Nurse who suffers chronic tailbone pain

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I am a Registered Nurse who has suffered with tailbone pain for over 8 years. Like all chronic pain, it is essential that sufferers get the correct support, diagnosis and treatment appropriate for them as an individual. This blog follows my journey with chronic pain, it expresses my personal opinions and thoughts. It is not intended as a replacement for advice or treatment from your normal Healthcare Provider.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Fourth physio session and a phonecall from Occupational Health

Today I had my fourth physiotherapy session. She was very pleased with how my internal muscles have responded so far. Whereas I had maybe 7-8 sore areas/trigger points today I only had one. A combination of physio, relaxation/breathing and being off work has no doubt helped. I am consciously trying to relax the area throughout the day, keep mobile, and if at home- lie down. I am also doing the breathing that she showed me.

However, I am still in a lot of pain. The physio is now going to concentrate more on the muscles of my buttocks. Both the ones nearer the surface and deeper ones. She started today, and 'ouch'! She (and I) could feel hard, painful knots. Wikipedia (love it or hate it!) describes these as:

"Myofascial trigger points, also known as trigger points, trigger sites, or muscle knots, are hyperirritable spots in the fascia surrounding skeletal muscle. They are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibres".

Palpation of these areas reproduced my pain. With two thumbs directly applying pressure to the areas, she kept pushing until the pain eased, which it did eventually. She carried on in this way, covering all my external pressure points.

Wikipedia states "Studies estimate that in 75–95 percent of cases, myofascial pain is a primary cause of regional pain. Myofascial pain is associated with muscle tenderness that arises from trigger points, focal points of tenderness, a few millimetres in diameter, found at multiple sites in a muscle and the fascia of muscle tissue".

Referred pain is apparently often caused by myofascial pain, and yet often overlooked. For me, the physio can exactly mimic my pain, which makes me think it is this myofascial pain. By pressing on areas both internally and externally my pain is reproduced exactly. I have every confidence therefore that she knows what she is doing, and am trying to have every confidence that her treatment will work!

Once home I had a phonecall/assessment from our Occupational Health Nurse. She was so sympathetic and understanding, and for a pleasant change seemed to know about this condition.

She has recommended that I take 4 weeks off work. She wants me to take time away to concentrate on my physio, relaxation and mobility. She again stressed that I must go out and not stay inside. She felt that if I did not allow the physio treatment to work and went back to work too soon I could end right back at square one again or aggravate things even more. Any stresses at work will cause me to stress and tighten everything up and undo what I have achieved so far.

She was also very sympathetic with my low mood. She reassured me that chronic pain, intractable pain (pain that cannot be treated) will cause me to feel depressed. She was concerned that I am on the verge of being depressed- if not already there, and that going back to work and the burden this will put on me is too much, too soon.

So, for now I carry on with my painkillers, continue with my weekly physio sessions, and my relaxation breathing as well as keeping off my bum, staying mobile as much as I can, and not going back to work as yet.

But, at the moment- 'ow' again. To put it mildly. Once again everything seems aggravated and angry at being tampered with; but then it was anyway. No pain no gain....


  1. Are you supposed to be walking to keep mobile?

  2. I think I am one of the luckier ones in that walking, keeping mobile, standing etc help, as does lying down- anything but sitting really (and I must try and avoid stressful situations). It seems a lot of coccydynia sufferers are really debilitated by this condition and absolutely everything they do aggravates it.
    Personally I walk and go to the gym and do interval training, although I am avoiding weights at the moment. My GP, physio and Occupational Health Nurse have all advised that I keep moving. I should be stick thin, but I'm not!!