yoga stretch for the lower back

Yoga for Coccyx and Tailbone Pain Relief

Tailbone, or coccyx, pain can make it difficult or impossible to carry out your normal routine. Situated at the bottom of the spine, the tailbone helps support the pelvis.

Coccyx pain can be caused by an injury, prolonged sitting or childbirth. The level of pain can range from a dull ache to sharp pain. Severe pain can make it difficult to sit or rise from a seated position.

Stretching the tailbone can help ease the pain and alleviate tension in the area. Yoga is a great way to stay flexible and in shape and is also an effective tool for treating problem areas like your tailbone and coccyx.

Yoga Tailbone Pain Exercises and Stretches

There are several yoga stretches and exercises that target this hard-to-reach area, including:

1. Side Angle Pose

Side angle pose, known as parsvakonasana, strengthens the legs while stretching out the side body. Parsvakonasana activates the entire spine, stretching the tailbone in the process.

How to Get into the Pose

  • Start at the front of your mat, feet together.
  • Send your left leg back a few feet, ensuring that the outer edge of the foot remains parallel to the back edge of the mat. The heel of your right foot should be in line with the arch of your left foot.
  • Bend your right knee, taking care not to extend it over the front ankle.
  • On an inhale, lift your arms up so that they are parallel to the ground.
  • On the exhale, bend your right elbow and lower your forearm to rest on your thigh.
  • Extend your left arm up toward the sky.
  • Allow your gaze to follow your arm, or keep it on the ground if your neck is tight.
  • If you want to go deeper, stretch the right arm up along the ear. Make sure that your torso is open. Don’t allow your upper body to collapse.
  • Hold the pose for five breaths.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

2. Bow Pose

A gentle stretch for the lower back, bow pose (danurasana) strengthens your tailbone and tendons. It’s an ideal backbend for beginners because there’s less of a risk of collapsing into the lumbar spine.

How to Get into the Pose

  • Lie down on your stomach with your arms out to the side and your forehead on your mat.
  • Bend your knees and stretch your arms out behind you to grasp the outside of your ankles. Don’t worry if you can’t reach your ankles; just reach towards them.
  • On an inhale, lift your torso while grasping (or reaching for) your ankles. Send the bottoms of your feet up towards the sky.
  • For a deeper stretch, use a seesaw motion to push your feet up higher and lift your chest higher.
  • Hold for five breaths before lowering down to the ground.
  • Repeat this stretch two to three more times.

3. Sun Bird Pose

Sun bird (chakravasana) may be a simple pose, but it’s a great way to strengthen the lower back while stretching the tailbone.

How to Get into the Pose

  • Start down on the floor. Come to all fours. Your wrists should be under your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Feel free to place a blanket under your knees for added support.
  • On an inhale, lift your right leg and extend it straight behind you. Take care to keep your hips in alignment.
  • On the exhale, round the back and bend the knee towards your forehead.
  • On an inhale, return back to the starting position (your left leg behind you).
  • Move with your breath and repeat this movement five times.
  • Switch to the other side, and repeat the entire cycle.

4. Reclining Pigeon Pose

Reclining pigeon pose alleviates tension in the hips and pelvic area. At the same time, it alleviates tension in the lower back and provides a gentle massage to the spine.

How to Get into the Pose

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Bend your knees, keeping the soles of your feet on the ground.
  • Cross your left foot over your right knee, ensuring that your knee is sticking out to the side.
  • With your left foot flexed, thread your left arm through your leg and reach behind the hamstring on your right leg.
  • Hug your legs toward your chest while opening your left knee, stopping when you feel discomfort.
  • Hold for five breaths.
  • Switch sides.

These stretches will help alleviate tension and pain in the tailbone while strengthening your back muscles. Strengthening the supporting muscles in and along the tailbone and hips – which can also be achieved with these exercises – can help prevent future pain.

After stretching for months and strengthening the supporting muscles, you can expect to be able to relieve pain, ease muscle tension and reduce inflammation. The goal of your stretching and exercise routine is to alleviate the pressure and pain that is causing you discomfort when sitting.

It’s important that you remain in a range of motion that will not cause further injury or pain when stretching. You can also incorporate the use of cushions, massages and posture adjustments to further alleviate pain.

Coccyx Pain Relief Pillow

Yoga can help ease the pain and help get your back and tailbone feeling normal again, but you probably want some immediate relief to help you cope until then. Coccyx cushions are a great way to keep you off of your tailbone and promote blood flow and healing. They are inexpensive and provide a quick and effective pain relief solution.