I have suffered with various back pain for years. I had whiplash twice from 2 car accidents and had been to various osteopaths and physiotherapists when I had bad spells. It was manageable and, to be honest, I just got on with life putting up with the pain. Then, suddenly in March 2010, for no apparent reason (no accident or anything) I noticed quite an uncomfortable pain in my coccyx area. I didn't like this new pain as it was something I wasn't sure of and had not experienced previously. It remained the same for a couple of weeks and it was hurting to sit down, especially on soft sofas. I visited the GP who was quite sympathetic, told me it was coccydinia, said there wasn't really much I could do about it other than take NSAIDs and put me on a course of diclofenac. However, I wasn't happy about long term use of these so I used them only when the pain was particularly unbearable. This became more frequent – I work in an office and am either sitting at my desk or in meetings for 8+ hours a day, with 4 hours a day on the train 3 days per week (which was particularly uncomfortable).
I had cover with BUPA through work and after a couple of months I decided to see a local chiropractor. At the time, because I was adjusting my posture to cope with the coccyx pain this was giving me more problems in my neck. He helped the neck pain but didn't have much success with the coccyx pain. I was becoming very depressed about the continuing pain, which was worsening to the point where it was very painful to drive and, at the end of the day in the office, I was having to lie down or stand only when I got home. I tried wedge and coccyx cushions but these didn't seem to help – in fact the wedge made it worse. Also, where I was getting relief before when in bed, it was also starting to hurt there too.
I found this web-site and decided to hunt for a specialist. I found Michael Durtnall, at Sayers clinic (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London) and persuaded BUPA to transfer to pay his fees. I started seeing Michael in January 2011. He initially gave me an X-ray which I wish someone had done earlier. The X-ray showed I had one hip higher than the other (because one of my legs is longer), a twisted spine, my coccyx was sitting over to the left and due to calcification around the joints in my coccyx and general sacrum area at the bottom of my spine, it appeared to be stuck. My neck was also not sitting right with degeneration in some of the discs.
Michael used what the X-ray told him to start to manipulate the areas that needed work. The idea was to free them up where they had calcified. He warned me that I was building up problems if I didn't get it sorted and that I had to improve my posture (which was awful!) and that had caused most of the problems. Also, I had to do daily exercises (which I do diligently every morning and these have really helped). I noticed an improvement initially to about 40% reduction in pain after several sessions but then it kind of stayed at that level for some time. I missed a few sessions and felt that I'd started to go backwards. When I returned to Michael, he asked if I wanted to try internal manipulation but I wanted to persevere for a while with external treatment again first. He therefore decided to take a tougher approach externally, really pummelling the coccyx area and using this vibrating machine to try and free up around the sacrum. This was quite a painful experience but I started to notice a distinct improvement, especially when I left the clinic each time, as everything started to move again. It was worth putting up with the pain as I started to then improve each time, getting up to, now, about a 70% improvement in pain from when I first saw Michael.
Whilst I'd love to fully recover, this improvement has made a significant difference to me and I'm really happy. I could probably get better quicker with the internal manipulation but I don't feel comfortable with that and Michael wouldn't want to push anyone into it if they felt uncomfortable. Also, I have been told by BUPA that they won't pay for any further treatment so I can't afford to see Michael regularly. If I start to experience worsening pain I will definitely find the money from somewhere though and go back to Michael. I'm very grateful for the help he has given me – thanks Michael – and I'd recommend him to anyone looking for an experienced chiropractor for coccyx pain.