My recovery from coccyx pain

Anonymous, USA

Posted 2016-06-12

I fell down the stairs 5.5 months ago landing on my tailbone, I was screaming like I'd been murdered the pain was the worst pain I've ever had in my life, I thought I had shattered my spine it was so bad. I've been in extreme pain since then when I sit for any period of time even with a coccyx cushion. Going in the car anywhere would make it a lot worse, I couldn't think to sit in a movie theater or go for dinner with my husband or sit at my desk to work. I had 3 months of acupuncture, which felt good but didn't fix the problem for me, I used an infrared heat lamp which helped the pain a lot, but I wasn't really improving or getting my life back which scared me and after reading many peoples stories I was afraid this was my life now. I was worried my only option would be surgery or having the bone internally manipulated, neither of which I wanted to do.

I have had Bowen therapy in the past for a shoulder injury- it worked very well so I wanted to try it again before going down any invasive paths. I found a fantastic Bowen practitioner, Susan Kinsgbury, (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, Washington State). When Susan said she was the "tailbone queen" I leapt for joy. After my first session, I had relief, it still felt very tender but there was a lot of inflammation that had to go down, 3 days later I could sit on my coccyx without a coccyx cushion and even lean back on it, which I couldn't even think to do before.

Its been 6 days now and I can sit on a hard bench, lean back on my tailbone and it feels 99% better. I'm having another session tomorrow, but I know I'm better and I am so happy and grateful. Susan is also in my medical insurance which is amazing to be healed for just my copayment.

I will be eternally grateful to Susan for giving me back my life and I am so thankful to have chosen Bowen therapy to heal this area as it was very gentle and 100% effective for me.

I really hope it can help others with this painful injury.

Update, 2017-09-24

The Bowen therapy I had last year did help me get past some of the tailbone pain, but then I got a round of hip pain that radiated down my leg like sciatica along with extremely bad low back pain and was still having tenderness in my coccyx. I went to the spine clinic in Seattle where they x-rayed my coccyx and told me there was nothing wrong with me and they said I was too flexible to diagnose which wasn't explained anymore to me, I felt even more lost after that appointment. I have since requested copies of the x-rays and my coccyx is not even in the x-rays. It feels like the usual "you have a coccyx injury we don't want to have to treat you".

So I started physical therapy and they explained I have hypermobility which is why my ligaments are too stretchy to hold everything in place since they got damaged, and then I found a doctor, Dr Aaron Williams, in Oregon through a friend, a non-surgical orthopedist, who diagnosed me properly (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, Oregon). He ultrasounded my coccyx and found I have bone spurs caused from a break or fracture not healing properly and a torn ligament beside my tailbone and an over stretched ligament in my sacrum area that holds my hips in place which was causing the leg and low back pain, so he put everything back in place for me with osteopathic moves and after them it felt the same as it did after I had fallen down the stairs, but the pain went down 7 days later and they helped a lot.

Soon after my hips went back out of alignment and got stuck again and I was in pain again. earlier this year I started having Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections and prolotherapy with the doctor in Oregon, he also broke off the bone spurs on the tip of my tailbone with a needle, so it wasn't very invasive- just a needle going through my skin and it was quick but it wasn't pleasant and I was ever so sore afterwards, but then I improved again. The prolotherapy was injected into my sacrum ligament that was over-stretched, and it has tightened it and I no longer have the leg pain or the low back pain. It's been amazing and it's helped me so much, my hips stay in place now. The first round of PRP was injected in the tailbone area to the torn ligament and after a week of pain I improved, but after the second PRP, I had still had a lot tenderness in my tailbone area maybe also because I was starting to try and sit down more. The last time I went to Oregon was a week and a half ago and I had a lot of prolotherapy again, but also into the ligament that goes down the tailbone I'm still quite tender from that but I'm hoping it will help in time.

I've been going to physical therapy twice a week for the past year and that is still helping, in the beginning they also did a lot of cranial sacral in physical therapy to try and calm down my nerves that were on high alert after being in pain consistently for 7 months and the cranial sacral did help my pain go down. I still have a lot of tenderness in my tailbone right now possibly because of the recent prolotherapy but compared to how I was this time last year I have improved a lot and I'm still going along on this journey to try and get to a much better place.

My physical therapist recommended a book called Explain Pain and it was amazing- just reading the book helped me understand how my body makes pain and that your pain level can be changed regardless of your injury and it lessened my pain just to understand it. I would really recommend this book to anyone in extreme pain with the tailbone. [Note: do not buy the Kindle version - the font is fixed and too small to read.]

I saw Dr Aaron Williams again last week. He said I didn't need any more prolotherapy this time as my hips and tailbone were still in place, so the prolotherapy did its job tightening the ligaments that were overstretched. I'm still having tailbone pain and so I had more PRP in that area and I'm doing OK so far. Compared to how I was last year I am improving and have improved an awful lot, thanks to Dr Williams and my physical therapist.

Update, 2019-01-27

I feel almost better! Probably 90%-95% I have days where I can't believe I'm doing so well. I had one last PRP injection in the sacrum area in November and as usual that caused more pain and nerve pain and then it calmed down. I flew to the UK -a nine hour flight, which I had to take a painkiller for and I had lots of pain after it but it died down and the same on the way back if. I sit for nine hours on a plane I have a lot of pain after, but I could do it. And it's not something I'll do often.

I use a Pilates allegro machine daily to build up strength in my core and around my hips to keep my hips in place which is what the PRP injections abd the prolotherapy injections have done because my ligaments got too stretched out in the fall and when my hips would go out of alignment I would get the sciatic nerve pain and my tailbone would hurt a lot. they're staying in place and I am able to get them back in place if they do go out using a miracle ball, by lying on it under my sacrum and tilting my hipsuntil something clicks back in.

I really hope my story can give some people hope that they will get better from their coccyx injury, if I touch the end of my coccyx it still hurts a lot but if I don't do that I don't feel it. And if my hips stay in place I don't really feel it, sitting for a very long time will cause a bit of pain, but to not have the constant pain all day to be able to walk for a few miles and just get back to doing normal things feels amazing. I'm able to drive again too. I never thought I would get this much better and I'm very grateful.

For me seeing Dr. Williams every 8 weeks, having orthopedic adjustments to put everything back in place, Prolotherapy and PRP injections over 2 1/2 years and having physical therapy for a year and a half, using a Pilates allegro machine -a reformer, every day, and walking as much as I can have really helped get me back to a good place Where I can function again.

It was really important to me to avoid surgery, I'm in my late 30s and I didn't want to start having back surgery now, so I found a non-surgical orthopedist who helped me and he said he would help other people with coccyx injuries. Dr. Aaron Williams in Central point, Oregon.

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