Can Exercise Help in the Pilonidal Sinus?

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rajeshwari Panda
Written by Hexahealth Care Team, last updated on 30 September 2023| min read
Can Exercise Help in the Pilonidal Sinus?

Quick Summary

  • Pilonidal sinus is a condition in which a cyst forms in the skin near the tailbone
  • It is caused by an accumulation of hair and skin cells in the area
  • Treatment options include surgery, antibiotics, and exercises
  • Exercises can help to reduce pain and swelling, and improve range of motion

While the advancements in the healthcare sector have paved the way for painless and quick surgical procedures to treat pilonidal sinus, it is always sensible to weigh and measure all the available options to cure the condition.

About 26 people in every 1,00,000 people suffer from pilonidal sinus, and most people showcase their intention of selecting a treatment option that avoids the surgical pathway. Not only that, exercises are a vital part of post-operative care too, and therefore it is important to gather some insights related to them. However, before you jump directly to the various exercises that help treat pilonidal sinus, it is important to glance through the various intricacies of the condition.

What is pilonidal sinus?

The term pilonidal sinus refers to a small cavity or tunnel found at the top of your buttocks. This condition does not have a fixed set of symptoms at first, but if the cavity gets infected, you will experience a wide array of things like:

  1. Irritation and mild pangs of pain while sitting/standing
  2. Swelling near your buttocks
  3. Extended redness and rashes in the area
  4. Pus/Blood disposal
  5. Bad smell
  6. Small holes/cavities formation
  7. Fever

This set of symptoms should instigate you to consult a medical professional for an expert opinion on your condition. If left untreated, the sinus will slowly fill with blood and pus, developing into a cyst.

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Is exercising helpful to treat pilonidal sinus?

It is imperative to keep your health and posture in check, and there is no better way of doing it than indulging in physical exercise. In the case of a pilonidal sinus, exercising regularly will help you to keep your body weight and general wellness in check.

However, you must ensure seeking professional advice before starting your workout regime. The exercises should be approved by your medical caregiver so that everything is in accordance with the severity of your infection.

What are the preferable exercises for pilonidal sinus?

There are a bunch of exercises and yoga poses that can help you to fight the constant battles with constipation while improving your mobility. If you have a severe infection that can only be treated with surgical options, these exercises will help you recover faster.

  1. Kapalbhati
    A renowned method of pranayam, Kapalbhati is one of the best exercises to perform while recovering from an infected pilonidal sinus. It helps with the overall well-being of the body and should be practised every day during the wee hours.
    Steps to perform Kapalbhati:
    1. Correct the posture of your body, and make sure your spine is straight when you sit down on the floor.
    2. You can opt to use a yoga mat for ease in performing the exercises.
    3. Put your hands on your ease while the palms face upwards.
    4. Inhale a long deep breath and exhale while retracting your abdominal area.
    5. Repeat the pattern for 20 breaths, and perform a minimum of three sets to flush out toxins.
  2. Anulom Vilom
    Anulom Vilom is yet another popular pranayam technique that has helped patients by easing out pain through focused breathing. It is also a proven meditation technique that will help you to relax your mind.
    ​​​​​​​Steps to perform Anulom Vilom:
    1. Sit firmly on the ground/yoga mat and get your back in the right posture to allow the free circulation of blood.
    2. Take a few deep breaths, and then block your right nostril with the help of your thumb.
    3. Inhale from the left nostril and block it right after to hold your breath for a few seconds.
    4. With your left nostril blocked, try to exhale from the right nostril, which was initially blocked.
    5. Repeat the process a minimum of 12 times.
  3. Sarvangasana
    By being a tougher nut to crack in the entire arsenal of exercises, the Sarvangasana requires immense practice and dedication for its mastery. Once you start doing this asana correctly, there is no going back to bad vascular functioning.
    ​​​​​​​Steps to perform Sarvangasana:
    1. Lie down on your back, and put your hands on any side according to your comfort and convenience.
    2. Pull your legs near your chest, and try to elevate your lower body off the floor.
    3. Provide support to your back by using your hands.
    4. Maintain an erect posture, and lift your legs.
    5. For effective results, try holding the pose for a minimum of 10 seconds.
  4. Paripurna Navasana (Boat Pose):
    Paripurna Navasana, which is popularly known as the ‘Boat Pose’, is one of the most effective remedies that neutralise the pain for patients dealing with an infected pilonidal sinus. It will help you to gain strength and shape your lower body, thus reducing the intensity of the pain.
    ​​​​​​​Steps to perform Paripurna Navasana:
    1. Sit down on a yoga mat to stretch your legs out to the maximum capacity.
    2. Place your hands gently on the floor, inhale, and raise your legs to a 45-degree angle.
    3. Try to bring your hips closer to your navel, and attempt to straighten your knees.
    4. Hold this pose for a minimum of 30 seconds before releasing.

What activities/exercises should be avoided in this condition?

Any activity that proves to be laborious and requires a rigorous effort should be avoided while treating an infected pilonidal sinus.

You must avoid:

  1. Jerks
  2. Cycling
  3. Horse riding
  4. Driving on bumpy terrains.

You can opt to:

  1. Jog lightly
  2. Do mild exercises
  3. Wait for your doctor to alter your exercise pattern
  4. Must wear loose clothes that provide ample circulation of air while maintaining a significant distance from the infected area
  5. Must also stand up once every hour if your job demands long hours of sitting


Living with pilonidal sinus can be challenging, but you can usually manage it with a few home remedies and lifestyle changes. Even with a mild pilonidal sinus, you cannot escape the pain and discomfort for long. Timely treatment of pilonidal sinus can prevent unpleasant complications, helping you live a healthy life. 

Get in touch with the experts at HexaHealth, who provide prompt and effective solutions to all your problems related to pilonidal sinuses. The team is equipped with the right set of knowledge and skillsets to provide relief while imparting important insights that can turn out to be crucial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Since there are no proven home remedies that dissolve a cyst completely, you must seek an expert opinion before trying anything out. A few substances that can help in controlling it include tea tree oil, apple cider, vinegar, aloe vera, and castor oil.

Yes, you can perform yoga poses like the boat pose for relief and comfort. While it is beneficial, it can cause excruciating pain if you end up overstretching your skin.

There are a few things that you can do to stay away from developing a pilonidal cyst. These include: 

  1. Keeping your buttocks clean, dry, and hair-free 
  2. Losing excessive weight and fat cutting
  3. Avoiding sitting for too long.

As prolonged sitting may pressure the infected area, walking can help ease that pressure. It will also help relieve pilonidal cysts as walking increases the blood flow.

While sweating flushes out toxins, excessive sweating near the buttocks can contribute to forming a pilonidal cyst. You must try to keep the area dry.

 If you actively work out in a strenuous way that stretches the skin near your buttocks, it can aggravate a pilonidal cyst. These exercises include splits, butterfly stretches and more.

When a pilonidal sinus is infected, a pilonidal cyst is formed. It might cause pain and irritation in day-to-day life, and if it does not dissolve on its own, surgery is required.

There are no proven ways that hint towards a surgery-free procedure, however, exercises and yoga help before and after the surgery.

If your job requires you to sit in one place for long intervals of time, it can definitely worsen your pilonidal cyst since the infected skin is always rubbing against a surface.

Showering helps to clean the debris and hair particles that find their way into the healing wound. You must also exercise regularly and keep the area clean and dry to recover faster.

Updated on : 30 September 2023

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.


Dr. Rajeshwari Panda

Dr. Rajeshwari Panda

MSc Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Certified National Diabetic Educator

6 Years Experience

Dr Rajeshwari Panda is a well-known Dietitian currently associated with SRV Hospital, Chembur. She has 6 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics and worked as an expert dietitian in different cities in India. She has worked i...View More

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