I am feeling like myself again after months of treatment

Sinead, UK - mcewansinead@gmail.com

Posted 2020-01-19

In late September 2018 I was randomly overwhelmed with severe lower back pain. It felt almost like some kind of trapped nerve/knife in my lower spine that was shooting up every time I sat is the best way I could describe it. I had not taken any trauma to the area nor could I give any explanation as to why I had this onset of pain. I was in absolute agony. Unable to sit down for anything more than 10 minutes without crying. I had just started university at 18 and was worried about my future and career as it would entail physical activity and at this point I was convinced I'd never be able to sit down again.

I visited my GP who was confident I must have fallen on my sacrum/coccyx and caused myself this injury! But I had not! They gave me co-codamol and sent me away on the premise that it would be pointless to x-ray as if it was fractured it would heal in 6 weeks.

Weeks later my pain was only worsening and I was struggling to walk. Lectures had become so daunting as I would be in tears the whole way through. I tried using a donut/coccyx cushion but after a while it began to flatten and was no longer useful. I was hesitant to use codeine as I felt I was just becoming drowsy but this was not actually helping my pain.

I went back to the GP who put me on amitriptyline. I tried this for a couple months but found it's only benefit was to induce my sleep and I became mildly dependant on them as sleeping tablets.

In the mean time I had sourced an osteopath who tried to massage the area from the outside, tried acupuncture, physiotherapy, use of a TENS machine- pretty much anything that might work I tried as I was desperate. I was offered some internal work by this osteopath but at 18 I thought no surely that doesn't have to be the only way to cure my pain and I felt as if I was back to square one.

I was hesitantly given an MRI on 14/02/2019, 5 months after my pain originated. I was told it was unremarkable and that there was no physiological root cause for my pain. From this I was offered my first steroid injection to the area and weeks later this gave no benefit I was still in agony with my only relief being plenty of opioids and numbing cream .

Soon after this I had found this page, coccyx.org where I began to feel as though I didn't have some mystery injury that the doctors didn't know how to treat or cure. And soon realised many many others were dealing with the same problems. I then found one particular Dr who had some amazing reviews and wasn't too far from my home in central London. I was hesitant to contact as I thought it may be just another doctor who would have no idea how to treat my pain. I visited Dr Michael Durtnall (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London) in May 2019 and took my mum for support. I was greeted by an absolute professional. He spent no time wasting around and told me confidently he would help my pain and the only way to do it. He was able to attain from one set of x-rays that part of my lower coccyx was fused incorrectly and needed to be realigned. I was so relieved to be taken seriously and by someone who was very experienced.

It was inevitable and I knew the conversation would arise and that was that the work was going to have to be internal in order to manipulate the coccyx back into place and relieve the strain all my muscles were under. I agreed as I had gotten to the end of my tolerance with my pain and felt I couldn't bear it any more.

After the first few sessions I was very very sore and questioned if this was ever going to work. I was told by Dr Durtnall my muscles and coccyx would need a fair amount of work to get them back to a pain free place.

But by about session 3/4 I was starting to feel a great amount of relief. Seeing him once a week and his accomplice Magda for some extra, more intense physiotherapy. I was soon able to sit and move around properly- but was still a fair amount off from completely cured. In between sessions I would have advice from Michael to sit properly but refrain from exercise as not to aggravate the area anymore. He suggested an even better coccyx cushion that does not flatten when in use and I take it with me everywhere.

I was in the meantime offered a spinal nerve block from the NHS and this became a big decision as I needed to either put all my faith is Michael's work as if I was to cancel this nerve block I would be back on a waiting list for another three months. But I decided I didn't want a nerve block agent and I would have confidence in Michael.

Months later I am feeling like myself again. I am able to sit for much longer periods reasonably pain free. I am huge amounts better than I was. I honestly am confident he will cure my pain. I am able to walk without pain and can sleep much better. I see Michael less frequently now as my pain has reduced dramatically. I am not completely better yet but I have every confidence it will not be far off and pain is no longer ruining or controlling my life!

Michael deserves all the gratitude and Magda who works at the same clinic are both such a blessing and have improved my pain. I cannot recommend both of them anymore and I firmly believe I would still be in agony today had I not received their treatment.

I wanted to write this to recommend the Sayers Clinic in Kensington to anyone who can get there as it has truly changed my life as I was in an awful place. Anyone who feels they cannot find any help please seek this kind of treatment and it may be the only thing that improves your pain. As I am now 20 and have had this pain for over a year and a half I know it will not control my future and anyone else who is feeling hopeless should not give up because these people know what they are doing and how to help! Don't waste your time with opioids or any pain analgesics as it's unlikely to work due to the nature of this pain! Seek professional help in the field and Dr Michael Durtnall and his extensive team have years of experience in this field and you won't regret it.

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