Post natal depression and coccyx pain

Anonymous, UK

Posted 2015-05-24

When I was about 32 weeks pregnant in November 2014 I coughed one evening and felt my tailbone 'pop'. For the rest of the pregnancy I was in agony and unable to sit at all. I then had my baby prematurely and endured a traumatic birth that I am still physically recovering from six months on.

With a premature baby that stayed in hospital for weeks that I was unable to feed and look after properly because I was unable to sit, as well as pain from the stitches, I became depressed and suicidal. By the end of January I despaired that I would never be able to sit again but was fobbed off by the NHS, being told that it would pass and resolve by itself so looked on the internet and found information about Dr Durtnall (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London).

Since being treated by Dr Durtnall and receiving massage from one of the team's physiotherapist's, Sofia Pinto, I have become about 70% better and my sitting has improved. For a time Michael and Sofia were the only adults I spoke to and I was very grateful for their kindness and understanding about my depression.

For anyone who has this experience whilst pregnant please be assured that you can get help. I truly despaired that I would never be able to sit again but I have improved and my depression has lifted significantly, thanks to Michael and Sofia.

Update, 2015-11-22

I have now been treated by Michael Durtnall for nine months for coccyx pain arising from pregnancy and am happy to report that I am between 85-90% better. My sitting has improved greatly and I have no sharp or dull pain anymore, just a burning sensation and I currently seeing Michael and Sofia once every two weeks.

I feel I have come a long way since the birth and the early months when I was suicidal and will be celebrating my son's first birthday soon as a real milestone not just for him but for myself. I returned to work when my son was four months old, initially temping. It was hard doing office work not being able to sit but I bought myself a Varidesk (a portable standing desk) which I could take to different jobs allowing me to stand at my desk. I have since found a full-time job which I really enjoy and where I have been given an electric standing desk which is really great. I have also returned to tour guiding work at the weekends. I feel I cannot sit on a coach for a full day's tour but I can still do walking tours and museum and gallery tours. I am just mentioning this for anyone worried about work. There are ways to deal with this. Although I am still on anti-depressants I am on a low dose and feel that that they help me manage work and motherhood well but am aiming to come off them in the spring once the winter months have passed.

Sofia has been fantastic and I am now also seeing Marta who has also been great about helping me with my pelvic floor since the birth.

If you are reading this and experiencing pregnancy or birth related coccyx pain my advice would be to not listen to your GP if they tell you that it will pass. Although nine months may seem like a long time for treatment I feel it could've been longer and that I benefited from seeking treatment from Michael and his excellent team sooner rather than later.

Update, 2017-11-26

I have now been treated by Michael Durtnall for coccyx pain for almost three years and feel that I am still around 85% better than I was when I initially consulted Michael. The burning sensation that I reported in my last update is not as intense, so there has been some improvement and I am also only seeing Michael once a month where previously I had appointments every two weeks. It is hoped that I will be 100% better but it will take time. I am still very grateful and enormously thankful and pleased with my progress to date as I feel I have improved greatly from the days where I could not sit at all.

I have also been seeing Marta who has been looking at my pelvic floor strength and this too has improved greatly since the last update. She has generally also been very supportive and helpful in helping me overcome my fears and anxieties around a traumatic birth and motherhood.

I have been off anti-depressants since September 2017 and have at times found it hard to cope and find myself thinking that I would like to go back on them. For now, however, I am focusing on being positive as I have improved so much, and I am using CBT and looking at addressing other things in my life that will help alleviate my anxieties.

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