Injured coccyx during childbirth

Nina, UK and Malta -

Posted 2016-12-18

I injured my coccyx during childbirth. It was a home birth, completely natural, so in many respects mine is a rare case as I have been told that often coccyx injury occurs with forceps or ventouse intervention. During the active part of labour I heard a loud 'click' and I knew it was my tailbone, I told my husband and the midwife - I was surprised that they did not hear it too as to me it sounded so loud! I was a bit worried about the next surge and whether I would have the courage to push since the last one had resulted in the loud cracking sound. So the midwife suggested that I sit on the toilet to open my pelvis and this helped, the rest of the delivery went by very smoothly! I say this just in case anybody else is in a similar situation!

However when I tried to sit in bed to breastfeed for the first time I realised I needed to shift my weight in order to not put pressure on the coccyx... there was a strong pain in certain sitting positions.

I learnt how to breastfeed lying down, and avoided sitting. I went to an osteopath in London who did not even send me for x-rays - in retrospect I was disappointed by this. My GP just looked a bit worried and told me I could take ibuprofen and paracetamol - hardly a solution. Finally I went to Malta for 2 months (where I am from) and visited a chiropractor who was recommended - Elaine Mcdougall (see Doctors and specialists in Malta). She sent me for x-rays and sure enough the coccyx bent backwards - the radiologist told me I would need an MRI to know if it was a fracture (broken) or a sprain (still connected by cartilage) - I have not had one so am still uncertain re the exact details of the injury.

Elaine Mcdougall chose to treat me with very gentle care. We did 4 sessions of Bowen Therapy and about 4 of gentle chiropractic massage on the muscles surrounding the coccyx in the hope that by releasing them it would move back. My trip came to an end and I returned to London (where I live) feeling a lot better but still aware that it was not completely better - a lot less pain, but some bruised sensation. If anyone is injured in Malta I do recommend Elaine Mcdougall.

Both Elaine and I found this website and found Michael Durtnall in London as one of the most recommended practitioners in this field (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London). So I went to Michael at Sayers Clinics in London. Michael took x-rays of my whole spine - so the focus was not on the coccyx alone (which incidentally had improved since Dr. Mcdougall's treatment) but on my whole spine. There are various other issues that came to light, Michael recommended postural changes to rebalance my body post pregnancy and to adjust a kink in my neck. He manipulated the coccyx internally - and I did feel improvement almost immediately. I have been to Michael 3 times and I have also been seeing a physiotherapist at Sayers called Karolina Krzaczek who has worked on loosening all muscles connected to the coccyx - of which I have discovered there are many! I am not yet 100%, but I do feel like I am seeing the right people. Michael and Karolina are very knowledgeable in this field, they have treated this sort of injury many times and I feel in safe hands, I feel some hope! Which is a great relief as I endured 8 months of pain.

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.

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