Supracondylar fracture

Can cycling cause tailbone pain?

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The tailbone pain that manifest after cycling can be more than just an annoyance since it can prevent the individual from enjoying his/her cycling routine as well as serve as a discouragement for future activity. The pain can be triggered by various riding errors as well as environment conditions. Since it can oftentimes indicate a serious injury, it is vital to fully understand how tailbone pain occurs and how it can be managed.

What are the symptoms?

Tailbone pain can range from mild to severe. It is usually aggravated once pressure is applied on the tailbone area such as sitting while cycling. It can also be worsened once the individual returns to a standing position after riding a bike or trekking over road irregularities.

The pain that occurs is characterized as a deep ache. Aside from cycling, there is also tailbone pain during bowel movement or sexual intercourse.

Tailbone pain
Tailbone pain can range from mild to severe. It is usually aggravated once pressure is applied on the tailbone area such as sitting while cycling.

Possible causes for pain

The monotonous movement while cycling especially during extended distances can instigate tailbone pain. The pain can also manifest if the individual falls off his/her bike or jolted from behind by an object.

Incorrect posture while cycling or handle bars that are positioned too high will not allow the tailbone and spine to sufficiently cope with irregularities in the road. As a result, it will jam the vertebrae together and place pressure on the tailbone region. It is recommended to seek medical attention if the symptoms are considered chronic or severe since the pain can be an indication of a serious health condition such as sciatica, infection or a fracture.


The individual is usually given a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or naproxen to alleviate the pain and inflammation. It is vital to take a break from cycling for about 48 hours or until the symptoms subside.

A seat that is properly cushioned can take away the pressure from the tailbone while sitting. In addition, massage and stretching of the muscles and ligaments surrounding the area can also help reduce the pain as well as strengthen the muscles. As for severe pain, it might require surgery.

Important tips to bear in mind

While cycling, the seat of the bike must be properly padded to help reduce the pressure as well as provide additional cushioning. Do not forget to keep the back arched similar to a bridge rather than dropped in between the neck and hips since this will allow the back to flex a bit while on irregular terrain instead of bowing farther in a forward direction. If the individual is prone to tailbone pain or experiences episodes while biking, he/she is usually advised to look for a different form of exercise such as swimming.

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