Do you suffer from an achy, sore tailbone at the end of the day? Many of us have this common pain issue in our tailbone, medically referred to as our “coccyx.”
This small bone located at the very bottom of our spine is prone to injury and soreness. This pain can range anywhere from a soreness only when you sit in certain positions to a deep, radiating pain that makes it hard to move around.
No matter what kind of tailbone pain you’re experiencing, it can cause some discomfort when you lay down to sleep. Luckily, there are a few sleeping positions that can help alleviate some of this pain and allow your tailbone to heal faster.
Here are a few of the best sleeping positions you can try out for your tailbone pain.
Causes of Tailbone Pain
To address the problem, we first have to look at the cause of the issue. There are a few things that could be the culprit of your back pain ranging from the expected to the more concerning causes.
The most common causes of tailbone pain are:
The most concerning and severe cause of tailbone pain is from a fracture or broken tailbone.
If your tailbone is, in fact, broken, you’re probably going to notice pretty quickly. It usually arises from a specific instance, like a serious fall, injury, or trauma.
In other cases, your tailbone can be broken from something like sitting down on a hard surface. The tailbone is tiny and easy to break or dislocate, so it’s not all that difficult to find yourself with a broken tailbone.
Another cause of tailbone pain is pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, there’s a lot of extra pressure put on your body, especially the area around your pelvis and uterus.
If you’re pregnant, you’re most likely going to experience lower back pain due to the extra weight. And, you guessed it, tailbone pain is a part of that deal.
A cause of daily tailbone pain is prolonged sitting or a sedentary lifestyle.
If you work an office job and are seated at a desk all day, you’re placing a lot of stress on your back. Add that on top of the poorly-designed office chairs that sit too low or are too soft, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for tailbone pain and achiness.
Why Does Tailbone Pain Get Worse At Night?
Why is it that sometimes your tailbone pain worsens just when you’re lying down to go to sleep or in the morning after?
The reason that tailbone pain gets worse at night is that you’re spending a lot of time in one position. This makes things like inflammatory back pain worse rather than better due to the chemicals that can cause inflammation in your tissue and joints to accumulate.
This is why you wake up with that painful lower back.
The Best Sleeping Positions for Your Tailbone Pain
So which sleeping positions can you try out to reduce this tailbone pain or at least not make it any worse?
It’s hard to know how much you may move around when you sleep, especially if you toss and turn while you’re asleep. There are, however, a few things you can do to make sure you go to sleep in the right position.
With the assistance of a few properly-used tools, these positions can help reduce and soothe your tailbone pain.
Sleep on Your Side with a Pillow Between Your Legs
A good sleeping position to protect your tailbone from further injury or pain is to sleep on your side. This position is especially recommended for pregnant individuals to cradle their bellies.
When sleeping on your side, use a thin pillow between your knees to keep your hips in line. This places less pressure on the hips and, in turn, on the tailbone.
You should also make sure that the pillow under your head is firm and thick to fill in the space between your head and your bed. This keeps your spine in line, ensuring that your tailbone will be aligned with the rest of your back.
Sleep on Your Back Using a Wedge Pillow Beneath Your Knees
The best sleeping position possible for those with tailbone pain is to sleep on your back with a wedge pillow instead of stomach sleeping or side sleeping.
This may seem odd since you’d think putting more pressure on your tailbone would make the problem worse, but it’s the best position that anyone can sleep in to minimize symptoms, but only with the assistance of some extra tools.
When sleeping on your back, make sure to place a wedge pillow beneath your knees. This allows your lower back (including your tailbone) to relax into your bed. Without the small pillow, you could be causing extra stress on the discs in your lower back, making the problem worse.
Never Sleep on Your Stomach
Whether you choose the side-sleeping option or sleeping on your back, do your best to never sleep on your stomach.
Sleeping on your stomach is shown to be the worst sleeping position for everyone, especially for those suffering from tailbone pain.
It places all of your weight right in the middle of your body, flattening the natural, healthy curve of your spine. You’re also twisting the top of your spine since you have to turn your head to one side to breathe.
Other Tips for Sleeping with Tailbone Pain
Aside from sleeping in a better, healthier sleeping position, there are a few other things that can help you get some better sleep when struggling with tailbone pain.
Since getting to sleep can be difficult when you’re in pain for short or long periods of time, here are some natural methods to make getting to sleep easier.
Drink Some Sleep-Inducing Tea
Herbal teas have been used for centuries as a natural sleep aid. Drinking a nighttime tea, usually one with chamomile or kava or even lavender, can help you fall asleep faster. These teas also help you stay asleep instead of tossing and turning at night.
Adding some tea to your nighttime routine can be soothing and reduce anxiety as well, which is a common side effect of the pain that a sore tailbone causes.
Use Heat to Relax Muscles
When we have tender or painful areas of our body, our body’s automatic response is to protect itself.
In the case of a tailbone dislocation or injury, our muscles try to protect our tailbone by tightening up around it while it heals.
Though intended to be helpful, this can cause worse lower back pain and muscle spasms.
To release this muscle tension, we can use heat therapy. This can be done by taking a relaxing, hot bath or using a heating pad or hot water bottle to reduce strain on the area.
The heat works to open up the blood vessels, allowing healthy circulation to bring fresh, nutrient-rich blood to those inflamed muscles in your lower back and buttocks.
Consider Using a Coccyx Cushion Throughout the Day
You know that saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?
Using a coccyx cushion made from Everlasting Comfort Gel Infused and Ventilated Memory Foam throughout the day in your office chair or car seat can stop coccyx pain before it even happens by providing a safe place to rest during the day. This can be especially useful to ease pain if you have had a coccyx injury or an injury to your pelvic floor.
Sleeping With Tailbone Pain Can be Tough
Sleeping with tailbone pain can be difficult. You can make it easier by sleeping in a protective position and using extra pillows and cushions to help your body out. Additionally, taking medication like ibuprofen, getting a massage, or going to physical therapy has been proven helpful.
If the pain persists, seek the advice of your doctor. They may recommend an x-ray to ensure there is no kidney infection, constipation, scoliosis, or other ailments.