Tailbone pain can be troublesome and quite agitating. Read about these essential oils for tailbone pain remedies!
What is Tailbone?
The backbone or spine in vertebrates is also known as the vertebral column. It is a curved column of bones in humans that protects the spinal cord and supports the erect body. It consists of 33 bones or vertebrae, which are named according to their curved regions. The top 7 vertebrae are called the cervical vertebrae, which support the neck. The next 12 are the thoracic vertebrae, which support the middle back. The lumbar vertebrae (5) support the lower back, and the other 5 vertebrae are fused to form the sacrum, which lies between the hip bones. The last part, known as the coccyx or tailbone, consists of 4 vertebrae fused to form a triangular bone. The vertebrae in the sacrum and tailbone are fused and immovable.
Tailbone Pain Symptoms
Tailbone pain or coccydynia is pain felt around the tailbone above the cleft of your buttocks. It is characterized by a dull, throbbing ache that becomes sharper when sitting or rising from a seated position or standing for long hours. Sometimes, the pain can radiate down the legs or up the back, the hips, thighs, or even the rectum.
At times, you can feel the pain when passing motion or having intercourse. For women, the pain becomes more intense during menstruation. The pain can be debilitating and can disrupt sleep and regular physical activities.
Trauma can cause tailbone pain to the tailbone due to:
- A fall or an accident
- Due to prolonged sitting on hard surfaces
- Cycling on a hard seat
- Degenerative joint changes
- Straining due to constipation or piles
- Infection, bone spurs, compression of nerves in pregnancy
- Because of injury during vaginal childbirth
- Tumors can be a reason as well
Home Management of Tailbone Pain
Tailbone pain usually self resolves over weeks or months. A few simple methods can help manage the pain. When sitting down, lean your body forward to avoid putting the weight of your upper body on your tailbone. Sit on a ring or wedge-shaped cushion to relieve pressure on your tailbone. Other effective measures to treat or ease tailbone pain include:
- Avoiding standing for prolonged hours
- Applying hot or cold compresses
- Back strengthening exercises
- Soaking in Epsom salt baths
- Over-the-counter pain medications
Essential Oils for Tailbone Pain
Essential oils are concentrated plant oils that have medicinal properties. You can dilute them with water and inhale them to obtain their benefits or add warm bath water to soak your sore body in it. Also, you can dilute it with mild carrier oils like coconut oil before using it as a massage oil.
You can add essential oil with six teaspoons of carrier oil. Do a patch test and wait for twenty-four hours to check for allergic reactions before using any essential oil. Apply the oil liberally with clean hands on your cleansed back and massage the affected area gently to alleviate the pain.
A muscle called the levator ani muscle lies beside the tailbone. Massaging this muscle effectively reduces tailbone pain. You can massage twice a day for faster relief.
1. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil has the potent analgesic menthol that makes it an effective oil against tailbone pain.
2. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil relieves pain, reduces inflammation, calms, and relaxes your body. A few minutes of massage with diluted lavender oil can relieve the pain.
3. Wintergreen Oil
Wintergreen oil has methyl salicylate, which works like aspirin to combat pain. But people on blood thinning medication should avoid it.
4. Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass oil and ginger oil both have anti-inflammatory properties which help relieve swelling and pain.
5. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. All of this combined together can alleviate tailbone pain and relax the body.
6. Chamomile Oil
German Chamomile oil has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-spasmodic properties will help in supressing muscle spasms while the anti-inflammatory properties will lower the inflammation.
7. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil and sandalwood oil both possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can be helpful in tailbone pain.
Precautions and When To Seek Medical Advice
- Never use an essential oil undiluted, and always do a patch test before using it for a massage.
- Pregnant women should avoid using these oils.
- If the tailbone pain persists or is accompanied by swelling, fever, bruising, constipation, numbness, weakness, or tingling in the legs, it is better to seek a medical opinion.
- X-ray, MRI, pelvic or rectal examination, and blood tests help determine the cause of the pain. Medical treatments can include physical therapy, manipulation, medication, and surgery.