Still searching for relief

Walt -

Posted 2012-02-05

Hi, My name is Walt and I began experiencing tailbone pain about a year and nine months ago. I'm fifty years old and have always been somewhat athletic and healthy. I don't know of anything I did to injure my coccyx, but between driving, flying, and working, I do spend a lot of time sitting. So that is possibly the cause of my pain. When it began, I thought perhaps I had unknowingly bruised it and basically ignored it, expecting it would heal. But after a couple of months, it had only gotten worse. I diagnosed myself with sciatica and began doing appropriate exercises. But without improvement. I don't want to bore you with the process of doctors that most are familiar with, I'll try to be brief. I have pain when I sit down or when I lay on my back. I do not experience pain when I get up from sitting as some on here have described, and I have no pain when standing. Basically, it hurts when pressure is applied. I've been to one chiropractor, two orthopedic doctors, and two pain management specialists. I've had x-rays and MRI's. I've had an epidural at L4, L5 (they are herniated), a coccygeal ligament injection, and two coccyx epidurals. I received minor relief from the coccygeal ligament injection, but basically nothing has worked.

Thanks to this forum, I've learned that others suffer from this and that unfortunately, very few doctors are familiar with it. But I did learn about the ganglion impar block by reading this forum. None of my doctors had mentioned this. So I printed out info from Dr. Foye's site and took it with me on my last visit to the doctor. He has agreed to do it. But he also said it is the last thing he knows to do and says the chances of it working are about 50%. I hope he is right. At this point, I will take those odds.

From reading others experiences, it seems this procedure hasn't been greatly productive. I'm hoping that there are many more out there that were "cured" with the ganglion impar block and failed to report it. Anyway, I'm scheduled to receive my injection on Feb. 14th and I'm hoping for the best. I will report the results either way. By the way, I have been trying some of the exercises that have been recommended here. No results thus far, but I'll keep at it.

If this doesn't work, I have no idea what to do. I'm sure all of you that have suffered from this know how emotionally draining it can be. The poor quality of life can become very depressing. My heart goes out to those that have been suffering with this for years. Thanks to all that share their ordeal. I will post again after the procedure.

Update, 2012-02-19

I just realized that in my original post I omitted the fact that when my problems started about two years ago, the pain actually began in my posterior joints. This led me to think it was possibly sciatica and postpone medical treatment. I can't remember exactly when, but at some point the tailbone became painful and became my primary focus.

I went for the ganglion impar block on Feb 14, 2012. It was performed by Dr. Michael Harris at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Fl. From what I had read on this forum, I was expecting a fair amount of post procedure pain. That was not the case. The procedure was painless (I was given mild sedation), and I had no discomfort afterwards. The next day I was able lay on my bed on my back with a pain level of only 2/10. I actually took a little nap. I was pretty excited. I still didn't know how it would feel sitting since I had yet to put pressure on it.

The discomfort from my joint pain usually forces me to sit awkwardly (when not using a cushion), so it's kind of difficult to differentiate between coccyx and joint pain. And of course the type of surface I sit on makes a difference. But last night, I found a chair that was cushioned enough that I had little joint pain and was able to sit normally and put pressure on the tailbone. It hurt quite a bit. 4-5/10. Later when I went to bed, and put pressure on it, the pain was 3/10. So my original optimism has been tempered. I'm supposed to keep a daily pain log for two weeks before reporting to the doctor. Hopefully the pain will lessen during the next 12 days.

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