I began to notice pain in the tailbone region, when sitting, quite suddenly in May 2015 although I had not fallen or had any recent injury. I was, however, living in a very stressful situation and feel that that was the main factor in the development of my symptoms. The pain began to get worse and worse and made sitting and laying on my back quite unbearable. I was doing missionary work in the French Caribbean islands and Haiti at the time and blamed the bad roads.
Because I was travelling frequently between islands it made getting help somewhat challenging. I saw osteopaths in Martinique and French Guiana without any improvement in symptoms. I then went to see a GP in French Guiana who sent me for an x-ray (which didn't show the bottom of the tailbone) and a CT scan. According to the results there was no reason for my pain. Prescription anti-inflammatory medicines and muscle relaxants didn't help at all and only made me sick so I stopped taking anything at all.
At times the pain was so bad at night that I slept on the hard tile floor because the mattress, though not soft, was too soft to lay without intense pain. By this time I had pain down my legs at times as well as pelvic pain. Eventually in October 2015 I returned to the USA to try to get some help. I had a cortisone injection in my left SI joint but that didn't help my symptoms at all. That was followed by 6 weeks of physiotherapy which helped marginally but since they really didn't know what they were treating they then suggested I should have an MRI to rule out anything more serious. The MRI showed nothing significant and I was back to square one.
I decided to return to Haiti as I could do my daily exercises there as easily as anywhere but the symptoms continued and I was getting weary living with constant chronic pain and wondering if things would ever get any better. After several weeks I decided to make the 6 hour car journey to Port au Prince to see the only chiropractor I could find in Haiti. Immediately on hearing my story and making his own initial assessment he assured me that I did in fact have a coccyx problem which was causing my pain and that it could be treated. I was so relieved to know that someone else understood exactly what I was describing. Due to the distance he was away from where I was living, and due to the fact I was needing to leave Haiti for other health reasons, I didn't pursue treatment with him but returned to the UK where my family lives. I had previously read about Michael Durtnall and Sayer Clinics on coccyx.org (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London) and after seeing the chiropractor in Haiti I knew that if they couldn't help me likely no one could.
I returned to the UK in May 2016, a little over a year after the beginning of my symptoms. At my first appointment with Michael Durtnall he took x-rays and found that my coccyx was not mobile, was inverted and deviated to one side, and somewhat calcified, likely from an old injury (I remember falling hard on my tailbone as a 10 year old). The x-rays also showed a significant leg length difference and my posture was not good, I had always had an obvious sway back.
I began seeing him three times a week for manipulation, including internal manipulation of the coccyx, as well having physiotherapy three times a week with Karolina, Marta and Sofia. He also prescribed a heel lift to help with the leg length difference. After a few weeks I reduced the treatments to twice a week and continued that for several months. They had concluded that I also had an extremely tense pelvic floor and were treating that as well as significant muscle tension that seemed to go from head to toe! They gave me exercises to do daily and suggested I start exercising again. I began swimming, walking and doing yoga on a regular basis. Over the first three to four months I felt like things were improving, though very slowly. I almost had to convince myself that I really was improving. Some days were good, other days I felt like I hadn't gotten anywhere. The pain down my legs improved first, and the pelvic pain.
Then, one day, all of the sudden, after about 4 months of intensive therapy, I felt much better....not perfect but much better. I began to be able to sit for longer periods of time without much pain or discomfort and no longer needed to use the wedge cushion I'd been using for the past 9 months. I still had some days which reminded me of past pain but generally things were much better. I'm now having treatments once a week and plan to continue to do so until I return to the USA in January.
I'm at least 90% better than when I began my treatment at Sayer Clinics and I do have hope of further improvement in the months and years ahead. I am extremely grateful to Michael, Leta, Karolina, Marta and Sofia who have all helped immensely in my rehabilitation thanks to their knowledge and experience of treating patients with coccyx and pelvic pain. I would highly recommend them to anyone suffering with tailbone pain.