Let’s Get Physical (About Pelvic Pain & Coccydynia Relief)
One of the points I’ve talked about with regards to Pelvic Girdle Pain is that some people continue to suffer with associated chronic pain long after pregnancy and giving birth. It’s nearing a decade since I gave birth, but I still feel some of the pain associated with PGP (or SPD).
One type of issue that always resurfaces is pain in my coccyx (tailbone). I find it most often ‘surfaces’ when the weather changes. I know . . . I’m a walking weather barometer. I don’t know if there is arthritis setting in there, or if this is a sign of my old age, but I do find that when the weather changes drastically (from hot to cold or vice versa) I feel added pain in my tailbone. I also find that it hurts more often in the Winter, but then again, everything hurts more in the Winter, doesn’t it?
This isn’t the superpower I was hoping for.
The pain is certainly not as severe as when I was pregnant. For starters, it’s not the excruciating throbbing pain in my coccyx that was too tender even to touch. Now, it’s more of a pain that feels like my tailbone is swollen (if that makes sense—I know it’s a bone) and the ache is a dull ache. It’s still a strong enough pain to make it uncomfortable to sit, but it’s not an unbearable throbbing.
Thankfully we have cushions to help with the pain, but there’s more to it.
The other issue that I have is when I walk for longer periods of time (even at a stroll) my pelvis starts to feel tight and lock up. My pelvis basically becomes stiff and I start to walk like an uncomfortable cowboy who can’t keep up with his posse. Those are the two main stay-overs from my experience with PGP. Most women find their PGP disappears shortly after giving birth.
However, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, a small portion of women suffer from severe PGP long after giving birth―some suffer with chronic pain for the rest of their lives. I suppose I’m somewhere in the middle and have found ways to help with my own chronic pain, so I would like to share a couple tips today with the hope that it might benefit someone (both male and female).
It’s okay, only a few more steps . . . almost there!
EXERCISE TIPS TO RELIEVE PELVIC AND/OR COCCYX PAIN
For some tips to help remedy the cowboy walk/stiffness I have tried a number of things. Something that I never thought would help the stiffness in my pelvis but it has helped loosen them up quite a bit is riding a stationary bike. I do 20-minutes every day or so (sometimes I skip a day), but I have found that it has helped a lot. Walking in the water (aquasize) or some sort of swimming might also be useful in strengthening or moving your pelvic joints without feeling much pain, stiffness or pressure.
One of the themes that comes up constantly when discussing how to deal with PGP is having a strong core. I wasn’t in bad shape before pregnancy, but I made it a priority to work on strengthening my core after giving birth. This, I have found has cut down on the frequency with which I experience some of the aches, pains and stiffness associated with the long-term remnants of PGP. So, I have a10-minute program for your core (abs and lumbar) to try along with me. I have a nifty illustration below, and my cute little model, Leo, demonstrates how it’s done.
Before we jump into some exercises, I want to stress that looking lean and having a well-defined midsection doesn’t mean that you have a properly functioning core. There are lots of men and women who have spectacularly sculpted midsections but still suffer from core and pelvic floor dysfunction. So, our goal (or at least my goal) isn’t to have the perfect six-pack, rather I want a healthy and strong midsection that will help relieve pelvic and tailbone pain or not add to the chronic pain I already have. What strengthening my own core muscles has helped with is:
- Easing some of my lower back pain (by strengthening the muscles in my mid-section);
- Helping boost my posture (tighter abdomen allows me to sit/stand with less slouching―this too, relieves some pressure in my back);
- Easing some of my tailbone pain;
- Improving my balance and stability;
- Relieving some pressure in my pelvic area that contributes to my pelvic pain.
10-MINUTE WORKOUT TO STRENGTHEN YOUR CORE MUSCLES
In connection with your core, you also need to work on your pelvic floor muscles. Strengthening your core doesn’t always help with diastasis, incontinence, pelvic pain or other conditions related to pelvic pain, so you also need to spend time on your pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor exercises for men and women can be found here.
And a friendly reminder: please do not push yourself too hard. Ease into these if you need to and work your way up to the complete 10 minutes if you find it too much to do in the first few days. This is no sprint, so take your time and work your way up to 10 minutes over a number of days (4 minutes for the first day, 6, the next, 8 the next and so on). Feel the burn, but don’t over do it, so listen to your body. Also, don’t just give up after a few days, try to keep this up between 3-4 times a week and make this a long-term exercise routine for your core. Set this mere 10 minutes aside for you.
Anyway, if a stationary bike, walking or aquasize hasn’t worked or you aren’t up for trying those suggestions yet, do try to strengthen your core muscles. A strong core helps decrease back pain (lumbar), it will help strengthen your joints around your pelvic region, and your stronger stomach muscles will help boost your posture.
Remember, your goal does not have to be looking ‘ripped’ (unless that’s the look you are trying to achieve), but having a stronger core has a myriad of benefits and can help ease suffering from PGP or chronic pelvic pain.
Take care, everyone!
If you have a minute, check out the links below to our product range and see if we can supplement your new work out routine and help you be more comfortable.