Here is my coccyx story. Bear with me, I'm hoping the lengthy description of my time with no improvement, followed by absolute, unexpected success, will give hope to anyone who is struggling down a long, seemingly hopeless road!
For no obvious reason I started getting coccyx pain around 2 1/2 years ago. It gradually worsened to the point where sitting, lying down and even climbing the stairs were all painful. I also began to experience burning pain in my lower back and between my legs and crawling sensations in my leg. I was miserable!
A few months after the pain initially began I took my first (of many) trip to the GP. They diagnosed 'coccydynia' but were unable to shed any light on the cause. They prescribed ibuprofen gel and anti-inflammatory pills, which I didn't take as all that would have done was mask the problem.
After many unsuccessful visits I decided to try something else so I booked in to see a local osteopath, at £35 a go. After 8 sessions, no improvement and no further insight into the problem I decided to try another osteopath. £250 later I was still in the same position.
Getting increasingly desperate and anxious, I branched out and tried a chiropractor. He was able to reduce the symptoms in my lower back and leg but didn't really know what to suggest with my coccyx. I finished my 8 weeks of treatment with him feeling somewhat optimistic and hopeful, at least with regards to my lower back, but within a month or so I was back to square one.
Knowing how my quality of life was being affected and determined to find a solution I resolved to try one more chiropractor. I had 8 sessions with him, all focusing on my lower back (not my coccyx) and 26 in his spine rehabilitation gym (at great cost!) and again was feeling some what better, but once again after finishing treatment with him I was back to square one again. I went back to him a number of times in the following months, hoping that just one more session would cure me, but no such luck! I mentioned to him that I felt the problem might actually be with my coccyx rather than my lower back and he rudely dismissed it and suggested that people who experience coccyx pain are "loony" (his exact word!)
In a rage I vowed never to see him again (especially after spending over £1500 on treatments and the gym that provided no lasting improvements!) so I went back to my GP (2 years after first going) who suggested an MRI. After a lengthy wait for the appointment and then another for the results, it showed that my coccyx was in fact in the wrong position. The GP offered to refer me to an NHS spine specialist and told me that the likelihood would be they would give me corticosteroid injections, and if that failed the next option would be removal of the coccyx! I knew from reading this website that there was no guarantee of success from either of the routes suggested by the NHS. I remembered reading on coccyx.org about a specialist called Michael Durtnall from Sayer Clinic in London (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London) and all of the incredible reviews that had been posted on this website about him. I hadn't really thought seriously about seeing him until this point because I hadn't been sure if mine was a coccyx problem and London is a long way for me. However, now that the coccyx issue had finally been diagnosed and I had tried everything else locally to me I was prepared to give it a go.
Well, what can I say, after 2 1/2 years of desperate, hopeless, searching I have finally found someone who listens, who understands and who can help me! I nearly cried at my first appointment with Michael, it was such a huge relief! He took a couple of X-rays there and then and could see immediately that my coccyx was out of position and rather than tucking under nicely, the majority of it was stuck in a downward pointing position, hence all of the pain when sitting. Because it had been like that for a while the joint had started to calcify and Michael said if I'd left it another 3 years the joint would have fused completely.. Yikes!
I can confidently say I had 70% improvement in my coccyx after 1 session, 80% improvement after 2 sessions and I'm hoping for 90% improvement after my session with him next week! What's more, my lower back and leg pain completely disappeared after one treatment and hasn't been back since!
So finally, to anyone who has a painful coccyx and is unsure about which route to take: save yourself time, hope and money and get yourself straight to Michael Durtnall. I wish I hadn't wasted 2 years of my life in pain, worry, constant searching and disappointment, but I am forever thankful to have found something that works!
Note from Jon Miles:
I emailed more than a year after this story was posted, to ask for an update, as the long-term outcome of treatment is of great interest. In this case I did not get a reply.