An unfortunate sneeze . . my coccydinia


Posted 2005-10-02

On February 23 2004, at the tailend of an hour or two long trip over some mountains for our anniversary weekend, I had a regular sneeze which turned into coccydinia very rapidly. Within a couple of hours my tailbone was sore and by the next day it was painful to sit in nearly any chair/position. After having made our way back home, I called my doctor to discuss the problem. Doc prescribed anti-inflammatories and told me that I bruised my tailbone. After a month of taking anti-inflammatories, I went back to see him because my condition had not improved. My condition at the time was painful to sit and moments of serious pain while in the process of standing up.. Probably around a 7 or 8 on the scale. Doc spoke with another more experienced doctor and was recommended to manually adjust it. After a brief, slightly painful pressing (kinda pulling it out towards the skin) he sent me home and asked that I call back. There was no help with this was his first time addressing this kind of issue so he may not have done this procedure correctly anyhow.

For the next couple of months, I tried a chiropractor for several weeks and then I went to a back specialist who took x-rays, MRI, CT scan (I think) and finally recommended physical therapy. The x-ray, MRI, CT scan all came back looking good, except it looked like my tailbone had some inflammation around it..

I was referred to a pain management center where I had a series of 3 cortisone shots over the span of 4 months and then finally a series of 2 'RF Nerve Lesioning' procedures which were intending on killing the nerves in the tailbone so I wouldn't feel the pain. The last RF procedure I had done was just over 2 weeks ago. I still have pain every day. I can sit for an hour or so but the pain is still here.. Probably at a 3 or 4 most days and some days worse. The pain seems to radiate a little down my legs and my back is almost always sore.. During one of my procedures the doctor took a picture while he was pressing my tailbone down as if I was sitting on a chair (live x-ray) and stated that the tailbone was inflamed in the joints and it looked like an arthritic tailbone.

I've decided to give acupuncture a try and have a consultation in 2 weeks. I don't know what else to do or where to go. I've seen people on having success with acupuncture, some not.. I've seen success with manual therapy as well. What is manual therapy? Is this a chiropractor or is it an intra-rectum sort of procedure where the doctor inserts a finger and presses the coccyx back 'into place'?

Living with pain every day is growing very old and it's only been 16 months. I really hope to get this fixed.

Update, 2006-07-23

Yesterday I went up to OHSU and met with a doctor to discuss the chronic pain I have been dealing with for the past 2.5 years as well as all of the things I've tried to this point. The appointment went really well as he and his resident had researched my condition the day before. They explained that my condition might be caused by the sciatic nerve getting bothered by my piriformis. I've since read that around 15% of people are born with the sciatic nerve piercing through the piriformis and are more prone to have some pain from it. The doctors I met yesterday associated the "Piriformis Syndrome", in part, with the fact that I've sat in front of computers for a very long time resulting in an under developed (or strengthened?) Piriformis.

I need to do my ab exercises and I need to stretch. I'm due to have another MRI of my pelvis so they can determine whether or not they have identified the cause. After the MRI I'll meet with Dr. Yoo, who has much experience with the condition as well as having good results with fixing patients. If recommended, I may have surgery to relieve the sciatic nerve of the piriformis but we'll just have to wait and see...

So, some good news and some unsettling news. I'm always apprehensive of surgery, I kinda like to avoid people cutting into me for some reason. Anyway, more to come in a few weeks.

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