Kari - email@example.com
Here's my story. I have found relief. Almost 100%
I was 25 years old when I began suffering from an aching in my tailbone area (2007). Prior to the pain I rarely ever went to the doctor. I had gained a lot of weight over the previous year from what I thought was a normal slow down after college. The pain steadily worsened, and got so bad that I could not sit on anything too hard or too soft. I did not remember having injured it. It seemed to just have occurred suddenly. After working out 7 days a week at the gym (2 days with a trainer) AND cleaning up my diet... I had gained 10 pounds and the pain was even more unbearable. I could no longer do squats, run, or think about sit ups.
After I went to my OB/GYN to switch birth control (thinking it had somehow caused the weight gain--after 7 years). I explained my pain and weight gain. She had my thyroid tested.
I received a phone call saying my thyroid function was low--my TSH was 18 (5 is on the high end of normal). I was sent to an endocrinologist, had a thyroid ultrasound and began the thyroid medicine roller coaster. I explained to my endo the tailbone and joint paint I was having... she sent me for an x-ray. Nothing. No damage.
I was referred to a spine surgeon and he wanted to try a spinal block.
I got pregnant around the time my thyroid levels became normal (I also lost 30lbs), and during my pregnancy the tailbone pain dulled a little. I thought the extra cushion may have been why at the time. (Hang in here..it gets better)
After my daughter was born (c-section), the pain came back with a vengeance. I could barely sit and I could no longer lay on my side. I began seeing a chiropractor in June 2009. After 25 visits (2-3 times a week) I realized the adjustments only made the pain worse, so I quit going in October. I went to hot yoga and even tried eliminating different substances from my diet and recording any changes. Hot yoga is a great stress relieving workout and really provides some relief from the stretching, but after a day or two..it always returned.
I began calling all spine surgeons and orthopoedists in Louisville, begging for someone to see me. I went to my PCP and asked for a referral "somewhere to fix this" I got one spine surgeon out of the bunch that agreed to see me. He was a new doctor and I thought 'maybe he's learned something new'. The spine surgeon did not know enough about the coccyx to offer anything other than an updated MRI. He even suggested I take 800 mg of Ibuprofen THREE TIMES A DAY...uhh..no thanks. I don't want an ulcer on top of coccydynia and hypothyroidism.
Ok...fast forward to February 2010. My thyroid has not been normal since my daughter was born (May 2009). My tailbone was worse than ever. Exercise was almost impossible between the weight gain (thyroid) and tailbone pain.
Then it hit me... In all my years of research, I had never searched for a correlation between coccydynia and hypothyroidism. I began having thyroid pain in October 2007, right about the time I was showing the worst symptoms of hypothyroidism.
I found one article on coccyx.org about estradiol helping coccyx pain during a period. I took note of pain levels throughout the month for starters.
When you have a thyroid issue, your thyroid suppresses your estrogen output...leading to stiffer muscles..and a menopausal-type symptoms in some cases. I thought..if I try a higher estrogen birth control and adjust my thyroid meds accordingly, this could work.
I researched the highest estrogen pill (Otrho Cyclen/ Sprintec) and called my doctor to ask about switching to it. She agreed. I began the next month and noticed right away, the pain was dulling. After 2 months on Sprintec, it's almost 100% better!!!!!
Toward the end of the month it creeps back up, but it has almost completely resolved itself. Sometimes I skip the last two active pills and take half during my cycle as the pain creeps up. This eliminates almost all pain during my period.
For me, the pain seems to have been a result of low estrogen due to thyroid dysfunction. If you are an older woman, you may want to seek this as a first step to pain management. For whatever reason (possibly thyroid), I have low levels of estrogen, B12, and vitamin D similar to that of a woman in her 50s. It is now almost April 2010. I am now 27 years old..and I can sit in the floor and play with my daughter. I can even do sit ups again...and I am training for my first mini marathon. :)
My next step is finding a better estrogen, but for now, bioidentical hormone therapy is not covered by health insurance. Keep trying...don't give up. I hope my story is able to help some people. Good luck!! You are more than welcome to e-mail with questions if you'd like. Thanks!