My pain from a broken tailbone is excruciating

Melanie -


I am a 41 year old schoolteacher, married with 2 children. I fell down my stairs on November 8 2000. At first, there were waves of pain that would make me nauseous, it was impossible to sit or even lie down, the only relief was standing. Driving in the car brought tears to my eyes when I had to go around a corner.

I never considered going to a doctor because we are always told that there is nothing that can be done for a broken tailbone. Eventually, I decided to visit a well respected chiropractor. He began treatment without taking x-rays because, in his defense, I was a bit vague about the exact area of pain. When he did x-ray, he immediately discharged me as a patient. The break is fairly high up on the coccyx and as he explained to me I have an unusually long tailbone. He indicated that there was nothing that could be done.

My pain is at times excruciating. Remaining seated for any length of time is impossible. I have tried pillows designed specifically for the problem. I sit forward and stand as much as possible. If I am unlucky enough to lean back at all, the pain is as severe as you can imagine and sometimes I think I will not be able to get up. In fact I can feel the bones separating when I stand up so I know I am not healing.

Do you know if there is any danger of infection in this area?

Well, I'm so glad to have found this site. Everyone around here is sick to death of hearing about it. Thanks


Langley, BC Canada

Note from Jon Miles:

According to the doctors who specialise in coccyx pain, the coccyx doesn't actually get broken. It is naturally in two or three segments, linked by ligaments. An injury can weaken the connections between these segments, or between the coccyx and the sacrum. Then if you sit down, that forces the weak joint apart, causing pain.

Doctors who are not experienced in treating coccydynia think that the coccyx must be broken, because medical textbooks wrongly say that the coccyx is fused into a single bone. When the doctor sees separate pieces on the x-ray, he or she assumes there must be a fracture.

Updated 2001-08-25

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