What Causes Tailbone Pain Related to Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

Tailbone pain related to pelvic floor dysfunction is caused by muscle tension or weakness in the pelvic floor area. This tension can press on the tailbone, causing discomfort. Strengthening or relaxing these muscles can help alleviate the pain.

Experiencing pain in the tailbone can be more than just a minor inconvenience; it can significantly impact your quality of life. This discomfort, often associated with pelvic floor dysfunction, can stem from various factors. Our goal is to offer a comprehensive overview of the causes behind tailbone pain related to pelvic floor dysfunction, incorporating insights into pelvic floor muscles, coccydynia, trauma, childbirth, prolonged sitting, incorrect posture, hypermobility, obesity, degenerative joint changes, and repetitive strain.

Understanding the Pelvic Floor Muscles

The pelvic floor is a complex structure made up of muscles and tissues that support the organs in the pelvis, including the bladder, intestines, and for women, the uterus. These muscles play a crucial role in urinary and fecal continence, sexual function, and stability of the pelvic region. When these muscles are not functioning correctly—whether too tight or too weak—it can lead to a range of issues, including tailbone pain.

Identifying Coccydynia

Coccydynia, a term specifically used to describe pain in the coccyx or tailbone area, can be a direct manifestation of pelvic floor dysfunction. This condition is characterized by pain and tenderness at the tip of the tailbone, which can be exacerbated by sitting or with any activity that puts pressure on the bottom area of the spine. Understanding coccydynia is crucial as it directs the approach to treatment and management of tailbone pain.

The Impact of Trauma and Childbirth

Trauma, such as a fall directly onto the tailbone, is a common cause of coccydynia. The impact can bruise, dislocate, or even fracture the coccyx, leading to persistent pain. For women, childbirth is another significant factor. The process of giving birth can strain and sometimes injure the pelvic floor muscles and the coccyx, contributing to postpartum tailbone pain.

The Role of Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors such as prolonged sitting, especially on hard or uncomfortable surfaces, and maintaining incorrect posture while sitting or standing can exacerbate tailbone pain. These activities put continuous pressure on the coccyx and the surrounding area, potentially leading to discomfort and pain over time.

Hypermobility, Obesity, and Degenerative Changes

Certain physical conditions can also predispose individuals to experience tailbone pain. Hypermobility, the condition where joints easily move beyond the normal range expected for a particular joint, can affect the coccyx, making it more susceptible to pain. Obesity adds extra pressure on the coccyx when sitting, while degenerative joint changes, such as those seen with aging or arthritis, can degrade the coccyx’s structure and protective tissues, leading to discomfort.

Repetitive Strain and Tailbone Pain

Repetitive strain on the pelvic floor muscles and the coccyx can occur from activities that involve constant motion or pressure in the pelvic area, such as cycling or rowing. This constant strain can lead to inflammation and pain in the tailbone area, further complicating pelvic floor dysfunction.

Addressing Tailbone Pain

Understanding the causes of tailbone pain related to pelvic floor dysfunction is the first step toward finding relief. Treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause but may include physical therapy focused on the pelvic floor, adjustments in sitting habits and posture, use of cushioned seating to reduce pressure on the coccyx, and in some cases, medication or surgery.

It is also essential to maintain a healthy weight and engage in regular, gentle exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. In cases where hypermobility is a contributing factor, specific exercises to stabilize the pelvic area can be beneficial.

For those suffering from tailbone pain due to degenerative changes, managing symptoms and preventing further degradation of the joint becomes the primary focus. This may involve a combination of physical therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and possibly interventions to manage pain.


Tailbone pain related to pelvic floor dysfunction can arise from a variety of causes, including issues with the pelvic floor muscles themselves, trauma, lifestyle factors, and certain physical conditions. A comprehensive understanding of these causes is crucial for effective treatment and management. If you’re experiencing persistent tailbone pain, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider who can help identify the underlying cause and recommend the appropriate treatment strategy. Remember, you’re not alone in this, and with the right approach, relief is possible.