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.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

How being physically active has helped my coccyx pain

Coccyx pain still affects my daily life, however generally I am able to live and function in a manner that allows me to not let it take control of me. I know I am fortunate now as it is no way as bad as it once was, or many people have.

Once I would have said it ruined my life- I was in pain pretty much all of the time; unable to sit, searching wherever I went to find some suitable surface to sit on; because even if it hurts you want to sit, you still want to chill out and relax somehow. I remember one Christmas in particular when I could not sit on the sofa, any chair or even the floor. I had to be semi-recumbent on either side/hip to find any degree of comfort, which had a knock on effect on my back. Most of that Christmas was spent in pain and tears.

I could not sit in a hairdressers chair for any length of time, once I had to leave 'half done' as I was just so sore.

Travelling anywhere was a nightmare. I had to either just not go anywhere, or plan ahead. If it was a particularly long journey I saved up (sometimes for a couple of years), just to be able to afford extra legroom or Business Class so that I was not sat the whole journey.

I have never found coccyx cushions to be of much help. Sometimes pain killers helped, sometimes they didn't. Sometimes a concoction of painkillers helped, sometimes they didn't; and the side effects of being heavily dosed up are not nice, as many of you reading this will know. Sometimes alcohol helped, but it's not something I'd recommend. I have a heat pad- that's about the only thing that gave some relief.

Steroid injections didn't help.

Manipulation under anaesthetic didn't help.

....And the embarrassment of the whole situation; it's ok to say you have a bad back.....but trying to explain you have a bad coccyx, well that's an entirely different thing. I got to the point of being past caring, and I would say. I used to then be amazed at how many other people suffer with this condition in silence, or know someone who does.

I was determined not to have my coccyx removed, which had been recommended. No! I wanted to manage this myself.

Over the years I took time off work both because of the pain, and the stress the whole situation caused. It put a strain on friendships, family....pretty much everything.

But now, well, I 'manage'. I am doing a more active job as a Personal Trainer, so I'm off my coccyx more. I am keeping much more active, and gym and/or walk every single day (with maybe a rest day once a week).

At the gym I do alot of weights. I choose weights that don't hurt my coccyx. This means avoiding many of the Resistance Machines that seem to make you sit down at an odd angle and place pressure on your coccyx. When I do Free weights (which I mostly do), on a bench, I do these lying down. The lying down part, involves my own technique of clenching my buttocks and kind of rolling on one butt cheek to protect my coccyx and to not roll directly on it- (this I still cannot do). I have to avoid things like Pilates, 'roll ups', 'sit ups', anything where you are meant to roll as you sit up, even the thought of it makes my eyes water!

Perhaps doing leg and glutes work has also helped by strengthening muscles all around my coccyx as well as my pelvic floor. This is bound to help support the area in a positive way. In fact, since doing weight training my posture overall is alot better and I feel I stand and walk taller.

I also do alot of cardio work as this is obviously off your coccyx. I avoid bikes and rowing as these are no good for me and my coccyx.

I taper everything I do at home, out and about and at the gym around my coccyx pain. It's mostly a subconscious thing. It's really only at the gym now that I have to think about what I'm doing and protect myself from causing pain. I also still need to think ahead with travel, as I still can't sit for any length of time.

I do manage now though. Pain does not rule my life. Yes, it's something that I am aware of, but I would rather manage it with exercise and lifestyle, than medication and/or surgery.

I think perhaps having a more positive attitude has helped, losing a bit of weight, and those natural painkillers that are released when you exercise.

I appreciate that everyone is different, some cannot exercise for different reasons, some have unrelenting unbearable pain like mine once was- to you my heart goes out. I wish you well, and I wish that your pain improves and/or you find a way to manage it.

Don't ever give up trying. You should not have to live with pain. Please see a healthcare provider or someone you trust who may be able to help, and do not give up until they do! You deserve a good and pain free life.


  1. Your blog is making me want to cry. I understand your journey too well. Trying everything, spending way more money than I have, picking a restaurant based on the seats, suffering through travel, cancelling hairdresser appts because it's a "bad day", etc etc etc.

    It's all too much. But at the same time Ive accepted it - whilst doing everything I can to fix it. I am still not near acceptance!

    One thing that has helped a lot is CBD. I have started taking it daily and it does provide some relief.

    And I hear you about the heating pad. Couldn't live without mine!

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