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.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Work and my coccyx

Second week back at work following my laparoscopy. I have been co-ordinating, which means taking calls and triaging them. Anything from physio's and podiatrists with queries about patients, patients asking about their catheters, to accepting new patients requiring home visits. I feel like I've learnt lots of new skills this week.

I am appreciative that they are easing me back gently. I'm not lifting anything too heavy yet, and just doing 5 hour shifts.

My sit/stand station is a godsend. I will take a picture soon and upload it. It means I can stand as long as I need (good for my coccyx pain), and sit when I need a break from standing.

I know my coccyx is literally a pain in the arse, and is showing degenerative changes, as well as being hypermobile and slipping out of joint backwards when I sit. This picture is courtesy of This is what my coccyx does. I have my own X-Rays, but they do not show it so clearly.

Picture courtesy of

It hurts me to sit. Soft seats are worse, and leaning slightly back on a seat is agony. It hurts to sit for any length of time. If I catch it wrong it's a sharp, stabbing reminder that I have done so. Prolonged sitting is more of a relentless, gnawing, bony ache. That's the best I can describe it really. Anywhere from 2/10 to 10/10++ on a bad day.

Picture courtesy of Medscape. Showing the coccyx in relation to the hip and pelvis.

There is a Pelvic Congestion Support Group on Facebook. Many women on there state that this condition gives them tailbone pain, and pain in their buttocks. I always assumed coccydynia had to be the actual coccyx to blame, but I have learnt since that this is not the case. Coccyx pain is due to the coccyx or surrounding tissue becoming damaged- so potentially anything that is aggravating nearby tissues could be the cause of coccydynia; it is just that the focus of the pain is the coccyx. I think that's the case anyway!

I also now know that pelvic varices can cause a dull, ache anywhere in the pelvis. It can radiate through into the buttocks and coccyx. So, personally I feel I have a double whammy (as they say). Not forgetting my distended bowel which I have been told is filling my Pouch of Douglas and causing pressure on my poor coccyx.

Vein (courtesy of me!!). Knowing the symptoms of varicose veins in the leg (and scrotum)- an aching, heaviness and discomfort, explains these symptoms in my pelvis. Knowing I have several veins like this and they are all wider than the surgeons finger explains a lot. So the coccydynia picture is confused a bit for me.
Anyway- back to work!! It has been a good and rewarding day. I am in pain now, my buttocks and my coccyx. My fault for sitting blogging. I still have two weeks of my staged return to go, so a gradual return to my normal nursing duties. I miss patient contact, but I know I am really benefitting from taking things easy at the moment.

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