Jennie, UK - email@example.com
I am 67 years old, or a fossil as my Granddaughter says but a very sporty one!
Always had a very prominent coccyx and spent a lifetime sitting on one side of my bottom to avoid sitting on it. Generally though no major problems. 14 years ago developed lower lumbar pain - particularly after playing tennis or squash always on the lower right lumbar area. Saw various physiotherapists. Gave up squash.
Then 6 years ago it got very bad. Went to a chiropractor who did an X-ray which revealed I had unilateral sacralisation on the right. This is where the L5 is fused, in my case, on one side to the sacrum. This is something I was obviously born with. So for 6 years I saw him and we managed it, this year it got very bad - also my coccyx became very painful. (I had lost weight after flu).
Visit to physiotherapists, back to chiropractor and the doctor. Various solutions, suggestions and finally referral by GP for steroid injection into the coccyx. Not something I fancied especially as I didn't know what was wrong.
Decided to start doing my own research - bought various books - Sarah Keys Back sufferers bible, Dr Foye relief on tailbone pain etc then came across coccyx.org. Read all the reviews and looked for an expert in my local area Devon. Apart from surgeons in Bristol who removed coccyx there was no one.
Started reading the reviews for Michael Durtnall (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London) about 2 months ago but didn't fancy the idea of an internal examination or paying to go to London, sitting on my sore coccyx for two hours So kept putting it off. Until it got so bad I just did it and booked on line. (After all I had already spent £200 getting nowhere). Made the decision before I went that I wouldn't have an internal - wanted to see how I felt and thought I could always go back.
Off I went - full of fear. Now I wonder why I was so worried. Easy to find, welcoming and professional. Not a minute of my valuable hour wasted. Two X-rays, an external physical examination and we were on our way. Of course the unilateral sacralisation showed up, plus a coccyx well off centre. I felt so confident in him that I agreed to an internal - perhaps even at my age he would be able to straighten it. Well the internal was fine - neither embarrassing or painful. Indeed having had one years ago by a doctor much better than the medic!
My coccyx apparently doesn't have joints - it is indeed solid. So it wouldn't be able to even be surgically removed. BUT for the coccyx he gave me advice on cushions, how to sit and to put on weight (I had lost half a stone recently).
In terms of the lower back pain he did some manipulations and looked at my posture which is bad and gave me exercises to do and used a thumper thing to massage.
He believes I will be able to play tennis again. I believe him. I will follow what he has said. Sit and stand properly and NOT have the injections recommended by the GP.
I know I am older but I want to stay active into older age I believe he has given me the tools to do so.
Well worth the trip - if I can afford it I will go back next year for more manipulation and a review.
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.