Tailbone pain, also known as coccydinia, coccyx pain, and coccydynia, may occur due to a number of factors, including childbirth, direct trauma, pressure, tumors, and infection. Trauma and excess pressure are the most likely cause of tailbone pain, and the cause is often related to the inflammation around the joints and ligaments that have been traumatized due to the excessive pressures or impact that have strained them. In most cases, actual fractures to the coccyx bones or tears to the soft tissues are quite rare, and a combination of rest and anti-inflammatory treatments will be sufficient to improve the symptoms of the condition. Typical anti-inflammatory treatments include Cox-2 inhibitors and NSAIDS, and applying cold packs and ice to the painful bottom area. Other treatments for this condition include manual manipulation, injection, ultrasound, stretching, and the avoidance of sitting or other movements that add stress to the area.
Coccyx Cushion: For the longer term management of this condition, patients may need a back product that allow them the ability to sit on various types of seats without putting added pressure on their tailbones. One of the answers to the problem may be a coccyx cushion. A coccyx cushion is a padded seat with an opening along its center or middle that redistributes the force of gravity away from the tailbone.
This cushion is a custom pillow that takes pressure off the coccyx while sitting. These cushions are light and portable, and may fit easily onto most desk chairs, car seats, and sofas. Many people find that donut-hole shaped cushions work well for them, while others still report feeling too much pressure on their spine when they sit on them for prolonged periods.
Other patients favor a foam cushion that is more of a V-Shape or U-Shape. These cushions are open in the back so that the area of your bottom where the coccyx is won't contact the seat or the cushion. Any coccyx cushion design that relieves pressure off the coccyx should provide significant treatment benefits.
Here are some ideas for buying a coccyx cushion to best fit your body and how to use it.
- Choose a comfortable cushion that best suits your needs and body. Coccyx cushions come in a variety of levels of firmness and thickness, and some might be more comfortable to you than others. To test the firmness of the cushion, squeeze it in your hand. Testing the cushions firmness may tell you if it will support the weight of your body without your tailbone actually contacting the seat. Many coccyx cushions are made of a soft but durable foam that will support your bottom comfortable for prolonged periods of time. Other cushions have gel inserts that provide a softer form of cushioning to better fit the unique contours of your body. Some gel inserts can be removed and treated with heat or cold to provide you with those benefits while you are using them.
- Try both the donut-holed cushion and the cutout before making your purchase. Like most medical treatments, there is no product or treatment option that works best for everybody. And every one of these treatments works for some people. If you have the opportunity, try several products on for size before making your final decision on what to buy. The cushion that you choose should work well on its own. If you have to add extra pillows or padding, then the tailbone cushion you are sampling is not the right one for you.
- Sit on a chair with a back. Regardless of the cushion you buy, it will still be beneficial for your whole spine to be sitting on a chair that offers you good lumbar support and the ability to sit using good posture. The back of the seat should provide you with extra support. Sitting while slouched forwards or leaning back will put extra pressures on your coccyx, sacrum, spine, and pelvis.
- Add ice packs to the cutout area of the cushion for added relief and to reduce inflammation. Wrap the ice packs with a towel so that it doesn't directly touch your body to cause frostbite or skin damage.
- Clean the cushion regularly. Buy a cushion with a removable cover that is machine washable.
- Upgrade your cushion if is not providing you with the pain relief or comfort you are looking for. There are a variety of options out there, in terms of shape, depth, and cushion firmness of the seat cushion. There are even different types of material available to serve your custom needs, including gel tops and memory foam styles.