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COCCYDINIA: CAUSE? CURSE? COPING? OR CURE?

What is coccydynia? A Doctor's decription is:

"Inflammation of the bony area (tailbone or coccyx) located between the buttocks....coccydynia is associated with pain and tenderness at the tip of the tailbone between the buttocks. The pain is often worsened by sitting".
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR.
Read more when you visit http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=6882 and http://coccyx-pain.com/hometailbonedoctor.html

YOU ARE NOT ALONE
For all those suffering from a painful coccyx or tailbone, there is a virtual coccydynia 'industry' to be found in cyber space. Thousands of people all around the world suffer from coccyx pain problems. It will probably give you no comfort to know there are so many in the same boat, but if you haven't already discovered the website www.coccyx.org you should visit it right away. This website, started by a physicist who whacked his coccyx in a bicycle accident, is an excellent first point of reference for coccydynia sufferers everywhere. There you will find coccydynia clearly explained and enough information to keep you glued to your computer all day - but don't sit there immersed for too long, get up every now and then for a walk about...you know it makes sense!!

SOMEONE ELSE UNDERSTANDS
On the coccyx.org website, you will be able to read about other people's personal experiences (not always for the faint-hearted), where the old adage, 'there is always someone worse off than me' will immediately spring to mind. If you have found a really helpful practical solution to your nagging coccyx pain or have a story to share, you can tell the rest of the world about it on this site.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
The coccyx.org site also has a worldwide list of doctors, surgeons and orthopaedic specialists, many of whom have dedicated their careers to helping those afflicted by tailbone pain, coccydynia or coccygodynia. These lists could prove a godsend to someone who feels their current treatment is getting them nowhere. If you have a coccydynia success story, the website allows you to pass on the good news and add the name of your specialist to the list.

TREATMENT?
Well, we will leave that to the experts. One tip though, it doesn't hurt to be a bit sceptical about advice given to help you cope with coccydynia, even from the apparently authoratitive sources.

For instance, this UK NHS website http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/coccydinia/Pages/Treatment.aspx, gives some rather feeble practical advice. Under its heading entitled Cushions and Pillows, it says: '... your GP may suggest you use a special doughnut (donut)-shaped pillow or a gel cushion when you are sitting down'.

Well, anyone who designs or uses coccyx comfort cushions will tell you a 'doughnut-shaped pillow, otherwise known as a ring cushion, is rarely helpful, because when you sit properly on top of such a cushion, its central hole is nowhere near your tender tailbone and can offer no useful relief at all. Doughnut cushions are designed to ease pressure around the middle of a user's bottom or the genitals, not provide a pressure-free area for the coccyx. And a 'Gel cushion' is designed provide pressure relief for the entire surface area of your bottom, usually they are used in a wheelchair or sometimes on a hard-seated chair. Gel cushions tend to bend too much on soft furniture and the cushion material will press on the coccyx area at the base of a spine in the same way as conventional upholstery does. They can also be very heavy to lug around from place to place.