In November 2013 I started noticing pain in my tailbone when sitting. I didn't think much of it at first as I hadn't had a recent fall or any other incident where I could have hurt myself. By January 2014 the pain increased and I started to get pain in my lower back, and shooting pain in my legs. I had trouble sitting and was in constant pain. I had MRI scans and blood tests done, saw a neurologist, a rheumatologist, an orthopedic surgeon and the finding was coccydynia. This basically just means pain in the coccyx area, the cause unknown... I was given strong pain killers, and a local steroid injection which left me completely paralysed for a week and in much more pain. This has since ruined the tissue in the local area, my skin is now as thin as paper, even the touch of a clothes label feels like cuts from a knife, and there is no longer any fat to protect me, an area where I have enough pain as it is.
Months went on with more coccyx pain and stronger pain killers. I had physiotherapy treatments which helped getting through the weeks, and was told by an orthopedic surgeon to exercise the pain away.
One day in May, after having worked a long week, a was unable to get out of bed, I couldn't walk. The advice from the rheumatologist, (who had been following my "recovery") was to book me in for another steroid injection, or operate to remove the last tip of my coccyx. After my last experience with the injection, I knew it would just make it worse, and I was not ready for an operation. So I opted for more painkillers and spent 2 months in bed in the care of my family in Denmark. I did a lot of research and saw a local chiropractor in Denmark, who helped identify that my coccyx was bending inwards and treated me while I was with my family.
I did however stay in bed, and lost a lot of muscle, strength and hope. It was when I came across this site and found testimonials mentioning Dr Michael Durtnall (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London), I realised I was not alone with this problem, and there was a way of getting better and strong again.
Flying back to the UK I was in a wheelchair (very painful sitting down, but couldn't walk), and I was not able to walk up my stairs at home.
My first appointment with Dr Michael Durtnall, I had X-Rays done, and finally an actual diagnosis. An old injury/fall, which has flared up for various reasons; bad posture, wrong chair/working posture, stress and so on.
Michael treated me straight away, and miraculously, that same day I walked up my stairs at home! No wheelchair, no support! It was a miracle!
During the last couple of months I have been going every week for treatments with both Michael and Physiotherapist Marta Dias De Oliveira. It is a long process to get everything back into place as my muscles keep working the opposite direction, and with an exercise programme I am finally getting stronger. I have good weeks and bad weeks, but patience is key, and knowing it's normal has really helped me. I can swim and even run gently now!
Michael and Marta have really changed my life as they are not only treating my body but also my mind. I have learnt that I can still feel pain even if my coccyx is back into place, which is something I can control with the right mindset. I have also learnt that being active helps, and the correct daily exercise is what will keep me in a good place.
I hope that everyone reading this will listen to my advice on not having a steroid injection, it only causes more pain in the long run.
I can highly recommend Sayer Clinics, Michael is worth flying to!
In the years gone by since my last post in 2014, I have gone from severe pain with treatment 4 times a week, to self treatment and no pain. I have also had a baby and suffered no coccyx pain during and after a natural labor.
My recovery with Dr Michael Durtnall at Sayer Clinics, as well as Women's Health Physiotherapist Marta de Oliveira was a process of many internal treatments to begin with. Within a few months my coccyx was actually back in it's correct position, but it took about a year for me to understand how to change my everyday life to not cause the pain to come back.
Michael and Marta taught me to understand how stress and posture were triggering factors for my muscles to get back into old habits, and how the memory of the pain in the muscles could create the feeling of more pain. They also taught me how to exercise correctly, go on with daily life and get rid of old habits.
I had to learn not to sit down too much, to be active, to stretch, to strengthen, to not stress and always, always, think about my posture. Basics that are so simple in theory, but so easy to forget. They taught me how everything is connected, from wearing the wrong shoes to tightening my jaw when stressed, that all these things contribute to tight muscles and ultimately pain in weak areas.
During the following years I went to see both Marta and Michael regularly, but not nearly as often, and for me this became a routine of keeping healthy, feeling good and continuously learning to keep the pain at bay.
Alongside with this, I did reformer Pilates as well as yoga (not all postures, like sitting too much directly on the coccyx) consistently and generally did not sit down for longer periods at one time. I got an electric sit/stand desk as well as an office chair (from back2.co.uk) and a coccyx cushion, all of which I to this day still use.
I moved away from London a few years ago and my biggest fear back then was that I would get all my coccyx problems again as soon as I stopped seeing Michael and Marta, and not being able to find the same kind of help in Stockholm, Sweden, where I live now. I was also very scared about not being able to cope with a pregnancy let alone labor, so I held back on trying. I haven't found the same kind of therapist here, but taking with me all the learnings have meant I haven't needed treatment. I go for regular massages and keep managing my body so I won't get problems again. And in regards to traveling, I always stand up as much as possible, and bring my coccyx cushion (from back2.co.uk).
I had a pregnancy which went well, although I sat down more which meant I started getting pain again, I knew how to get rid of it. I was terrified the labor would somehow make all my coccyx problems return, but I didn't have any problems at all. I remember back in 2014 when I had severe pain, I thought I would never be able to have a baby.
So, here I am. No pain. No surgery. No painkillers.
Lots of movement, strengthening, stretching, but also remembering to soothe and relax the muscles too.
I hope wish for anyone with coccyx pain that they can find the strength to get treatment and start new habits.>