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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-02-12, 10:09 AM   #1
BaseGuy
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Tailbone Pain After Weight Loss??

I'm a 45 year old Clyde who got back on his bike after six years. I've since gone from 290 lbs. to 218 (yes, I am bragging! ), and I have an odd side-effect: my tailbone hurts!

It hurts mostly when I sit on a hard seat, like the folding metal chair I used last night at Cub Scouts. It feels like my tailbone is now a bit too long, and as I sit, it's as if it's just barely under the skin. I know this sounds weird...

I googled it and I do see others have experienced this, but I found no real medical information, just anecdotal stuff. Many say "well, you've lost your 'cushion' with your weight!" That's fine, but how come skinny people don't have this problem then?

Is my cycling exacerbating it? To clarify, I'm comfortable on my bike. I've done 1000 miles on it since July 1st, which I think indicates my saddle and set-up are generally pretty good.

Has anyone else experienced any tailbone pain?
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Old 11-02-12, 10:20 AM   #2
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I googled it and I do see others have experienced this, but I found no real medical information, just anecdotal stuff. Many say "well, you've lost your 'cushion' with your weight!" That's fine, but how come skinny people don't have this problem then?

Is my cycling exacerbating it? To clarify, I'm comfortable on my bike. I've done 1000 miles on it since July 1st, which I think indicates my saddle and set-up are generally pretty good.
I don't have tail-bone pain while riding my bike (but then again, I ride a recumbent ), so take this answer for what it's worth.

My first thought was exactly what you suggested: you've lost all of the padding you used to have. Skinny people (at least those who have been their whole life) aren't going to notice this because it's always been that way for them. I've certainly find that well padded chairs are a lot more comfortable than those which aren't padded. And there are many hard chairs that I do not find very comfortable.

I am not a medical doctor and so any advice I give you isn't worth that much. That being said, I don't think your biking is exacerbating it, except in so much that it is helping you lose the weight and therefore padding. If you are not experiencing pain/numbness while biking* I think you're good to go.

Cheers,
Charles

* In this instance. I'm sure there are a lot of ailments where you might not experience the symptoms during an activity where said activity is still causing the ailments.
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Old 11-02-12, 10:20 AM   #3
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No tailbone pain here but then I don't know exactly what kind of chair you're sitting on either. Is it one of those card-table chairs? So your butt is comfy on a bike seat but not on a leisure chair? Interesting.
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Old 11-02-12, 10:20 AM   #4
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Build your glutes, or maybe you just sit really far back?
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Old 11-02-12, 10:30 AM   #5
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Google "pilonidal cyst" or "jeep's disease."
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Old 11-02-12, 11:02 AM   #6
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... So your butt is comfy on a bike seat but not on a leisure chair? Interesting.
Exactly. No pain on my bike, which is a hybrid with a roadie saddle. Yes, folding metal "church chairs" are a killer now, as is the race-seat in my race car (sheet aluminum with a cloth cover).

It's as if someone slide my spine down about an inch while I was sleeping, so that my tailbone is now too long. So weird.

Maybe that bone area needs to toughen up, much like the sit-bones do when we start cycling. I had sore sit-bones for a week, then it magically went away. Maybe my tailbone area, having been WELL padded for many years, kind of got soft, and just needs to HTFU again. I would guess skinny people are already equipped, much like a cyclist who never gets off his bike for too long never has to re-do his sit-bones...
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Old 11-02-12, 11:15 AM   #7
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I don't think that's a skinny person problem, it sounds like something is amiss.
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Old 11-02-12, 12:27 PM   #8
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I've lost 170 pounds and have exactly the same issue as you and judging by a weight loss forum I frequent the problem is NOT uncommon. Redistribution of mass and loss of fat seem to be the culprits. Building up the gluts seems to be the answer and a good pair of padded riding shorts and a good saddle with a crease in in help also.
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Old 11-02-12, 12:39 PM   #9
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I don't think that's a skinny person problem, it sounds like something is amiss.
Coccydynia (inflammation of the tailbone) afflicts many people but one's weight is not a causal factor as it affects people of all sizes... I suffer from this because of a lower back injury and for me sitting in a soft chair is actually more uncomfortable than sitting on a well fitted bike saddle that gives much better support when sitting.

I would see one's physician to determine the causes for the pain as there are many other things that mimic this and cause the same kind of pain but require different treatment strategies.
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Old 11-02-12, 02:45 PM   #10
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I've had the same problem for years, whether my weight was 300 or 190. It's especially bad in cars and planes. I thought it was caused by my weight, but when it stuck around after my weight loss, I realized something else must be going on. Eventually the pain gets bad enough that I have to shift or move to relieve it, but the instant I do, the real pain starts. Fortunately that bit of agony doesn't last long. I've considered using one of those seat cushions with the cutouts that makes them look like a squared-off "U" but haven't looked hard for one.
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Old 11-02-12, 09:36 PM   #11
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Go and get some x rays or something to make sure that you don't have something going on. If everything checks out fine, then I would think that it is going to be your posture. Most of us sit with a rounded lower back when we should be sitting with a straight lower back or maybe a little arched lower back. The way that you sit can shift the weight from the tail bone onto the sit bones. I have gotten skinny and my sit bones don't like sitting on hard wood chairs or benches.
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Old 11-03-12, 06:46 PM   #12
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It happened to me after I got thin and my doctor said I just didn't have enough cushion. I think she was wrong about the reason because the tailbone pain has since gone away.
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Old 11-03-12, 11:47 PM   #13
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I have that issue as well. Doesn't matter what I'm sitting on, I hurt. Unless I'm perched forward with most of my weight on the backs of my thighs. I'd broken my tailbone last year, but it had healed up fine until I lost about 12 pounds. Maybe the pain I have now isn't related at all to the break if others have it without suffering an injury there first.
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Old 11-04-12, 01:49 PM   #14
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Google "pilonidal cyst" or "jeep's disease."
Some interesting pictures there on Wikipedia, eh?
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