Other methods of treatment of coccyx pain

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

Electrically conducting pads are attached to the skin and a low current alternating voltage is applied between them. Pain may be reduced, possibly on the same principle suggested to underlie acupuncture and scratching to relieve an itch, that stimulation of one part of the nervous system can block signals in another pathway.

Diane has used TENS, and this is her description: It is a battery operated device about the size of a pack of cigarettes that has four electrodes connected to it. The electrodes are arranged 2 on each side of the surgical site and then you turn the battery on to as high a power as you can comfortably tolerate. At first I thought I'd never like it, get used to it etc...you can't get dependent on it, so my surgeon thinks it replaces drugs for daytime comfort. The signals block out the pain signals you would normally be experiencing. The pack clips to your belt or waistline on pants so clothing becomes another issue. I wear either a sweater or loose shirt when I am using the TENS. It is not a solution but with pain that will be around a long time, it is another device for comfort. I truly believe it is my savior for being able to work. However it can be a mixed blessing as it masks the pain and sometimes I pay more later for my comfort time. Hope this helps any of you thinking of trying it.

Bernadette writes: I am in Australia and use the Ezistim sports Med micro Unit. I believe it is available by mail order to overseas as well. I've tried everything else and this is the only thing that has helped. I use the unit all day and would be completely housebound without it. The rechargeable unit is dearer but more economic in the long run. From time to time you do need to buy extra pads and leads but it is still cheaper and much more effective than taking drugs. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about the unit. The inventor is a physiotherapist who has won awards for this particular tens machine which is tiny and portable. His name is Jim Lamers and his details should be on the home page of the link I am sending you. He is very happy to speak to prospective users direct and advise them on the best unit for their particular purpose.

Distraction, relaxation, massage, etc

There are various non-medical ways to help cope with pain. They can be very important in making life bearable. There is a good summary of them on the 'Pain - Physical and Psychosocial Interventions' page of the Web_MD site. The page is concerned with cancer pain, but the methods apply to any kind of pain. You probably use one or more of these methods to get through the day already. Do have a read of this page - there are some good ideas there.

Ultrasound

Application of high frequency sound as a kind of micro-massage. Commonly used for soft tissue injuries such as bruises and strains.

Clinical evidence: None that I know of.

Laser

The site of the pain is illuminated with a low power laser.

Clinical evidence: None that I know of.

Homeopathy

See the Homeopathy page

Updated 2008-11-02

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