Hurt my coccyx on an exercise ball

Charles -

Posted 2006-04-15

Hi, my name is Charles. I'm 66 years old. I guess at my age one should expect to have a few aches and pains. For years I went to an osteopathic doctor. On two visits to him, in the late 1970's I complained that my coccyx was hurting and he did a intra rectal adjustment. He said my coccyx was tipped forward. (At age 7 I fell on it at a roller skating rink when one of the wheels came off). I never had any more problems with it until now. I began to develop osteo- arthritis and lots of bone spurs on my lower neck and back at this time. For 10 years ago the chiropractor I was seeing took some up dated x-rays and told me I was developing degenerative disk disease. Two years ago he told me he had to stop working on my lower back because nothing could move anymore. He said the best thing for me to do was get a slant board and try to stretch it out everyday.

Two years ago in September of 2004, I herniated a disk between L5 and S1. Worst pain I've ever had. I tried working with it for 10 months. I took 1-800 mg of Ibuprofen four times a day and went three times for shots directly in the disk. Nothing helped. My sciatic nerve on my left side hurt so much I was dragging my leg behind me. (I had to walk for seven hours on my job. We were never allowed to sit down except on our 1 hour lunch break).

I went to a neurosurgeon and he ordered an MRI He scheduled me for surgery on September 1st, 2005. Everything went perfect. I had taken three months medical leave. My first month off was very painful to say the least but by October 1st I was able to drive myself to physical therapy. I went three times a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The first week they had me do slow simple exercises in the heated pool. The second week I used the pool and then the treadmill for a ten minute walk. At this point I was completely pain free. On the Friday of the third week I used the pool, the treadmill and then they showed me what to do on a large exercise ball. I was told to try and sit as still as possible and fold my arms, then lift one foot at a time straightening my leg from the knee, lifting each leg 15 times. It was impossible to keep my hips still and I wiggled from side to side and front to back. The forth week I did all three exercises on Monday and Wednesday. Still pain free.

I awoke on Thursday morning with my left side from my mid back to my hip on fire. I canceled physical Therapy and called my doctor for an emergency appointment. I was in a panic. I thought I had damaged the surgery. The doctor did another MRI and everything look good. I asked him why I was feeling so much pain in my coccyx when I sat. He said I just pushed myself to hard working on the ball and I inflamed it. He told me to continue taking the 4 Ibuprofen a day and to return to work when my leave was up November 27th. I had one more week of physical therapy to go and when I went I told them what happened. They gave me ultrasound and some stretching exercises (which seemed to increase the inflammation).

I returned to work still in pain. After two months of constant irritation I just couldn't take it any longer. I quit my job on January 27th, 2006. I've tried all of the usual things to heal it on my own that friends who have had this problem told me how they cured it. Nothing worked. I haven't tried the nerve block shots yet.

I read on your site about having a stand up sit down x-ray taken. When I went to see my G.P. doctor I explained to him what I was feeling and asked him to have some taken. He told me when he saw them that the coccyx didn't look normal but he couldn't tell me what was wrong with it. He referred me immediately to an orthopedic doctor. After waiting a very long time he finally arrived. He briefly glanced at the x-rays, read through my past history reports I had filled out and told me he was sorry but he didn't know what was causing my problem and that he didn't treat coccydynia, he only did back surgery. He wished me good luck and left.

I was left with the feeling that this was only the beginning of a very long and arduous search for help. In conclusion I would like to say that my condition is not real debilitating. The range of pain I feel when standing is a 1 or 2 and a 5 when sitting. I am able to sit for long hours without the pain increasing so far. When I sit for a long time I feel more pain in the tip of my hip bones the coccyx.

The insurance I have only allows me to see their doctors listed in their booklet. I must pay a co-pay with each visit. I'm now living on a fixed income. The way it appears now my G.P. could refer me to unqualified doctors for years. If anyone can offer any suggestions I will gladly receive your e-mail. Me e-mail address is: I sincerely hope that everyone will find the help they need. It really makes me feel so very sad indeed to read about so many young people dealing with this problem.

Thanks very much, Charles

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