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Four Tips When Exercising with Tailbone Pain

atlanta back pain decatur dr. krystal exercise pain management pelvic floor physical therapy tailbone pain Aug 18, 2023

If you are reading this, you are likely experiencing a bruised or sore tailbone. Do any of these sound like you?: 

  • Can’t get comfortable while sitting. 
  • Sitting on one hip constantly to get off your bottom.
  • Difficulty with transitioning positions (i.e. sitting to standing, standing to sitting, picking something up from the floor).
  • Difficulty getting through a workout, especially with squats or situps.


The clients that I am working with at Athletes’ Potential that suffer from tailbone pain find that although the pain is a major annoyance, we can identify a lot of things they can do with little to no pain while maintaining a semblance of normalcy in their workouts. Here are a few tips that I frequently prescribe if you have tailbone pain. 


  1. Modify training parameters. Perhaps you keep the depth of your squat shallow or you decrease the weight and focus on volume. If the weight is too heavy, you may have a tendency to hold our breath and bear down and that pressure typically goes to our pelvic floor.  Maybe your distance for jogging needs to decrease at first. This is where a physical therapist really comes in handy when frustration sets in, to identify what to avoid and what to continue doing while you heal. 
  2. In between sets or after cardio sessions, assume recovery positions. Our gluteus maximus and levator ani (part of the pelvic floor) muscles attach to our tailbone. Finding positions that lengthen these muscles while resting can help decrease the constant tension on them. Positions like happy baby, child’s pose, back body breathing in a deep squat, and rocking back your hips with one knee on a block. These work best with taking 5-10, deep, diaphragmatic breaths. 
  3. Self-release the muscles. Using a foam roller or lacrosse ball, release the outer gluteal muscles before and after training. Release the pelvic floor externally by sitting on a small rolled up towel or pair of socks. These are accessible ways to provide feedback to muscles holding tension to restore their length so they can optimally work. You may find that sitting (on a weight machine, bench, bicycle, etc.) feels more comfortable. 
  4. Activities outside of the gym. Using a cushion to sit on, sitting on a physioball or making sure you are not sitting slouched helps heal the tailbone by taking pressure off of it. This might mean taking breaks sitting at your desk from sitting to standing every 30-60 minutes. Use a squatty potty when going #2 and practice all of the breathing techniques to eliminate versus putting a load of pressure down on the pelvic floor. 


Taking care of the tailbone requires a unique approach due to the nature of its location and attachments. Presentations of tailbone pain can vary from person to person where someone cannot tolerate walking and another can. Are you aware of how you are managing pressure in your torso (core canister) while weight lifting or running? This makes a huge difference in training and recovery. Instead of cherry picking things to try, or throwing in the towel with your whole workout, reach out to a pelvic health physical therapy like myself! Together, we curate a specific plan for your individual needs that allows both healing and progression. Even though it is true that tailbone pain can take months to many months to heal, my clients report that their mental and emotional health around this injury is the greatest improvement during their plan of care. Peace of mind is priceless. I am helping people in Decatur, GA, and metro Atlanta recover and thrive with tailbone pain. I look forward to working with you or your loved one!


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In health, 


Dr. Krystal PT, DPT, CMTPT, RYT-200

Let us help you figure out to live your best active life today! 

 Remember, Movement is Medicine! 

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