Manipulation cured my twelve months of pain in a few minutes

Chris - c.bray2@ntlworld.com

This might sound a bit like a journalistic headline but it is simply a statement of fact. I am 56, have always been pretty fit and never had a coccyx problem. A year ago I began to notice pain when I sat down - and particularly getting up. Over the course of a year it got worse and began to dominate my everyday life. It began to interfere with my work - I had to look at every seat I was about to sit on to judge the best way to place myself on it. I know this will be familiar to anyone with a similar problem. I had sponge cut-out seats, I tried heat and I tried ice. I lay on my front to eat for days on end. Nothing really helped

I went to two doctors at different times at my local GP practice. They both said that it was caused by sitting on hard chairs. They both prescribed me anti-inflammatory drugs, at first over-the- counter ones and then much stronger ones. These latter made me feel disorientated and unwell. The drugs had no beneficial effect whatsoever. I was told that steroid injections might have to be the next strategy but that these might have only a temporary effect and subsequent to that, surgery (which they said also had no guaranteed outcome). To cut a long story short, I was informed that I would just have to live with it.

I looked on the internet and found this site and information about treating coccydynia by manipulation. My doctor said that I shouldn't believe everything I saw on the internet and rather patronizingly said that manipulative treatment was not a serious option.

However I had little choice but to ignore his advice, thank heavens. I found the Sayer Clinic address and contacted Michael Durtnall (see Doctors and specialists in the UK), following entries from others on this site. I had a first appointment with him towards the end of May. In 45 minutes he had taken X rays, diagnosed the problem, treated it, took a full medical history, gave me acupuncture and infra-red treatment and showed me exercises to maintain the improvement.

It felt frankly a near-miraculous event and this is how I have described it to others. However, without intending in any way to dilute my admiration for his skills and obvious huge knowledge of such problems it was simply a logical approach to what was a mechanical problem. Once X rays were taken it was quite clear what the problem was. Why my doctors didn't consider sending me for an X ray I can't imagine. What had happened was that the end of my coccyx was bend further backwards than it should be and had almost straightened out so that when I sat down I was more or less sitting on the end of it. The compression on it also was causing one of the joints to calcify, and it was almost fused. Michael Durtnall loosened the joint by manipulation, freeing it up and allowing it to move freely again. It took no more than two minutes.

He gave me some simple exercises and lots of posture advice which I have kept to and which have continued to develop the flexibility of the coccyx. I feel fully recovered, have visited Michael once since for a check up; the coccyx area is fine and if you need evidence, I can tell you that three days after my first appointment, after having been unable to sit in my car or anywhere for more than half an hour at a time, I drove from the north of England to the south of France and back in a transit van, a distance of about 1800 miles, completely comfortably and without a single problem with my coccyx.

Two months after that first appointment I know the problem has been cured. I now know that it was caused simply by the way I was sitting at my computer and it developed because I had changed my job two years ago. I had been a teacher for 30 years and very active all day. Then my work changed and involved a lot of sedentary computer work and my poor posture ( as I now know it to be) gradually put pressure on my coccyx and began to compress the joints. So you don't need an accident or a traumatic event to cause you lots of pain. It can be something very simple and mundane. Had I left it much longer though, the bone might have fused completely.

I cannot recommend Michael Durtnall to you highly enough. He has great knowledge, is very down to earth, is full of great advice about posture and health in general and to be honest he's changed the quality of my life. If you're in doubt about whether to consult him or the cost, you can ring the clinic for a chat and he'll talk to you about your particular problem. The crucial thing is getting an accurate diagnosis for your particular coccyx problem. I have seen well-meaning advice by others on this site which, had I taken it up with my particular problem, would have been quite the wrong thing to do and quite a damaging thing to try.

You need an individual diagnosis - and your GP if he's anything like mine, he or she may be a sympathetic person, but it is extremely likely that he or she just does not understand coccydynia. I have one more appointment with Michael Durtnall booked for a final check and then I anticipate that my problem will be history.

I'm a pretty down to earth sort of person with a healthy scepticism for unscientific alternative therapies, so don't imagine I'm a gullible hippy trying to sell you untried experimental medicine. What Michael did was straightforward mechanical realignment of displaced bone and tissue. What he has is great knowledge, which your doctors don't. If you think there's any possibility he might be able to help, contact him. It isn't terribly costly and you may well experience the good fortune that I have.

Updated 2005-07-24

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