Coccyx or tailbone as it is commonly referred is the bottom segment of the spinal cord or the vertebral column. Pregnant women experience a sharp or dull pain on their lower back or tailbone from as early as in the first trimester. During pregnancy, the harmones relaxin and estrogen cause relaxation of the ligaments in pelvic floor, which allows the coccyx to shift more than usual ; this causes the pain.
Let us discuss what causes tailbone pain during pregnancy :
Some of the major reasons believed to be responsible for coccydynia or tailbone pain are listed below.
The harmome relaxin is the main culprit in this case. Relaxin helps in the relaxation of muscles , connective tissues , ligaments in the pelvis and it also softens and widens the cervix. Ligaments connect the bones , so when they are softened , bones can be displaced from their original position leading to pain and discomfort.
Read More: Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy
Tailbone is located right behind the uterus. As the baby grows in size , the uterus also expands in size to accomadate the growing fetus pushing against other pelvic bones and ligaments. This leads to the displacement of tailbone resulting in excruciating pain.
Difficulty in passing stools and exerting pressure while pushing out the waste could lead to minor displacement of the softened ligaments.
Standing , sitting , walking ,working or resting in the same position for long periods of time could also lead to tailbone pain.
This trauma to the tailbone and inflammation of the surrounding area makes sitting very difficult for the expectant women.
How can I relieve myself from tailbone pain ?
Certain methods could be experimented with to take the pain off the coccyx . Few are listed below , let’s have a look at them.
Take the pressure off the coccyx
If your job demands longer periods in a sitting position – like a desk job , you can place a cushion on your chair. A doughnut shaped pillow is believed to be effective in relieving pain.
Changing positions frequently
Changing positions often is believed to be very effective. If you have been sitting for a few hours get up take a few steps , stretch your body and again sit back.
Read More: Home Remedies For Back Pain During Pregnancy
Gentle stretching exercises
A healthy and pregnancy – acceptable exercises are said to be very effective. When you feel the discomfort, sit on a chair and cross one ankle over your knee. Bend forward at the waist slightly. This simple move will stretch and open up the pelvis and alleviate some of the discomfort you are feeling.
Besides general exercises, there are specific stretches and moves that can ease the stress on pelvic region. Poses such as cat cow , torso twists , bridge and downward facing dog are few examples.
Read More: 7 Must Know Prenatal Yoga Poses
Maintain a good posture
Sit straight , never droop your shoulders , place your foot firmly on the ground don’t let it dangle, keep your back straight. A good posture would equally distribute the pressure that your body is experiencing and reduce the strain on tailbone to a large extent.
Swimming ,definitely provides a great relief from pregnancy aches and pains especially in the third trimester. Apart from keeping us fit, the natural buoyancy of water supports our weight taking the pressure off our pelvis. So a little time inside the pool could be a welcome relief to our aching body.
Take a brisk walk
Walking is one of the simplest exercises which can provide relief from a slew of aches and pains that pregnancy brings with it. A 30 minute walk on a daily basis not only helps in keeping us fit but also prevents us from gaining unnecessary weight which could put pressure on our pelvic region , aggravating tailbone pain.
Apply local heat
Take some rice grains in a muslin cloth , tie into a bundle and throw into the microwave for some 5 minutes. Your heat pad is ready. Press gently on the affected area but make sure that the heat is bearable. You can also soak in a tub of warm water before sleep.
Avoid lifting heavy things
This is no doubt very important. As the bones and ligaments are relaxed during pregnancy lifting heavy weights can strain the tissues of the back leading to misalignment. So be very careful.
Wear a maternity belt
Maternity support belts take some of the burden off the lower back by lifting the belly and adding a layer of support. They improve posture and are effective when used from the end of second trimester onwards.
When to call the doctor ?
There is no specific medication available for coccyx pain. Gentle streches and moves and simple home remedies are believed to provide much relief. The pain goes away postpartum. But if you are experiencing severe pain and none of the remedies are working, then make sure to call your doctor.
Pregnancy comes in a package of both joy and pain. On one hand your are overwhelmed with happiness , but on other hand you are worn out due to the soreness of your body and confusion of your mind.
Tailbone pain is one such pain which greatly affects a woman’s day to day activities like sitting , standing , working and resting. Local remedies and pregnancy – specific stretching exercises are said to provide relief. But if the pain persists, visit your doctor Asap to be on the safer side. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Tailbone pain is a shooting pain in the lower back commonly experienced by pregnant women. The pain begins early in the first trimester and lasts throughout pregnancy. A rush of pregnancy harmones like relaxin and estrogen are said to cause coccyx or tailbone pain. Relaxin harmones loosen the ligaments in the pelvic region to accomodate a growing uterus, which in turn accomodates a growing baby.
A little care , simple home remedies and doctor – approved , gentle exercises are believed to provide much needed relief.
Being careful while doing physical work , sitting or standing can gaurd against unwanted pain. Taking pressure off the tail bone , frequently changing postures , maintaining a balance between work and rest etc. can go a long way in tackling the pain.
Local home remedies like pressing a heat pad on the lower back , soaking in a tub of warm water , swimming , taking a brisk walk , wearing a maternity belt to support the growing belly can also help to ward off the pain.
Stretching exercises like- cat cow , bridge , downward facing dog etc. are also said to be helpful in taking the pain away. Tailbone pain is mostly cured by following simple remedies ,but if you feel that the remedies are not helping make sure to have a word with your doctor during the regular prenatal check up.