Pain came on after back strain

David -

For 26 years I lived in a world without pain. That all changed in June of 2001 when I tried to catch a computer than was falling off a workbench. This foolish maneuver ended up tearing a muscle in my upper back (thoracic), and doing some unknown damage to my lower back. For a year I suffered through occasional aches and minor pain, all the while seeing several doctors and chiropractors that would always encourage me to simply continue with my physical therapy. Then, after a year it was apparent the pain was not abating, so I went to see an orthopedic surgeon who got me an MRI and into a more intensive physical therapy program. The MRI revealed absolutely nothing of interest, and after taking three months off work and more physical therapy, my back was about 95% back to normal. I continued to go about my life and work.

Following are all the relevant events that may have helped produce my new tailbone pain:

In August 2002, I stopped seeing my regular doctor, and regrettably, slacked off on my physical therapy exercises. I had no major problems for a couple of months. On November 1st, 2002 I returned from a trip to PA where I had been doing more heavy lifting than I was accustomed to, but nothing I felt was overly strenuous. On the 4-hour flight back I noticed my bottom, near the tailbone region, became achier than usual, and continued to ache until I stretched or stood up. At baggage check I noticed a sharp pain in my tailbone area when I carried my 40-pound bag back to the car. Then pain became worse if I leaned to either side, so I tried to stand as straight as possible as I walked.

Six days went by, and possibly due to the fact that I was doing no heavy lifting, I had no pain. On November 7th, I was hurrying home for something important and sprinted about 1/4 mile of the way. I had not sprinted since about 1 year prior. The next day I noticed a dull pain in my tailbone when I sat down. Over the next few days of normal activity, I noticed the pain became worse upon sitting, notably after standing for a long period. The pain was on one occasion excruciating upon sitting after I had been doing some lifting, standing, and bending while working. The pain was multiplied if I sit down a hard surface. The pain dissipated after one or two seconds into a general soreness in my buttocks. Sitting on a hard surface increased the soreness.

On November 13th I went to see a local chiropractor that very thoroughly examined all my muscles and bones in the area. She found that something was misaligned in the area and tried to adjust it with some very hard finger pressing. What she did felt pretty painful, but afterward I was left with only some muscle soreness where she poked me. The original pain was no better or worse. She told me to come back in a few days if the pain didn't subside, and she would perform a procedure that required her to enter my rectum with her finger and perform some other adjustment. She said that that adjustment would likely fix my problem, though the procedure would be quite painful. It's now the 16th. The pain has not subsided, in fact, I think it's getting worse. I'm feeling more pain when I stand up from a sitting position.

I'm going to seek a second opinion soon.

Updated 2002-11-17

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