Coccyx pain after giving birth

Wendy - whorne@orangemail.ch

I gave birth to a large baby boy 9 and a half months ago and for the first time since the birth I am not in pain when I sit down and get up!

After the birth I was obviously in a lot of pain, which gradually reduced until 3 weeks afterwards, when it was only a pain in the coccyx area that remained and which I only felt when I was in a certain sitting position between leaning forward and back, the kind of position that you are in in an armchair or a car. This pain became more and more acute until at 11 weeks after the birth I could almost not sit at all because whenever I rocked back slightly it seemed as if my tailbone moved and I jumped into the air with pain. I pretty much had to breastfeed lying down all the time because sitting was too dangerous - at any moment the nerve would be hit. I walked very slowly as I had pain every step and as time went on the pain got worse.

11 weeks after the birth I saw an osteopath who did an internal manipulation to put the coccyx back in place. For the first time since the birth I had no pain, I walked twice as fast as before the manipulation, however I was told to not sit back but to always sit in a leaning forward position. Unfortunately a week or two later I had to take a 5 hour train journey and was not able to sit leaning forward all the time, especially as I had to feed my baby during the journey. As soon as the coccyx moved I felt it and had the pain back all the time again. 14 weeks after the birth I went back to the osteopath and he put the coccyx back in place but told me that the ligaments had been damaged during the birth, the coccyx was not stable and that the only solution would be for me to have surgery. At this point I bought myself a special ring-shaped cushion which I have sat on until now.

Then started a round of doctor's appointments which achieved nothing. Doctors told me that surgery was out of the question, that I should accept the pain, that time was the best healer and that they could remove the pain with a cortisone injection. This did not ring true though because the pain was gradually getting worse ever since the birth. Something was obviously out of place and all my daily activities like sitting and walking seemed to be aggravating it. By this time I was limping because the pain was much worse on one side of my coccyx than the other and I started to get depressed.

A midwife where I did a baby massage class suggested that I go to see a chiropractor that she recommended and this was when things started to look up. 4 and a half months after the birth I went to see this chiropractor - the approach was completely different. First of all, when I called in the morning he gave me an appointment for the evening - not the 3 weeks I had to wait to see the osteopath. He diagnosed that the main problem was the sacrum not the coccyx, the bones were blocked in place and the pain in the coccyx was a result of the adaption of my back to the problems in the sacrum. He manipulated the sacrum and repositioned the coccyx with an external manipulation - much more pleasant than an internal one.

I had 9 sessions, first of all twice a week, then once a week, then once a month and now 5 months on I think I am almost completely better. The first time I met him the chiropractor told me that I did not need surgery and that I would be completely pain free in the future. He was right despite my not believing him, he was just a little optimistic on the amount of time it would take. After 3 months of treatment I only had pain when I sat down and stood up from sitting and now 5 months after the start of treatment and almost 2 months after my last visit I have almost no pain at all.

The chiropractor who changed my life was Dr Andres Zurcher, (see Doctors and specialists in Switzerland).

Updated 2004-07-11

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