For more information on butt pain, see What is buttock pain?
Kirin - email@example.com
I suffered with coccyx pain for 2 years. It started at work one day and got gradually worse. Within 3 months, sitting for even a few minutes was very painful. It felt like there was a knife in every chair I sat on. For most of those two years, I could not lean back at all. It was hell.
I saw every kind of doctor imaginable. I was diagnosed with coccydinia which, to me, is a word that describes pain in the tailbone area. Beyond that, it doesn't mean anything to me.
As I went from osteopath to chiropractor to acupuncturist with no relief except for some improvement for a few days at a time, I was googling my symptoms constantly trying to find a cure. Early on, I came across a site about pelvic pain that suggested that my pain might be caused by tight muscles that I would have to learn to mentally release. My pain was so extreme, though, that I ignored that. It was unimaginable to me that something as simple as tight muscles was the source of all my pain. And what this site recommended -- meditation and relaxation therapy -- seemed very long and painstaking. I didn't even bother to try any of it because it seemed like such a speculative notion.
Time went by and I continued to be convinced that I had a mechanical problem in my coccyx. I was certain that my coccyx was unstable, or hooked, which is what several doctors told me and I resigned myself to the pain.
About 18 months into the pain, I was telling a friend about my condition. He was someone who meditates regularly and he told me that there was no reason I could not heal myself through relaxation. I explained to him that this was a very stubborn condition and while I appreciated his optimism, he just didn't understand. He listened to me talk about my ideas about what was wrong with my coccyx and he said that, except in rare instances, it is tight muscles that cause misalignment. He said that he did not doubt that my coccyx moved to cause my pain but he said it was moving because the tight muscles were making it move. He told me that he was certain that if I learned to relax those muscles, the coccyx would do what it should and I would heal my pain. I began thinking about this idea because I had nothing left.
That night, I started googling muscle therapies and discovered something called Rolfing. Rolfing is a technique of deep tissue massage and it is usually performed over 10 sessions. Rolfers work on major muscle groups and especially the pelvis. They focus on all muscles but they focus intensively on all the muscles of your pelvis, low back, butt and upper legs. I thought I would give Rolfing a try.
Within 5 sessions, my pain went from an 8 to a 4. I was so excited that my muscles might be the cause that I started meditating every evening as I went to bed. Every night, I would lie down to go to sleep and breathe deeply, focusing on breathing from my belly. I would try to think no thoughts... Just focus on breathing from a spot in my belly that is about 3 inches below the belly button -- a lot of meditators will tell you that creating awareness of this spot can unlock deep tension and quite literally change your life. It's bizarre but I have found it to be true.
After about 15 days of belly breathing, I started having weird, cool experiences in my pelvis region as I meditated. There were times where the entire area felt like a wide open field, times where I felt uncontrollable desire to giggle, times when I felt immense peace and joy. This was all so new to me. I couldn't believe I could create such experiences for myself by doing nothing other than focusing on my breathing.
And soon, during the day, I started noticing that the area inside my butt was getting more relaxed. I had never noticed this area before but I was very aware of it now. I discovered that I tended to tighten the muscles that help you pee and defecate. Throughout my day, whenever I remembered, I would try to let those muscles relax... All the while, my pain became less. It hurt less to sit. Some days, I could lean back for 30 minutes with no pain. Some days an hour. I knew I was on to something.
If you want to know what it feels like to relax the pelvis muscles, sit on the toilet and prepare to urinate. You will feel the area in your lower abdomen, penis/vagina, and anus begin to relax and lower. When you finish and stand, it will tighten up again. Throughout my day, I would try to achieve that dropping down and relaxed position of my pelvis muscles. It felt really good in the moments that I could achieve it.
Eventually, and this was after just a few weeks of this new way of thinking, that whole area felt different to me. The coccyx pain would still come and go but I learned through my deep relaxation that, although I had learned to relax a lot of pelvis muscles, I had yet to achieve looseness of the skin/muscles directly over the coccyx. For some reason, as I relaxed and lowered my pelvic muscles throughout the day, I couldn't relax the muscles directly over my coccyx... the area at the top of my butt crack still felt tight. This explained to me why my pain was not completely gone... I still had an area that remained tight. I continued working on it, trying to create awareness and control over it. After about 10 days, I began noticing it was something I could relax here and there... For the next two days, when I relaxed my muscles throughout the day, I noticed that the muscles at the top of my butt crack were finally relaxing too. And then... In less than a week... My pain disappeared. It has never returned. It's as if I had a breakthrough and finally released something.
I continue to relax every evening, breathing from my belly, and working on relaxation of my pelvis throughout the day. I don't do this because I'm in pain -- I have ZERO pain -- but because I now believe that this kind of regular meditation can prevent other problems in the future. And I just enjoy doing it. It gives me a sense of control over my body. I now feel very blessed to have gone through this process because I have learned so much about my body and its tension patterns.
I wanted to share my story because I think that we can all get very depressed thinking there is no hope. The truth is that there is hope but you have to be patient and build awareness of your own body and learn to control your muscles. The muscles in the pelvic region are particularly difficult to deal with because there are so many and they are so interconnected and most of us have no awareness of them at all. These muscles tire over the years and can lead to serious chronic pain.
I know that many of you reading this think this is not YOUR answer. Who knows, it may not be. But I will tell you that I have been where you are and I refused to believe that my pain came from tightness. That sounded too simple. But the truth is there is nothing simple about tightness. It is a very complicated thing to overcome UNLESS you are working from within. If you are working from within, change can happen very quickly. It did for me.
-- Find a Rolfer. You can search Rolfers on www.Rolf.org. I believe that Rolfing was the beginning of the end of my pain. I think I was so tight that I needed some help from the outside to start the muscle release process. I do not suggest typical deep tissue massage. I tried that in my first year and it didn't help. Rolfing is different. They take a very systematic approach and they understand the pelvis like no one else. They will teach you a lot about what is happening in that region. That knowledge helped me to learn how to meditate.
-- Learn how to meditate. I am not referring to anything complicated. Google meditation practices and learn how to breathe from your belly to relax. Belly breathing will change the way you feel about your pelvis. I guarantee it. After a few weeks, you will notice improvement. But, please please take belly breathing seriously. Just do 15 or 30 minutes a night to start. When I first began, it was hard for me to think nothing, so I would imagine my butt relaxing. If you want to start that way, go for it. At some point though, you want to do nothing but focus on your belly going up and down as you think nothing. This is the key...
-- Know that you can heal yourself. I came to coccyx.org every week for months and, while I think it is such an important and valuable resource, it can also be a very depressing site because you see so many people suffering for years and such little improvement. I think many of the techniques here work for some and not for others and perhaps what I am suggesting is no different. But I do think that what I describe may be your best chance of rapid improvement because it is an organic solution that cuts to the heart of the problem.
I wish everyone the best. If you need any advice or clarification, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to share my time to explain what I did in greater detail. Based on my experience, there is no reason any of us should be in pain.