Michael Durtnall experience

Joannah, Denmark - cramer.johannah@gmail.com

Posted 2018-01-13

I've had coccyx pain going on 3 years now, though it has been growing significantly worse over the course of the last 2. I'm female, 25 years old, 5'8'' and a very active individual partaking in climbing, cycling, running, or swimming at least 6 days a week. I currently live in Denmark, where I've had little luck in the way of doctors, physiotherapists, and acupuncturists. I had x-rays which appeared normal to my doctors, and no help from two physiotherapists who eventually admitted they didn't know what to do. I decided to try a chiropractor but after numerous phone calls to chiropractors all throughout Copenhagen, I found that none of them had explicit experience with tailbone pain, which was an absolute requirement for me, as I was terrified of making the problem worse.

By this stage (Nov. 2018) I could not sit for more than 5 minutes, was constantly sitting on one butt cheek, could not lie on my back or sleep, was experiencing a lot of neck pain from sleeping on my stomach with my neck turned to one side, and was very anxious about meetings, social situations like dinners out, and everything else that required sitting. My coccyx dominated my life and thoughts.

At my lowest point, I found this website and Michael Durtnall (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London), who I emailed desperately on a Sunday, asking for help. Michael responded the same day, and I saw him 3 days later, along with his team of physiotherapists (I see Marta and Adele). My experience with everyone at the clinic has been nothing but wonderful. They are kind, caring, and understand that this issue is as much psychological as it is physical, and that it requires re-training of the brain (learning that it's safe and okay to sit again, training the muscles not to tense up in anticipation of pain) along with the physical manipulations. I found this all very interesting. During the consultation Michael took one x-ray and discussed with me and my boyfriend his opinion on the matter, before getting to work on the manipulation. Since then I've been 3 more times (once every two weeks). I fly into London at 8 AM and out again at 8 PM, which is tiring but I will continue to do it for the foreseeable future.

The reason I am sharing my experience now is that for the first time in 2-3 years I find myself forgetting, from time to time, that I have a tailbone. To me, this is huge. With the aid of a tailbone pillow recommended by Michael, I can sit normally for 20-30 minutes before my muscles start to get tense and I need to get up and walk around. But its never tailbone pain itself that forces me up, rather, the anticipation of it, I think. I also bought myself a sit-stand desk, which makes working from home possible, and a monitor so that I don't have to be crunched up over my laptop, this has helped immensely as it improves my general posture, and eliminates anxiety about sitting at my desk for long periods of time. (Luckily, I also have a sit stand desk at work).

The physiotherapists at Sayer work a lot on the pelvic floor muscles (which also requires internal work) but I find the progress in this area also fascinating. They talk about how tight pelvic floor muscles contribute to immobility of the coccyx, and how releasing this tension helps contribute to improved coccyx mobility. I find this interesting, as I read one Norwegian's story of going to psychomotor therapy and working on relaxation of the muscles through breathing, which ultimately solved his problem. Since starting this work, I have stopped getting up to pee in the night (used to get up 2-3 times a night, and now, none). That's not something that's often discussed with coccyx pain, but perhaps others have this issue as well, and perhaps its indication of the pelvic floor being implicated.

In any case, I would highly recommend Michael and his team to anyone with coccyx pain, and I will certainly continue to report how things are here in another few months. Once again, thanks, Jon, for everything you've done for this community.

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