Help for women with coccyx pain from having a baby

Erin - econnelly@kpmg.ca

I notice the many stories on this website from women with this pain after childbirth and I have had similar pain since being pregnant with my daughter. She is now 16 months and I finally think that I have found what is causing the pain, so I thought I would share with you in case you could have a similar problem. I never fell or injured my coccyx and x-rays showed everything as normal. I have tried many things also and nothing seem to really work.

I am now going to see a Physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor muscles and I can now see what is causing the pain. You have muscles that run right from the front of your pubic bone to your back (coccyx bone). When I went to this physiotherapist she tested my pelvic muscles and found that the back muscles where strong but the front ones were very weak. The contraction that she was getting me to do was as though you are trying to hold back urine. But she had to teach me how to contract the back and the front at different times.

Anyway, she is getting me to do pelvic floor exercises and I know it is helping. I have been back to work for about 6 months now and sit all day. I did have my husband built me a seat with a hole at the back (after suggestions made on this site) which does help a lot but I can still feel the pain when sitting for long periods and trying to get up. So a few days ago when I was feeling the pain, I did one of the exercises of tightening my front pelvic muscles and immediately I felt the pain go away. Since those muscles are very weak still, I can't hold it very long, so when I released, the pain immediately came back. This indicates to me that this is the problem. My muscles are not strong enough in the front and too strong at the back, those my coccyx doesn't have the proper support to stay in it's correct position.

Also the physiotherapist mobilizes my coccyx internally via the rectum. It is uncomfortable, but surprisingly, when she touches the tailbone, it does not hurt. I thought for sure it would. That is another indication that it is a muscles problem and not the bone itself. This also really helped because she said that it was really stiff when I first started going and now can move it a lot easier.

I would really encourage you to try and find someone that can test your pelvic muscles (the lady I go to actually usually helps women that have problems with urine leaking or not being able to hold back from going to the washroom), before you would get any operation. I just noticed that a lot of women on the website are experiencing this type of pain that have had children. And when I think back on the pain and the periods that it was the most intense, it definitely makes sense. When you deliver a child, those muscles get so stretched and out of shape that they are not holding everything into position, including the coccyx bone. Even if you didn't deliver vaginally, those muscles still weaken from carrying that extra weight while carrying the baby. I had pain during pregnancy and it became 10 times more intense after delivering. I just remember women walking around in the hospital that had just delivered and myself not even able to move without pain. I could hardly stand and could not properly care for my new baby. After time it did improve, but I just had to avoid sitting as much as possible. But I am just starting to attempt to sit normally and am finding that the pain is diminishing as I strengthen my pelvic muscles. On my way to work today I tried sitting like a normal person instead of leaned forward as I normally do and thought for sure that I would have to intense pain in my coccyx when getting out of the car, but I did not.

So I hope this can help. I know that I was in tears when I found some relief finally. I also want to have another baby and was very scared do to the pain after the first one, but I can finally see some hope.

Updated 2003-11-16

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