Ice skating fall caused the pain

Rachel

My coccyx problems started after a heavy fall when ice skating in October 2003. I landed right on the base of my spine and felt a shockwave travel right up and down my spine, like nothing I've ever felt before. It took quite a while for me to get up again, initially thinking I could be paralysed, just due to the impact.

I was able to walk, but just shuffling along as my whole back was so stiff. This intense pain went on for around 3 months. I visited my GP as soon as I could after the accident, and he told me that it was just badly bruised and would calm down in a few weeks. It didn't.

I managed to cope with it with painkillers, and the pain was manageable through the summer. I am more active with sport in summer, so the muscles around my coccyx are stronger, although I am still frequently aware of it 'cracking' and moving about inside. As it got colder the pain became unbearable again, I suppose like arthritis. I went to my GP again, and this time wasn't treated sympathetically. The week before this visit, I was in such pain that I was close to tears frequently. I had probably aggravated it. My GP felt my coccyx and told me I had probably fractured it, but couldn't do anything about it. He refused to x-ray me, as 'the exposure to radiation would be pointless'. I was just given strong painkillers. I was left feeling as if the doctor thought I was making it up.

I have all the usual symptoms, such as pain when passing motions, but recently I've been experiencing trapped-nerve pains down both legs, that I believe are as a result of coccydynia. I'm really fed up with it, as I like to be active, and feel this problem is holding me back. I can't sit in one position for too long, and most times when I stand up from a seated position, I am aware of my coccyx moving inside me.

I'm only 19, and don't want this problem to be with me for life (which I suspect it is). I'm also concerned about my future in terms of childbirth. I'm not planning a family just yet, but I still worry about how this injury will affect giving birth when the time comes. I really feel that the health service (UK NHS) cannot do anything for me, and don't know what to do.

Updated 2004-03-28

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