accumulate. 

So, finding a comfortable sleeping position is vital. Here are the best sleeping positions for tailbone pain:

Sleep on Your Side

Sleeping on your side is the most comfortable position for many people with tailbone pain. Try placing a pillow between your knees. Your spine will be aligned, and your tailbone will be relieved of pressure with a pillow.

Sleep on Your Back

If you find it comfortable, sleeping on your back can also help to reduce pressure on your tailbone. Take some pressure off your lower back and tailbone by placing a pillow under your knees.

Sleep on a Firm Mattress

A firm mattress is best when dealing with tailbone pain, as it will help reduce the pressure on your lower back and tailbone. A mattress topper or extra pillows can also help to make your mattress more comfortable.

Sleep in an Elevated Position

If you have access to a bed that can be raised or propped up, sleeping in an elevated position may also help reduce tailbone pain.

Use a Pillow Under Your Hips

If you are sleeping on your side or back, placing a pillow under your hips can help take some of the pressure off your lower back and tailbone.

How to Sleep With an Injured Tailbone?

Here you will find some recommendations on the best sleeping positions for a bruised or a broken tailbone:

How to Sleep With a Bruised Tailbone?

If you have a bruised tailbone, sleeping on your side or back may be uncomfortable. Instead, try using a ring-shaped cushion or donut pillow to take pressure off of the area. You may also want to prop up your hips with a pillow to reduce pain.

How to Sleep With a Broken Tailbone?

If you have a broken tailbone, the most important thing to do is rest and avoid sitting or sleeping in positions that put pressure on the area. Using a pillow to support your hips and applying heat or ice to the area may also help to minimize pain and discomfort.

How To Relieve Tailbone Pain While Sleeping

There are a few steps you can take to relieve tailbone pain while sleeping:

Take Pain Relievers or Over-the-Counter Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help to reduce inflammation and pain. 

Apply Gentle Heat or Ice to the Area

Applying heat or cold to the area can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Try placing a heating pad on the area for 20-30 minutes a few times a day or applying an ice pack for 10-15 minutes at a time.

Natural Remedies

There are also some natural remedies that can help relieve tailbone pain and speed up the healing process. Some effective options include castor oil, turmeric, and garlic. These have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce pain and swelling.

Try Massaging the Area

Gently massaging the area with a warm, damp cloth can also help to ease inflammation and pain. You may want to enlist the help of a friend or family member to reach the area.

How to Prevent Tailbone Injury

You can do a few things to help prevent tailbone injury:

Wear Protective Gear

If you take part in sports or other activities that could lead to a fall, wear protective gear such as a helmet and padding.

Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects

Always lift with your legs rather than your back when lifting heavy objects. This will help to reduce the pressure on your lower back and tailbone.

Practice Good Posture

Good posture helps take the pressure off your lower back and tailbone. Be sure to sit up straight and use a chair that supports your back. If you sit for long periods during the day, get up and walk around regularly to help prevent stiffness and muscle aches.

When to See a Doctor

Tailbone pain is usually not severe and should improve with treatment over time. Still, it is vital to speak to a doctor if you experience:

  • Intense pain that is not relieved by home treatment
  • A lump or deformity at the site of the injury
  • Numbness or difficulty moving the tailbone area
  • Severe or worsening pain that interferes with your ability to move or sit comfortably or movement of your tailbone area becomes difficult or impossible.

They may recommend additional treatment options, such as physical therapy or steroid injections.

Final Thoughts

Sleeping with tailbone pain can be uncomfortable and disruptive. Yet, sleeping on your back, on your side with a pillow under your hips, or on a firm mattress can often help ease pain and discomfort.

Taking pain relievers, applying heat or ice to the area, and trying natural remedies can also be effective treatments.

If your pain is severe or does not improve with treatment, you should book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Nate Devore
Nate Devore
For over 15 years Nate has been obsessed with solving his own personal and difficult health challenges related to sleep, energy, and fatigue. As one of our sleep experts at sleeping.com, Nate is passionate about helping you get the best night’s sleep possible.

Medical Disclaimer: The content on this page should not be taken as medical advice or used as a recommendation for any specific treatment. Always consult your doctor before making any decisions.

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