How I Manage Tailbone Discomfort

When you have Spina Bifida most people have limited feeling in their feet and tailbone area and while some people may have no feeling at all others are just limited. I have limited sensation in my tailbone area and my feet so I always have to check for sores because I won’t know have a problem until it’s too late and I am gushing blood which is why it’s so important for people with limited feeling to check areas they don’t have feeling in for sores. There may be no sores most of the time but the one time there is you want to catch it before it gets really serious and find out what caused it so you can prevent it from happening again. I can’t tell you how many mysterious sores I have gotten and have been abled to heal because I simple check my skin daily. Tailbone sensitivity can be frustrating can uncomfortable so if you have been struggling here are some things I have done to be more comfortable and ease tailbone pain.

Double up your mat in your workouts- One of the biggest complaints people have when they start pilates is they have a lot of tailbone sensitivity because you do a lot of exercises where you are balancing on your tailbone. When I first started pilates I had a big issue with this and every time I worked out my tailbone would bleed and it was very hard to find a workout that didn’t have any exercises that didn’t involve any balance exercises so I just came to the realization I had to do them. If you are struggling with tailbone sensitivity because of your workout doubling up on your mat may help relieve some of this sensitivity so you are more comfortable. Yoga mats typically are paper thin and not nearly thick enough so when I am looking for a new mat what I do is I search for pilates mats because they generally are thicker than yoga mats since you do more balancing exercises than in yoga.

Practice balancing exercises- Working out can be frustrating when your tailbone is super sensitive and cracks and bleeds easily but the solution is not to avoid all exercises that give you just a little bit of discomfort. If your going by that philosophy then you might as well not do pilates or yoga because pilates is focused on correcting your posture through balance exercises. It is really hard to find a pilates routine that doesn’t have at least one exercise like the boat pose that doesn’t focus on balance and sometimes you just have to stop trying to avoid everything that is difficult and do what is available. When I first started doing pilates my tailbone would crack and bleed every time I worked out but the more I did the less it happened and now only happens occasionally when I fall during a workout because I have gotten used to and toughened that area so it’s not as sensitive. If your tailbone is sensitive you don’t want to do workouts that are requiring to balance on your tailbone for long lengths of time because that may make your situation worse and I only do them for no more than a minute at a time and it has made the biggest difference.

Shift your weight- I have gotten bad pressure sores on my tailbone that got so infected that I needed to go to the doctor to get them healed because it was nothing I could do on my own. You would think that I would do most of my damage to my tailbone when I am working out but the funny thing is I am more likely to develop a pressure sore when I am sitting and doing nothing. When I workout I sit a certain way when doing certain exercises but when I am just sitting doing nothing I am not really paying as much attention to my sitting position. What I found helps prevent more sores is shifting my weight from time to time because when you sit a lot like I do and are putting too much pressure on one part of your body it may be too much for you and what will cause sores.

Sit on a cushion– If you spend the majority of your day sitting whether that is because you can’t stand or have a desk job then you may be more likely to develop pressure sores from all that sitting! If you are a full-time wheelchair user and are sitting in your wheelchair all day most people assume our chair are comfortable but they aren’t as comfortable as you may think and can cause sores with the wrong type of seating. I have a special cushion paid for by insurance that helps prevent pressure sores when I am sitting in my chair for long lengths of time but if your insurance company won’t cover that sitting on a pillow might help make you more comfortable so you don’t get any strange sores.

Use moisture barrier creams- Since I have had a lot of issues with my skin breaking down and bleeding while I am working out it is really critical that I have some sort of cream to help heal my skin or it will just get infected and I will just have to keep going to that doctor all the time to get healed and who wants that? When I first started doing pilates my skin broke down after almost every workout because I was doing exercises my tailbone just couldn’t handle so to promote healing and prevent infection I used moisture barrier creams like Calmoseptine and saved me so many doctors visits. Eventually, after about two years of using these creams on a regular basis my tailbone became less sensitive and I didn’t need to use them daily and now only occasionally will I need them.

If you have Spina Bifida you will most likely have limited feeling in certain areas of your body and for some people that may mean a very sensitive tailbone. For many years my tailbone was extremely sensitive that I was afraid that if I sat on something even just a little bit hard my tailbone would crack because sometimes even when I was really careful it did. I still have some tailbone sensitivity because of my limited mobility and always will have some level of tailbone sensitivity but because I worked on improving that it is bearable most days. I know sometimes it can be difficult to remember to shift your weight because I have to constantly remind myself too but these small changes will make such a difference in your health and we often never realize how much sitting in one position all day can negatively affect us until we are doing it and have a problem. Do you have tailbone sensitivity? How do you manage pain when you are most sensitive?

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