What causes the Excruciating Tailbone Pain during Pregnancy

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 25, 2011
Quick Bites

  • Relaxin relaxes the ligaments but shifts the tailbone.
  • Symptoms show when one moves from sitting to standing position and vice-versa.
  • It is characterised by acute pain around the coccyx or painful sensation in and around the area.
  • Herbal oil massages can help in relieving tailbone pain.

A rewarding experience as it is, pregnancy can also be significantly painful in phases. Aches and pain are more common during the advanced stages than the first ones. One of the most common forms of such fretful pregnancy pain is the tailbone pain which is also referred to in medical terms as coccydynia.

tailbone pain pregnancyThe tail bone or the coccyx gets its name because its location in humans is similar to that of the tail in animals. It is made up of around 3 to 5 bone segments which are connected to the spinal cord with ligaments. The tailbone can move but the degree of movement and flexibility varies from one person to the other. Tailbone pain could be a regular problem when you are pregnant, though there are no harmful repercussions associated with it as such. It is a potentially harmless condition which is likely to disappear in a matter of months post delivery.

During the course of pregnancy, there is a hormone called relaxin which is naturally released by the body. This hormone helps in relaxing the ligaments and muscles of the pelvic region for due assistance in labour. The ligaments of the coccyx also loosen around this time, causing the tailbone to shift. Whereas a flexible tailbone does aid the delivery process, shifting of the coccyx can actually cause intense pain, especially if it shifts before the baby's delivery. Sometimes, the head of the full-grown baby may also create pressure on the tailbone, resulting in severe tailbone pain during pregnancy.


Common Symptoms

Typically, the symptoms of coccydynia or pain in the tailbone are exhibited when you move from the sitting to the standing position and vice versa. In most cases, there might either be a sharp, shooting, acute pain around the coccyx or a kind of a dull, lingering, painful sensation in and around the area. The intensity and severity of the pain may vary from person to person. Sometimes, acute painful sensations might also trickle down to the legs.


Natural Cures

Natural cures and remedies that are free from all associated side-effects are the one's that are best suited for pregnant women. Some yoga postures may also help a great deal. Some can even shift the baby’s head successfully off the coccyx, resulting in substantial relief. Using ice bags and hot compress on the affected area can bring some relief. Herbal oil massages can also help in relieving pain substantially. Sometimes, you might have to resort to specialised procedures that aim at marginally shifting the position of the coccyx to relieve the pain.

Tailbone pain can also be effectively controlled with the help of some preventive measures. Once you are in the advanced stages of pregnancy, avoid sitting or standing in one place for too long. If you need to sit for an extended period of time, it is always better to use a cushion for added support to your back.

Read more articles on Pregnancy Problems.



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