Relief with internal and external manipulation


Posted 2012-02-26

For folks like myself who have tailbone pain and live in the Portland OR area, I can share that I have been seeing Lynne Marshall-Brook (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, Oregon) for about five months now and have had considerable improvement in my symptoms. If I sit for more than about two or three hours without a break, it still will start to hurt, although the pain isn't as bad when I get up/transition into a standing position as it used to be, and the discomfort once I am standing is brief. This is a great improvement.

I am in my late thirties, and started having coccyx pain about ten months ago. I did not fall. I did not have my tailbone injured giving birth. I had never experienced it before and like most people, ignored it for a while initially thinking it would go away. I began noticing that the drive to visit relatives (just under two hours) was uncomfortable enough that I didn't look forward to it as I normally would. I was putting a rolled up towel behind my lower back. I work full time and sit at a desk a good portion of my day and started noticing that even sitting forward on my chair didn't seem to alleviate the discomfort. It also began to seem as though the pain was worsening somewhat, as I would start to hurt after shorter amounts of time sitting- maybe fifteen minutes. I tried two or three types of "cut out" seat cushions but that didn't help much.

Interestingly while I still am not completely certain of the cause, this did coincide with a significant weight loss, and I have wondered if I had this problem for a while but the extra padding was helping to mask it. I also carried twins a few years ago and this might have added to the weakening of my pelvic floor. But who knows. Not me, and at this point, I'm just glad I'm doing better.

As you can guess, eventually the pain was enough that I went to my primary care doctor, who referred me to an orthopedic surgeon/spine specialist. It was a little disappointing really, as the specialist examined me, agreed I had coccyx pain, but didn't really have much else to offer. Luckily his physician assistant recalled that a physical therapist who had recently given them an in-service had mentioned treating coccyx pain. It actually was not Lynne, but after doing some research on websites like this one, Lynne was closer to where I lived, seemed to have a good deal of training, and her office staff was polite and helpful when I called.

I've found her to be professional, caring, straight-forward, and knowledgeable. This is a big deal. Yes, we want all of our doctors and therapists to be such, but, given some of the treatments involved, I *really* recommend finding a physical therapist who not only knows what they are doing but whom you can feel comfortable being candid with. I have gotten relief with a combination of internal and external manipulation along with stretching and strengthening exercises. Initially my visits were a couple of times a week, and at this point once every other week. I feel better when I keep up my exercises at home. When I slack, I notice the difference. A couple of Ibuprofen do the trick now if I am uncomfortable from a lot of sitting, but that doesn't happen more than a couple of times in a month. (the need for Ibuprofen) Also, incidents of constipation make the tailbone pain worse. The physical therapist talked with me about getting enough fiber and water in my diet and that has been helpful.

I'm not sure if this will ever go away completely but I'm hopeful. Do I look forward gleefully to my appointments with the physical therapist? Well no, because the internal manipulation isn't exactly a fun way to start your day. However, I keep going because my tail bone pain is better overall as well as after the visits (not usually same day; usually a day later) and Lynne is great about answering questions, explaining things, and making the experience as tolerable and successful as possible. After five months there is great improvement and I feel confident that I am getting good care. Hope this helps.

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