My experience of coccyx pain

Sandy, UK

Posted 2015-05-10

I developed coccyx and subsequently severe sacral pain 5 months ago. I was admitted to hospital and given painkillers. I was then referred to a gastric specialist and underwent a Pudendal Block followed by a Rectopexy operation as it was thought my coccyx pain was the result of an internal rectal prolapse. Neither cured my pain which was now much worse. I couldn't work and was on stronger pain relief and antidepressants. I then had steroid injections into my coccyx and a causal epidural into my sacrum. I had no relief from either in fact the pain was getting worse.

In desperation I searched the internet for anyone who might be able to help. I found Michael Durtnall at The Sayer Clinic in Kensington (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London). I've had two sessions with him and my coccyx pain has much improved. I think it will be an up and down recovery but I'm so happy I found him. The hospital specialists had more or less told me I'd just have to live with it and frankly I'm not sure I could!

Update, 2018-05-13

I spent three years looking for practitioners who could help with my pain, chiropractors, female health physiotherapists, pain specialists etc. I had numerous steroid injections into various muscles and spent a fortune on physiotherapy all of which helped a bit but no cure. I found sitting for any length of time was still painful as was standing for too long. I had to give up my job as a magistrate and worse still I was now finding that exercise which I'd been told was essential to my recovery was triggering pins and needles in my lower legs!

Finally I was referred to Dr John Outhwaite at The London Orthopaedic Clinic (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London). He's a rheumatologist with a particular interest in this type of pain. He did what no other specialist had suggested and did a dynamic ultrasound scan of my pelvis making the muscles move while looking to see how the whole pelvis works together. He discovered that my piriformis muscles were badly scarred and much shorter than they should be. This was probably related to an incident in my 20's when an idiot thought it was funny to pull my bar stool away when I went to sit on it causing me to fall several feet into a stone floor! This scarring meant not only that the piriformis wasn't working properly but also my lower glutes and external hip muscles were compromised. He has injected Botox into one half of the piriformis and I have been stretching and exercising. Pain is much reduced and pins and needles improving. I'll have the other side done next month. I'm finally hopeful that I'll be able to get rid of this dreadful pain and start living my life again.

My advice - don't give up and start stretching as this sort of pain is often caused by muscle imbalance.

Note from Jon Miles:

I emailed more than a year after this update was posted, to ask whether the second treatment worked, as the long-term outcome of treatment is of great interest. In this case I did not get a reply.

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