Answer to my Coccyx Pain - Dr Durtnall, London

Edel

Posted 2009-12-13

Hi,

I'd like to pass on my story of a search for an answer to coccyx pain. I hope it might help someone in similar circumstances. In October 2004 I fell slipping on water on the bathroom floor. I fell backwards directly on my coccyx with a hard thud and immediately felt a lot of pain. With my husband I went to the nearest A & E. They x-rayed me, lying down. They didn't focus on my coccyx so nothing showed up. I was told to go home I'd be all right in a few days!

I couldn't sit down for long. This meant I couldn't go back to work and sit at a desk. That was impossible. Driving was very difficult and painful. My husband drove me places with me kneeling up in the back seat! All the normal things you do like going to the cinema, theatre, going out for a meal and socialising were out making it quite isolating.

I tried lots of different things. Painkillers, physiotherapy (small amount of relief), osteopathy, hydrotherapy, pain management (they were very unhelpful and not looking for solution) –nothing helped. I felt the doctors and numerous consultants were disbelieving. Not a nice experience. Psychologically that didn't help.

On the www.coccyx.org website I read about a chiropractor in London, Dr Durtnall who had helped a lot of people with coccyx pain (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London). I also found another good website: www.webmd.com (American Doctors website - search under coccyx pain). They described coccydynia and a doctor on the site said the way to fix coccydynia was to manipulate the coccyx internally, to physically move it and that this was possible to do.

My first trip to Dr Durtnall was in March 2009. This was four and half year after my fall. It was painful for me to travel. Dr Durtnall was exactly as everybody on the website had described – understanding, knowledgeable, professional with a sense of humour. This immediately puts you at your ease. He was really the first person to take any interest and to engage with my problem. Before that it was like talking to a brick wall.

At the clinic, Dr Durtnall x-rayed me, standing up and was able to show me the exact spot on the coccyx causing me my pain. The upper part of the coccyx was beginning to calcify from the trauma. Because of this when I sat down, my coccyx did not curl under with me as is normal but stayed straight like a pylon. This meant you were sitting on a straight coccyx. That was what was causing the pain. It often felt like I was sitting on a knife. Finally an explanation, right away that changes everything. You're not mad! Etc. It was great to have the pain identified, explained and acknowledged.

Dr Durtnall manipulated the coccyx internally for about 1 minute. It's not painful. He also used some thin needles like acupuncture needles inserted into the tense muscles around the coccyx to relax them and ultrasound.

I was given exercises to do. 100 leg lift ups, lifting the leg trying to get the knee to touch the level of your shoulder and another exercise using a rolling pin to roll it against the coccyx for about 5 – 10 minutes a day.

Gradually I have improved and can sit much longer than I could before. I have been back 6 times so far and each time the coccyx, I think has become more flexible. Today I am about 70 % improved and I am still going back to Dr Durtnall to continue treatment. I have been able to sit for up to 7 hours at night outs, driving etc. This was impossible before. I am careful at this stage not to overdo it and take breaks from sitting too long.

Some people seem to get instant complete relief because they went a few weeks or months after they feel pain. The sooner you go and get treated the better it seems to me. I am very grateful to Dr Durtnall. He is genuinely trying to help and has enabled me to live my life fully again. Also a big thanks to Jon for setting up the coccyx.org site!

Edel

What is coccydynia? | Investigation and diagnosis | Treatment | Coping with coccyx pain | Find a doctor or specialist

Medical papers | Personal experiences | Links to other sites | Support groups | Site map