Pregnancy and childbirth led to coccyx pain

Melissa - mcwilton@shaw.ca

I have been suffering from coccyx pain for about two years. In June 2001 I gave birth to a baby boy and my pregnancy and childbirth has left me with this pain. Ironic, because I have a mild scoliosis and had injured my back falling off my horse when I was younger. I had had some pain from this about 10 years ago in my lower back, but nothing of significance since then. I was sure I would experience a lot of back pain while pregnant, but was fortunate enough not to have any at all. For about the last two months of my pregnancy I found it difficult to sit on anything but a very well padded chair, but I thought that was simply part of being pregnant and figured it would go away after I gave birth.

After I delivered my baby (very healthy beautiful boy – the positive in all this), the doctor discovered I had a blood clot in my cervix. They asked me if I wanted to be given a general anesthetic before they removed it, but I didn't want to be put out right after I had my son so I said no. Needless to say removing it was very painful, and I believe it has contributed to some of my problems.

For about 5 weeks after I had Jacob I was fine (tired, sore etc. but I could sit on wood!!). One day I was sitting in a lawn chair and discovered that I could no longer sit down. I have not been able to do so without pain since then.

I had an x-ray done of my tailbone area to make sure I had not broken anything – it was fine.

I was referred to a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor trauma. She said that she had seen many cases like mine and felt that we would be able to reverse the damage. She says that my pelvic floor muscles are in spasm and are pulling all the other muscles out of place. Also my sacrum is twisted out of place. I have been seeing her ever since, I think she is as perplexed as I am….

I went to another physio briefly after about 6 months and she told me that I should wear a belt to support my SI joints as they have not recovered from the pregnancy. I wore that for about 6 weeks and this was the point along my journey where I discovered that I needed to listen to my body, not only to the people who were treating me. After the first few days of wearing the belt I started having intense pain up my back (before this it had only been in the tailbone area). I continued to wear the belt because I had been told that it would help even thought my body was screaming that it was not a good thing for me at the time. By the end of this experiment I was unable to do much more in a day than lie on the couch – not a good thing when my son was starting to crawl about. Finally I removed the belt and went back to my first PT.

I started going to massage therapy and acupuncture once a week. The massage felt wonderful, but only relieved the muscle tension for a few hours then it would return. The acupuncture was VERY painful and also only relieved the muscle tension for a little while. I did that for about 4 months and then stopped. Still a little slow in listening to my body…

I started seeing a pain doctor who said that he thought if we could help my sleep then I may be able to heal faster. He gave me Neurontin which I took for 2 months with no big difference to my life, so I stopped taking it. I also have tried various anti-inflammatories with no real success.

I had an MRI done to make sure there was nothing else going on that we were missing. It came back fine. The doctor who read my MRI does fluoroscopy treatments at the hospital and said that I could be referred to see him to see if he could help. I had to wait 2 months to get in to see him. The shot actually helped quite a bit. I still had a lot of pain when sitting down, but the rest of my back stopped hurting almost immediately. That was wonderful!! This lasted for 3 weeks then the benefits wore off. I called to see if I could get back in and they said that I had to get another referral from my doctor. That was the middle of November, it is now the beginning of January, and I am still waiting to get my appointment, hopefully it is not another 2 months wait after it is booked.

I went to see another doctor who gave me a cortisone injection. This one hurt like you could not believe and did not give any real benefits. I am going to call him and see if there are any other solutions. He at least said I could call him and get right back in to see him without the long wait.

Two weeks ago I had my regular PT session, I have no idea what she did that was different, but I actually felt quite a bit of relief from that session. Of course when I went to book my next appointment she was full until the middle of February. Normally I go every 2 weeks.

Last week I went for a cranial sacral treatment. It was totally unlike anything I have done so far. She managed in her treatment to put my sacrum back where it should go. Of course, muscle memory did not let it stay there, but it was interesting the way she moved my body around. After this treatment I was exhausted. All of my muscles were so tired I could barely move for about 4 days after. Christmas was the day after which probably did not help with my resting! I am going back to see her next week and I am very interested to see if this therapy will be of any help to me.

I have started trying to deal with the emotional ramifications from this. I have found it increasingly hard to cope with this pain and still have the time and energy to care for my son and continue with my work (I teach pre-school kids who come from abused and neglected homes). I went to my doctor and was prescribed some anti-depressants to help cope.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions I would appreciate any advice.

Melissa

Updated 2003-01-05

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