Australian sufferers? And cut-out chairs?


Original posting, 2004-03-07:

I am a 30 year old male living in Sydney, Australia and have been suffering from coccyx pain for several years. I had an x-ray and was told nothing was wrong. Last year I got determined to find out what was wrong with me, saw a physio and a rheumatologist and my pain was given a name - coccydynia.

I have found this website enormously helpful and want to thank Jon and everyone who contributes. Like others I have become quite depressed due to the pain and its impact on my life. It's reassuring that others know how I feel, both physically and emotionally.

I am wondering if anyone in Australia with coccyx pain has found a doctor/physiotherapist/chiropractor/osteopath with experience treating this problem. Also, has any Australian sufferer been able to find an Australian supplier of an office chair with a coccyx cut-out?

Alternatively, can anyone advise the dimensions of the cut-out on their office chair? If I get these, I should be able to get a chair manufactured locally. Is only the cushion removed or is there a complete hole in the chair? I can't tell this from pictures I've seen on the net to date.

In my case, my pain generally only occurs while sitting although if it gets bad it affects other activities. I have a Back-eze cushion with a cut-out from Artlab Pty Ltd which has helped at home but I work in an office so I really need to try a chair with a coccyx cut-out. I also have a temporary arrangement with my computer at nearly eye-level and will hopefully soon get a proper sit/stand workstation.

I had two x-rays and an MRI which apparently found nothing. I don't recall any particular injury. I therefore don't know the cause of my coccydynia. My rheumatologist doesn't recommend the sit/stand x-rays, I think because of the further radiation involved.

I have had ultrasound by a physio and found this gave almost full relief for about 24 hours but then the pain returned after sitting. Very helpful though when the pain gets bad, and it's non-intrusive and supposedly harmless. I can actually feel the pain and tension around the coccyx go as I receive the ultrasound and I know it's going to be better before I get off the table. I have also tried anti-inflammatories and had some relief from Naprosyn but of course it's bad for the stomach. After feeling somewhat hopeless for a while, I am now trying Liprinol which is a (smelly!) natural green mussel extract made by Blackmores and will update this posting if I find it helps. I am also awaiting delivery of Syn-flex from the United States which contains glucosamine. I figure these things can't do much or any harm and, yes, I am getting desperate! If necessary, I may try the Celebrex or Vioxx anti-inflammatories next given they are supposedly less harmful. My rheumatologist has now recommended an ultrasound-guided steroid injection but I am wary of this as it appears to have mixed results and to be somewhat risky in terms of infection and maybe worsening my pain. I am afraid of making it worse. I don't want to give up on getting better though.

Please email me or post here if you can help. Thank you in advance and best wishes to fellow sufferers. Hang in there.


Update, 2004-04-25:

I've now had an office chair with a coccyx cut-out for several weeks and it definitely helps me sit for a little longer and with less intense pain. It hasn't been a complete solution but it is better than a cushion with a similar cut-out. Hopefully my employer will soon provide a suitable sit-stand desk arrangement.

My existing office chair was modified to include a cut-out by "The Chair-Man" in Sydney ( or freecall 1800 247 626) which I found very helpful, efficient and would recommend to others (speak to Leon).


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