I injured my coccyx in 2014 during a spinning class. An unfortunate encounter with a particularly uncomfortable bicycle saddle was all it took to leave me in terrible pain for the next four years. During this time I struggled to sit for long periods, and endured pain when rising from being seated. Eventually the pain became so bad I struggled to sleep, as turning over in bed was agony, and I could no longer walk very far, or take part in any sort of exercise.
I was twice referred to an orthopaedic surgeon who performed manipulations under anaesthetic, they also administered cortisol injections. Relief from the pain was always short-lived. At my last consultation after the latest procedure, the surgeon warned that if this time the pain relief was not permanent, that my next step was the possibility of removal of the part of the coccyx. This seemed an overly drastic solution, which I was terrified of having to face the prospect of.
Research on the internet led me to coccyx.org, and the testimonies of Dr Michael Durtnall's clients (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London). From reading other people's accounts, the possibility that there may be another way to deal with my problem gave me hope. These glowing testimonies led me to book my first consultation in December 2018. I travelled to London for the day from my home in Wales, nervous about what to expect. But from the first moment I met Michael I felt reassured, and more importantly, listened to.
Michael took an image of my coccyx and talked me through what he could see. The problem was that my coccyx had lost mobility and that the surrounding tissues and muscles had become overprotective and fibrotic, causing further pain. He recommended that I return for treatment to manipulate the coccyx and to have further physiotherapy sessions to work on my gluteal and pelvic muscles.
I returned in February, having 3 consecutive days of treatment, for convenience as I live outside of London. Michael and the physiotherapists, Karolina and Adele were lovely. They were also informative, reassuring and incredibly professional.
Afterwards, I took some time off work to recover (I have a desk job), and during this time I gradually started feeling much improved. Sleeping was now relatively pain-free, and although I was taking care not to sit for long, when I did, rising from being seated was now much easier. My husband even commented that I looked 'better', that the pain that was apparently written on my face was gone, something I didn't even realise was the case!
I returned for a further appointment last week and I was very happy to be told by Michael that the range of movement of my coccyx was much better. He performed further manipulation during the session and told me that it had again improved during the treatment. I also had another physiotherapy session, where Adele also reported an improvement with my strength.
I am booked to attend another appointment in two weeks' time. Until then I am taking care to follow the physiotherapy exercises I have been given, and to walk and stand as much as possible. My aim is to be able to sit for some lovely meals on holiday in July, so I am determined to do everything I can to help this treatment work. I am starting to feel like there is the real possibility that soon I might be pain-free!
I continued to attend appointments at the Sayer Clinic until the end of June 2019. And I am so pleased to report that I am now completely pain-free!
For the past 6 months I have continued the exercises recommended to me and have kept moving as much as possible. I realise now that movement and strengthening exercises are so important if you are suffering with coccydynia. Michael always firmly emphasised the responsibility that I had to keep active to help complement the treatment.
Also, some very wise and helpful advice from Marta Dias de Oliveira helped a great deal with my mindset around pain. She helped me to understand the cycle of pain that I was in, and how to acknowledge and deal with it through a new perspective. I had got into some bad 'protective' habits, which were continuing the pain cycle long after Michael had manipulated by coccyx into a more flexible position. Learning how to get out of these habits and to alter my mindset was so enormously helpful with recovery.
I have experienced a lot of stress this year, which I know was causing me to carry tension in my muscles. During my treatment, some weeks my pain seemed to return instead of remaining in retreat, and I felt I had taken a step backwards. I am convinced that being able to resolve the causes of my stress also helped massively. The mind is a mysterious thing!
The physical therapy provided by Adele Telenta and Karolina Krzaczek was wonderful in furthering my understanding of how tension and inflexibility in certain structures around the tailbone area were exacerbating the pain. The exercises they gave me to carry out at home helped target specific problem areas, which also helped recovery.
I am just so happy I can finally sit normally and participate in every day life, pain-free. I now sleep properly, I can watch a film without wriggling about, I can enjoy a meal at a dining table, I can sit for long car journeys and I can walk and run as normal (not that I run much to be honest, but if I need to I know I can without pain). I feel like a new person!
The pain in my coccyx and surrounding area was severely impacting my quality of life, so I am now looking forward to 2020 with a whole new outlook.
If you are able to attend the Sayer Clinic I would do so without hesitation. I hope I continue to be pain-free, but if I do experience any problems in the future I know I can return and will be in the best hands, literally.