My coccyx pain success story

Tim - tinman42@earthlink.net

I would like to share with this group the story of how I was cured of coccyx pain which effectively immobilized me for three years starting in year 2000. It was of the type which has no discernible cause (no fall, no broken tailbone, no injury) which as far as I was concerned made it doubly frustrating. All tests were negative (x-ray, bone scan, MRI). I went to several doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, even to an acupuncturist. They all said there was nothing detectably wrong with me. I also bought a "coccyx" cushion to sit on but that didn't help much either. The condition was getting worse and worse until I could not do much of anything except lie on my side and watch television, and even that was starting to hurt.

Then in the summer of 2003 I went to an arthritis center in Springfield, with absolutely no expectations at all, just the feeling of "here goes yet another vain attempt" and to my utter amazement and delight the doctor there actually cured me!

What he did was twofold and very simple. He gave me a strong muscle relaxant (it happened to be tizanidine = Zanaflex but I doubt if it has to be that -- his first try was flexaril and that didn't work). He told me to take at it every night at bedtime and to sleep face down on a body support cushion. This cushion I think is at least half the key to the success so I will try to describe it, although it isn't the easiest thing in the world to describe.

I first saw one on my acupuncturist's working table and also noticed them in my chiropractors office and in the physical therapy department at the local hospital. Since the acupuncturist was putting needles into my tailbone he needed to put me on something that would let my lie face down for an hour at a time and the cushion was just that. Similar consideration go for the chiro and the therapist.

Visualize yourself lying face down and under your chest is a flat 4 inch thick cushion. It goes from your chin down to your pelvis so that your pelvis is supported. Your legs are drooping down to the bed or table or whatever. Now add the second part of the cushion which is a wedge that lets your legs go down more gradually. This wedge ends with its thinnest edge at your knees. Got the picture?

There is also a donut like face mask which can support your head while you breathe with your face pointing down but I never got used to it, I just slept with a regular pillow with my face looking sort of down and sort of to one side.

body cushion

In case that description didn't quite do it for you, here are some pictures on the internet of this type of thing, it doesn't matter which brand you buy and you could probably make one -- they aren't cheap but the are WELL worth it. I located a number of internet sites by doing a google search for the following item with the quotation marks as shown: "physical therapy" "face down" cushion

Here are a few of them: www.bodysupport.com, www.naturalliving.co.uk

After two months of this I was pain free and have been completely pain free ever since which has been two years. I believe that the relaxant and the support cushion allowed whatever was chronically inflamed down there to heal, although the details are a mystery to me. If it ever comes back I will immediately repeat the entire procedure.

I have been meaning ever since to post a description of it on this site, in the hopes that somebody here might benefit by reading my story.

See also Anonymous's experience with the body cushion.

Updated 2005-09-18

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