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.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

An uncomfortable few days

The last week or so has been quite uncomfortable for me again. It seems to be more my outer right thigh and buttock involved again. According to the Mayo clinic:

 "Problems within the hip joint itself tend to result in pain on the inside of your hip or your groin. Hip pain on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock is usually caused by problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround your hip joint." Thigh pain

As before, I tend to think it is probably due to poor posture. I overcompensate for years of coccyx pain by sitting in a twisted position. This is learnt behaviour now. My coccyx pain, although present, has not been as bad as my hip and buttock pain for quite a while now. Yet, I find myself making allowances for it, in a precautionary way, almost as a just in case. So I sit twisted on soft surfaces (like our sofa) to keep pressure off my tailbone, with the result that the muscles, tendons and ligaments on my right side are stretched into an abnormal position. This is what I think anyway.

The more I read, the more I realise that many practitioners do not believe piriformis syndrome exists. I mention this, because I have been told in the past that the pain I am experiencing is due to Piriformis Syndrome. It is yet another example of the confusion that seems to surround any pain in the lower back, coccygeal and hip/thigh region. There are so many possible causes. As I have mentioned before, what diagnosis you get seems to depend which specialist you see, at least that's how I feel. The diagnosis generally suits the speciality of the person you are seeing. This has only dawned on me over the last year or so. Therefore getting an accurate diagnosis of your pain is almost impossible to rely on.

A physio has told me it is piriformis syndrome causing my pain ('exercises will help'), an orthopaedic surgeon has said it's my coccyx  ('removal is your only solution'), a gynaecologist ('it could be your pelvic varicose veins'), another orthopaedic consultant agreed it is my coccyx ('manipulation and steroid injections will help'), Pain Management have said I have become over sensitive to pain in this area ('a nerve block will help') ....and so it goes on. My point here, is that, I am not sure if they have just said what they think I want to hear, or what they truly believe, or what just suits their speciality. I guess it is my fault for seeing so many different people, but when you have had pain for so many years, you become desperate for answers.

I guess in fairness, it could be all of the above. X-Ray's have shown degeneration in my lower spine and coccyx, and my coccyx has also been shown to be hypermobile. So treating any one thing may not help anyway- which is what I have found.

So, I continue with regular paracetamol, regular gym sessions (including pilates) and walking. I continue to sit and lie on my heat pad as much as I can. I still do my pelvic floor exercises to strengthen this whole area. I stand for much of my day at work at my standing desk. I choose seats that I know cause the least pain. I take nortriptylline each night. Most of all I try and remain positive.

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