How coccyx cushions help prevent tailbone pain?

What is the coccyx?- The Tale of the Tail

Your coccyx is a small bone at the base of your spine. The coccyx is created by five fused vertebrae that create a well-defined bump on the back of your pelvis. This area is also the connection point of many essential muscles and tendons.

The coccyx is widely accepted as part of a rudimentary tail bone in humans that has lost its original function through evolution. Most people do not know they have a tailbone until they feel pain.

Tailbone pain is typically caused by over-stressing or pressure on the lower spine’s coccyx bone. But the root cause may not always be clear, and treatment options limited. Coccyx cushions, sometimes referred to as Coccyx Pillows offer a solution.

 coccyx tailbone pain

The importance of proper sitting position in a wheelchair to prevent tailbone pain.

One of the most important elements of sitting in a wheelchair is the proper sitting position. If one is not properly seated with hips to the back of the wheelchair they often end up sitting directly on the tailbone. This causes pressure and can lead to pain.


How a coccyx cushion helps relieve pressure and pain in a wheelchair.

A coccyx cushion has a cut-out under that tailbone. Weight is supported under the thighs rather than on the tailbone. This helps relieve pressure and helps prevent pain.


Which Coccyx Cushion is right for you?

There are a wide variety of coccyx cushions available. Some cushions are made of foam, others of gel and foam, self-adjusting air, and for people with skin breakdown, alternating pressure coccyx cushions. Which cushion is right for the individual depends on several factors. These include a person's weight if they are bony if they are at risk of skin breakdown or have an existing pressure ulcer. A good coccyx should provide comfort, support, pressure relief, skin protection, and in some cases the prevention and treatment of stages I-IV pressure injury.

Foam Coccyx Cushions for Wheelchairs

If a person does not have skin breakdown and is looking for basic comfort, support, and pain relief in the tailbone, a good quality foam coccyx cushion is an excellent solution. Most support up to 250 lbs and come in a variety of sizes. For those requiring additional weight support, a bariatric foam wheelchair cushion that can be made to support much higher weights is an excellent solution.

Gel Coccyx Cushions for Wheelchairs

For a person that does not have skin breakdown, and is either bony or requires a higher weight capacity there are two types of gel coccyx cushions. A fluidized gel coccyx cushion is excellent for those who are bony. The special viscous gel envelopes the bony prominences to provide comfort, support, and pain relief. A Gel-Flex coccyx cushion is a semi-solid gel and foam combination that provides comfort, support, and coccyx pain relief for people up to 1000 lbs. These types of cushions are available for both wheelchairs and recliners.

Self Adjusting Air Coccyx Cushions

Self-adjusting air coccyx cushions feature three individual air bladders with a special coccyx air bladder. The air within each of the bladders is controlled via a special valve. This allows the person to customize the comfort and support of each bladder.

Alternating Pressure Coccyx Cushion

For those who require comfort, support, pain relief, prevention, or healing of a bedsore on the tailbone, the alternating pressure coccyx cushion is the only solution. This cushion is for those who either can not reposition themselves, are at high risk of skin breakdown, or who already have a sore. It has been shown to be extremely effective in the prevention and treatment of stages I-IV pressure injuries. These types of cushions are available for both wheelchairs and recliners.


Not all Coccyx Cushions are Equal

When purchasing a coccyx cushion look for higher-quality cushions. These types of cushions utilize high-quality materials tested for function and durability and made without toxic chemicals. They also feature specialized covers to help prevent shearing and tearing. Unfortunately, there are many imported cushions on the market that do not provide support and break down quickly.


If you still have Questions?...Call an Expert

Your medical professional, a seating specialist, or a product expert are able to provide additional information.



 jeff adise wound care product specialist

About the Author:

Jeff Adise has been in the wound care industry for over 25 years. He is a product specialist and the developer of innovative therapeutic support surfaces for the treatment and healing of Stages I-IV pressure injuries in home recliners, lift chairs, wheelchairs, and beds. His innovative products are recommended for use by wound care specialists, physicians, caregivers, disease-related organizations for conditions such as ALS, across the US. In addition, Jeff is working with a team of Doctors and Ph.D. researchers to develop an Investigational New Drug shown to greatly improve the quality and speed of wound healing while reducing infection.

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