Understanding Tailbone and Pelvic Pain

We’ve all heard it: “This is a pain in the butt,” right? As with most expressions, fables and fairytales, that expression came from somewhere. Pain in your tailbone and pelvis can be very debilitating but different from other forms of back pain like sciatica or stenosis, which basically are inflammation or pinching of nerves and tissues. Pain in the tailbone, or SIJ (sacroiliac joint) is quite common and is usually a twist or malalignment.  

The first thing to know is that this malalignment is usually at the pelvic bone on one side and the tailbone on the same or opposite side. The tailbone, or sacrum, isn’t really a moving joint. It has a ton of ligaments that support it and hold it in place, but this support system can be compromised by a fall, chronic leg crossing (sound familiar, ladies?) or just stepping off a curb one day. The problem is that something that’s not supposed to move has slipped out of alignment and it is pinching the joint’s surface, causing a lot of pain. 

The next thing is to look for anything obvious like a curvature in your low back or one leg that looks or feels longer than another. This can cause a twist in the bones in your back or vertebrae as well as in the sacrum and pelvic joint. What makes it worse/better?  Does sitting make it worse, walking make it better? Does crossing your leg relieve the pain? Does sleeping on only one side help? All these things can be a sign of something being out of alignment. 

The treatment is a little trickier because it’s hard to assess and treat your own pelvis and back. A lot of our clients find ways of “popping” the joint back into place on their own, but if this is done too often, without a stabilizing program, it can cause extra wear and tear and arthritis. It is good to avoid quick movements and things that make the problem worse, or make it “pop.” Ice followed by heat can help, too. This is a tough one to treat on your own, and the best solution is to have your pelvis and tailbone checked by someone who specializes in sacroiliac joint dysfunction.   

To learn more, go to  https://vimeo.com/540781819 or text or call 863-322-0831.



Bio: Joe Koloc is a lifelong resident of Lake Wales who has degrees in Physical Therapy from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Webber International University. He opened Core Rehabilitation in 2013 and has 25 years of clinical experience as a specialist in shoulder and back pain.

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