It's not excruciating, but it is ruining my life

Andy, UK

I fell heavily on my coccyx after slipping on the bowling alley. Needless to say, "I don't do bowling" anymore! This was 11 months ago. As a consequence of this I find it hard to sit in one position for very long and driving irritates my lower back. I haven't got excruciating pain like a lot of you, it is more an irritating, aching pain, rather than a stabbing, hurting pain. I can walk around all day with no irritation at all, but obviously this is not practical. I used to get a stiffness in my lower back, but in the last six months this has happened very rarely. If I got the stiffness I would have to go for a 15 minute walk and then lie down for a while, by which time it would be relieved.

I am presuming my problem is coccydynia after reading other peoples experiences after falls of my kind. I just want to be normal again and be able to sit down without discomfort. If I keep moving I'm ok but it is when I want to relax with friends, sitting down or standing in one position that the problem starts.

I've tried exercises recommended by a physio, rest, diclofenac and am currently taking Amytriptiline 10 mg one a day. I think this does help but would prefer not to take it as I cannot drink more than a glass of wine with the tablets! I currently go to Yoga 3 times a week and have had about 6 massage treatments. The massage and ultra sound is helping to loosen up the muscles surrounding the coccyx but I really don't know if this is helping my problem in the long run. It is affecting my bank balance though! I have had an X ray which just showed that I had a transitional vertebrae (an extra bone instead of a disc, nothing to worry about). I have had blood tests for arthritis but they came up ok.

I have tried the coccyx donut cushion which did work for a while but not any longer. I can sit for a while on the sofa now with two cushions behind my back. I now drive with a cushion behind me and for long journeys a hot water bottle behind me is brilliant. Of all the things I have tried, heat on my lower back is the best thing, but I can't go round all day with a hot water bottle behind me! I have tried stick on heat pads, but they work out at £2.25 each time I use one, it does last for 8 hours continually though.

Has anyone out there got any suggestions for me please or have the same problem as me?? Although not as painful as the rest of you, and I don't know what to do for the best. The doctor and Physio think it is the muscles that need to be stretched, which could take a long time?

Updated 2004-01-04

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