The coccyx is the little tailbone which dangles down from the base of the spine. This delicate bone can be easily broken, dislocated, or bruised during a fall, childbirth, or prolonged sitting. Any injury to the coccyx can result in terrible pain while sitting. A tailbone cushion can help to manage the pain during this slow-healing injury. When selecting a cushion for your tailbone injury, you should consider the style, thickness, and the material used to make the cushion.
The best way for you to select a good tailbone cushion is to try out a variety of different cushions. This can usually be done by visiting a hospital supply store. Once you have selected a cushion you like, be sure to try that cushion in several different types of chairs, both wooden and upholstered, because you will likely bring the cushion around with you as your tailbone heals. You can either purchase the cushion you select at the store, or note the manufacturer and model number so that you can comparison shop and purchase online.
Tailbone cushions come in two main styles. The doughnut is shaped like a round pillow with a hollow center. A wedge is a square pillow with a small hole at or near the back of the cushion. The wedge is also thicker in the back than the front, tilting you forward while you sit, and reducing the weight on the tailbone. In both styles, the injured tailbone is placed over the hole in the tailbone pad, relieving pressure on the tailbone, while the surrounding cushion supports the bottom.
The height of a tailbone cushion can vary from 3 and 7 inches (about 7.5-18 cm). Most common and readily available cushions have a thickness of 3 inches (about 7.5 cm). Thicker cushions are selected for heavier people, or for use in a specific type of chair.
A tailbone cushion is usually made of a basic foam material, memory foam, or can be inflatable. A foam tailbone cushion is moderately priced and is good if the injury is not chronic. Memory foam is special polyurethane, which molds to the body with pressure. These cushions are more expensive, but last longer and are therefore good if you have chronic coccygeal pain. Inflatable cushions are typically not as comfortable as the foam pads, but they are usually the cheapest tailbone cushion and are good for travel because they can be deflated.