Slow recovery - childbirth caused coccyx pain

Jamie - july_mom@yahoo.com

Posted 2007-09-16

In July 2007 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Unfortunately, she was "stuck" and it took me 3 hours to push her out. When the epidural wore off, I felt terrible pain while sitting. It was difficult to articulate where the pain originated, so the nurses just thought it was pain from the episiotomy.

About a week later I realized where the pain was coming from. After an exam by my OB, she said it was probably a broken tailbone, which she had seen once before. She referred me to a physical therapist who specializes in female pelvic pain. I am currently in therapy with her working on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.

I also go to a chiropractor once a week. I'm not sure if it's helping the tailbone pain, but it is certainly helping the secondary back pain I feel from contorting my body into weird modified sitting positions. My chiro did an x-ray but it didn't show any actual "break". After reading a bit on this site, I now know you can't actually break your tailbone. I think the pain (when it's from childbirth) is from the pelvic floor muscles getting stretched and strained.

Pursuing other diagnostic measures (MRI, more x-rays, etc.) didn't interest me. I have no desire to get injections or surgery. Of course, it's only been a two months, so I could see how years of pain would drive people with this pain to seek any help available. For me though, I want to try it this way first. And so far I am improving, albeit slowly.

As for pain meds, I was reluctant to take them, but my doc gave me some that are safe for breastfeeding. Now I am down to only half a pill every couple of days/as needed.

I have also read a few books by Dr. Sarno which are helping me recover as well.

This whole experience has been terrible, I was very depressed at first as it made nursing and caring for my newborn baby very difficult. To not be able to rock her in my brand new rocking chair broke my heart. This is a time of my life that I have always dreamed of! Loving and enjoying my new baby. I feel cheated sometimes. But I try to keep a good attitude, and know that I will recover eventually.

Now I can sit a little, (hard surfaces are much more comfortable than soft!) and be in a car for a half hour at a time without suffering too much. I am a bit worried about work though, I go back in 6 weeks to a desk job! I have a coccyx pillow (with the hole cut out of the back) but it doesn't help all that much.

Overall I believe the physical therapy helps the most. It's hard to tell whether the chiropractor helps the coccyx pain at all though.

Jamie

Update, 2010-08-22

I am feeling much better now than I did 3 years ago. I would say 90% better. Recovery was quite slow. I went back to work without any serious problems. By the end of each day I was sore but I would get up and walk around as much as possible throughout the day which probably helped. I continue to do my kegel exercises which I noticed still helps. I still believe that my problem is connected to my pelvic floor muscles having permanent damage due to the prolonged strain of labor.

We are thinking of having another baby and I already told my doctor that I will be having a C-section! She told me that the majority of the time the tailbone will be re-injured during subsequent vaginal delivery.

I really tried to have a good attitude and never gave up hope that the pain would lessen at some point. That was hard but I just tried to take it one day at a time.

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