T from Southern California
I'm a 32 year old female. This website was my lifesaver. After a night of dancing, I woke up in the middle of sleep and felt an ache in my tailbone area. I've felt this before (once or twice in my life), I just take it easy for a few days and the pain subsides. Not this time. I went to work the next morning and was sitting on it for a 10 hour shift. By the end of the day I could barely walk to my car. I came straight home and tried to get in bed. It was excruciating debilitating pain at this point. The only position I found that relieved the pain was to lay on my stomach with my feet pointed/turned away from my body. And that was the beginning of my life of pain for the next 8 months. I bought a special pillow to sit on, I had to cut the back end out of the pillow so it made a U shape. I eventually bought a proper pillow once I knew they existed. The pillow was amazing relief but unfortunately when I started to feel good I would try to sit without it and the pain would come back like I had made no progress at all. I did online research and read everything I could find.
This website, specifically the personal experiences section was the only thing that really gave me any type of hope. I asked my Dr for x-rays of the area. I also went to a chiropractor that was local and took my insurance. Unfortunately he did not offer me any type of solution other than stretches. I then found a specialist (chiropractor) that was familiar this injury (Dr James Wooley out of Irvine CA, see Doctors and specialists in the USA, California). Unfortunately Dr Wooley does not take insurance and he is semi-retired. Which meant that I had to work on his schedule and pay (hundreds) out of pocket. Dr Wooley completed aprox 5 manual manipulations where he stuck his finger inside and up (oh yes he did) the rectal area and pretty much tried to loosen the tailbone (I never saw my x-rays as there was a glitch on the x-ray viewer. The Dr had to view them on his computer but stated that my tailbone was indeed curved/bent/whatever you want to call it) I layed on my side with my knees slightly bent with a sheet over me (I wore sweatpants for easy access), a female from the front desk came in and sat near my head area to hold my hand or comfort me (we all know she was there for legal reasons during the procedure) the very first manipulation I felt better and became less depressed about my current situation. I went back approx every other week for another manipulation. I have to say I did not feel a difference since the first time. I kind of felt like the Dr was not spreading the treatments out far enough to give the tailbone a chance to properly heal. These manipulations hurt. Its like putting pressure on a bruise that's already there so it really depends on your injury and your pain tolerance. I was able to go for minutes at a time. I'm talking less then 3 minutes an adjustment.
Dr Wooley stated that this treatment is usually combined with prolotherapy injections and they have a Dr in the same office that works with him. We scheduled an appointment for the injection. The Dr was Dr. Green who is also semi-retired and I believe only works on Wednesdays. He is also 70-80 years old. At this point I was at my end. I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Green (which took a month to get in and see him and no he did not take my insurance, once again it was out of pocket. It was approx $300+ for the one visit ) Dr. Green did a whole physical on me and I was very surprised, despite his age, Dr. Green knows his sh*t!!! To make a long story short, I hopped up on the table, and he started the process (injections) into my tailbone area. I felt a pinching/pressure sensation. I was more nervous than in pain. It lasted a few minutes. At this point the whole area was numb. Dr. Wooley then performed a manual manipulation on me where he really got in there and 'wrenched' the tailbone as I was unable to feel anything. I scheduled another manual manipulation for two weeks later. (At this time I'm still sitting on the pillow and I wasn't able to tell a difference or whether any of these procedures were working) so two weeks went by, and I came back for my manipulation. I was extremely sore when he attempted and only lasted seconds. I was unable to get the procedure. I let Dr. Wooley know that I think I just need to give it time to heal now. That coming back once a week or once every two weeks is not enough time in between. Well I did that, and I have to say the end result was that it all worked out. I must say it was the prolotherapy injection that did it. I still sit on my donut pillow in the car although I don't have too. I've tried it out and was able to handle a 10 hour car ride just fine. I just do it because I'm so gun shy and want to give it a couple years to properly heal. I do NOT want to go back to all that pain and discomfort that I knew before.
Through all of these treatments I was unsure if I was being had/taken advantage of. I googled these Dr's and found out that Dr Wooley was a Dr to the Olympic taekwando (or judo or something) team?? And Dr. Green had been a medic in the war/service and had extensive experience with gynecology. I'm pain free now. I still baby it just because I know what it can feel like and am terrified to feel that again.
I really hope my story can help you out like these stories had helped me.
Note from Jon Miles - see also the Prolotherapy section on the Injections and needles page.