Pain came back 11 years later

Ant -

Posted 2014-07-04

I had an accident when I was 21 years old in 2002 where my bum hit a rock whilst snowboarding at high speed. It was agony. I was diagnosed with having fractured my coccyx. My coccyx was extremely painful for a few weeks/months following this, but improved after the initial pain and for the subsequent 10 years I have been almost completely fine (there were times when I would sit on a hard floor and it would start hurting, however I think this is true for most human beings?!)

Then last Christmas I was riding a motorbike and suddenly my coccyx started hurting again. It wasn't excruciating pain, I just noticed some slight discomfort, and then ever since January (2014) it has been progressively getting worse and worse.

The biggest challenge for me is at work, I have a standing desk at work now which has been a great help, although I'm finding it very difficult to focus on my work when I have to stand up all day. I get to about 2 PM and my feet are in pieces. I do have a donut cushion which is relatively comfortable to sit on, but again after an hour of sitting on this I am really uncomfortable. I do a lot of design work, and I am finding that my work is really suffering because I cannot get 'into the zone'. So my life now consists of standing at work or lying down on the sofa or in bed when I get home, which can be pretty depressing, no eating out, I can't visit friends very easily or travel in cars, planes etc.

I found Sayer Clinics on the coccyx website, and have seen 2 chiropractors (Dr Hehir and Dr Durtnall) (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London) for the last 3 months, having regular treatment twice a week with Dr Hehir. The are both great doctors, very professional and have a lot of experience in their field. I have had an MRI scan and an x-ray, both of which haven't revealed anything too exciting. However the doctors have told me that they think the coccyx has shifted a few millimeters and also that I have calcification around the coccyx. They think that this has come from my accident and that mobilisation through manipulation will reduce the calcification and also move the coccyx back into position. I have also been instructed to stay active, not sit down where possible - I have been going to the gym almost daily, doing as much running, stepping etc. as possible. I can't say this has helped - but I feel really fit and this is at least helping me mentally!!

The internal manipulations are certainly not pleasant. However, I am getting used to them after 6 weeks of practice and are definitely not as bad as I expected! The treatment does seem to be helping a little bit although the progress that I'm seeing is nowhere near as quick as I had hoped - I guess I was reading all of the stories about people who have had coccyx manipulation and instantly felt much better. I can certainly say that that hasn't been the case for me. Each manipulation leaves my coccyx quite tender, but I think since I've been having treatment, the pain has reduced by 10/20% overall.

I think I will give it another 6 to 8 weeks of manipulation with the chiropractor before I make any bold decisions to have my coccyx removed, although I do feel like this may be the permanent solution I am looking for.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions or would like any more info.


Update, 2014-12-14

Quick update on my progress. After having come very close to making the decision to have my coccyx removed, I continued with the internal manipulation treatment. After possibly 25 internal manipulations I am starting to see some real improvements. I can now sit down on any type of chair, but a hard seat is only possible for around 5 to 10 minutes before my coccyx starts aching. However I can comfortably sit on a soft seat or my office chair for a few hours without any real pain, I just get a dull ache which I've kind of gotten used to over the last year! It must have taken 15 sessions of internal manipulations before it started improving at all, so there's definitely something to be said for persevering with this type of treatment.

I am still seeing Dr Hehir in London once a week, and we identified a particular motion with the manipulation which seems to reduce the stiffness in my coccyx. I think what is happening is that my coccyx is now becoming more mobile and when I sit down it is not digging directly into the chair as much as it was before. I'm assuming that the internal manipulations are reducing the calcification which was identified from the x-ray. I'm really hoping that continue treatment is going to end up with this issue disappearing completely!! But the message I would like to share with this update is that it's definitely worth persevering with manipulations before making the jump to having your coccyx removed. I know everybody's case is very different, but in my situation is been worth the wait.

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