A Reader Asks About Painful Tailbone Following Pregnancy

A reader asked the following question:

It felt like I bruised my tail bone during the last few months I was pregnant with my daughter. The doctor said the pain should go away within 3 months. It's going on 8 months and the pain is still extreme depending on how I sit. Any suggestions?

The first thing I would suggest is if you have not asked your doctor about this recently, ask again and see what he/she has to say about it. Ask them what they think is causing the pain, why the pain has persisted so much longer than expected, and what can be done about it?

This is getting into an area that I don't know a lot about and may be outside of my scope of practice but there are a few things I think I can safely say. First of all, I do know that pregnancy can put pressure on the tailbone and so can labor and delivery. I know that the tailbone can get displaced. If this were the case, my personal choice would be to see a chiropractor. If you would like a referral, contact me and I will be happy to refer you to one. It is possible that a good physical therapist might be able to work with a displaced tailbone, too. Seeing a physical therapist would require a referral from an M.D.

I know that the periosteum, the membrane that covers the surface of our bones, can get bruised and this can take a very long time to heal, even more than six months. One would expect that after eight months, though, it would be showing signs of healing.

If you were on my table, I would check the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in and around your hips. Since they attach near the tailbone, tightness in those structures might pull and create pain in the area. I would also try gentle friction over the bone itself. This can help to reduce soreness.

This is a bit outside the realm of my experience and training. Anything I might do with a client in this situation would be cautious and gentle. Definitely start with your doctor. They need to know you are still having pain. If they don't have a good solution for you, then trying a chiropractor and/or some specific massage from a knowledgeable therapist might help.

I hope this is helpful. Let me know how it turns out and thanks for your question.