Indoor rock climbing accident

Amy, UK - ahclark27@googlemail.com

Posted 2020-11-29

In April 2019 I had an indoor rock climbing accident, falling approximately 20ft. I landed on my feet but my coccyx hit one of the boulders on the rock climbing wall - this took the full impact of my fall. At the time the pain was unbearable but I told myself it was 'just a bruise' and somehow managed to cycle the short distance home, although my eyes were streaming and I literally screamed in pain at points on the ride. Over the next few days I totally seized up, the pain was awful and I could barely walk. I phoned my GP and explained what had happened - I was told nothing can be done for a coccyx injury so whilst I could go to A&E there was probably no point and she could instead prescribe me painkillers over the phone. Given I could barely move I took the pain killers which were effective in dulling the pain but did nothing for the searing pangs of pain I got if I moved too quickly (for example).

According to NHS Direct a coccyx injury can take 2 months to heal. During this period the pain did get marginally better and plateau however my lifestyle had totally changed. I could no longer do any form of exercise other than walking, I could no longer sit on soft chairs, I could no longer recline in bed watching TV, I could no longer do most normal activities without thinking 'will that hurt my coccyx'. After 2 months I went to a physio, who referred me to a consultant specialising in sports injuries. The consultant sent me for an MRI which showed my coccyx was 45 degrees at the wrong angle. With these results I was referred to another consultant, who specilaised in spinal pain. From here I had two steroid 'injections (several months apart) to get rid of the pain. Neither were succesful. The consultant referred me to a specialised 'pelvic floor physio' who instructed me to do glute exercises and pelvic floor exercises. The glute exercises brought marginal relief but, again, the pain remained.

By December 2019 I was at my lowest and was beginning to think life with a painful coccyx was going to be the norm. As someone very sporty, the lack of activity over the previous ten months, combined with the constant coccyx pain had taken it's toll mentally as well. Then one evening I came across coccyx.org and learnt about 'internal manipulation'. From reading it sounded like the most unpleasant procedure but I was honestly beyond caring. I did my research and came across Dr Robert Griffiths' profile (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London). He'd got many years experience deadling with coccyx pain, had some very positive reviews and specialised in internal manipulation. With that, I sceduled my first appointment.

From the moment I met Bob I instantly felt at ease. I showed him the MRI scan and he was immediately able to tell me why I was still in so much pain, and more importantly, what needed to be done to get rid of it. In Bob's words: 'if you dislocated your shoulder you wouldn't treat it with injections and physio before you'd put it back into place, would you?' After months of uncertainty, within ten minutes I had so much clarity and felt so relieved to be speaking to someone who could actually help me! So we then got down to my treatment plan. I would need internal manipulation. When you hear/read about it, it sounds like the most unpleasant procedure but Bob explained everything to me so I understood and made me feel totally at ease. He was able to do the internal manipulation on that first visit and I remember catching the tube home and walking up the stairs and being close to tears that I had zero pain ascending the stairs! It felt like everything was 'in place' again!

Because of how many months I'd left it before getting treatment I had to have the procedure performed several times. Initially every week then slowly reducing the number of times until eventually my coccyx had stablalised in it's original position and I no longer required it anymore! Bob was always so friendly and SO positive. I firmly believe with injuries like this you need to keep a positive mindset to get through it and he ensured no matter how fed up I was, I always left knowing that it was going to be resolved. I also liked that Bob's treatment plan was fluid and tailored for me - we took it one week at a time as opposed to a rigid 'you must have x number of weeks consultation'.

I don't think I will ever be able to fully put into words how grateful I am to Bob. In a world of coccyx pain and uncertainty he gave me clarity, he gave me hope and, ultimately, he gave me my life back! I am now back to exercising 5 times a week, things I had assumed I'd never be able to do again (e.g. jump lunges, triangle pose in yoga, reclining on a sun lounger) have all come back to me! Most importantly though, I am coccyx pain free. I do sometimes get the odd twinge and this is usally when I'm very tired or very stressed - Bob explained that the coccyx has a lot of nerve endings so if things are out of balance, I'm likely to feel it more there now. That I can deal with and in a way it acts as a barometer telling me that I need to slow down!

I cannot recommend Bob highly enough, if you have any type of coccyx pain get in touch with him!

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