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SO WHAT PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS ARE THERE FOR COCCYDINIA?

Find a pain-free position to stand, sit, kneel or lie down?
Well, yes, obvious, but not really ideal. It can be very tiring if you have to stand all day at work or walk around your home feeling like a refugee, with nowhere to truly settle down in comfort. Not being able to rest anywhere, combined with constant pain and discomfort can be very dispiriting after a while.

STANDING AT WORK OR HOME
There are many sources of adjustable height desks these days. If your employers do their sums, they will probably realise it is better for all involved to provide you with a hi-lo desk and maybe a special stool or chair.

SITTING AT WORK
Essentially, you have the choice of specially adapted office chair, saddle stool or some sort of kneeler chair.

There are some excellent office chairs with a tilt function and a coccyx cut-out option in the seat.

Kneeler stools have been around for a while now and used by coccydynia sufferers in some very odd ways. Sometimes users sit on their kneeler stool back-to-front, with tailbone overhanging the front of the knee rest and chest resting on the kneeler chair seat. Well, now there is a kneeler chair designed with the coccydynia sufferer in mind with a coccyx recess.

Adaptation - such as a coccyx cushion of some sort, rather than you ending up completely unproductive and depressed on long-term sick leave.

Sofa TortureSITTING AT HOME

Well-padded chairs?
People with coccydynia are often advised to sit on well-padded seats; our instinct is to do the same. Somehow we must try to rest and avoid re-injuring the affected area, but this is often so hard to do. Many chairs are orthopaedic nightmares and well-padded seats are more likely to continue yielding beneath a user's weight until the user ends end up with arms and knees in the air, rocking on that poor old tortured tailbone again.

Meditation Stools?
Kneeling is an option for coccydynia sufferers, but the knees don't like it much, it can be very tiring and some people simply cannot manage it. For some people a halfway-house such as a meditation stool can be a good idea. There are many designs of stool. Some of the nicest have a curved seat and a short central leg or legs on each side, which will allow kneeling in a restful position without sitting on our heels. Many such stools offer support surfaces which don't go near the tailbone area. They are usually very portable too, so can be carried around the house or taken on holiday etc. The best place to see meditation stools is by doing a Google images search for 'meditation stool'. Why not ask your local woodwork expert to make you one?

Zero-gravity chairs?
Well, nice idea, but the nearest thing to such chairs on earth are:

The Varier Gravity Chair

Zero Gravity Sun Loungers

The 'zero-gravity' effect, is achieved when chairs are pivoted backwards to bring knees and feet to roughly the same level as the chest and head. Clearly you are not actually weightless, but because nearly every inch along your body is supported by a corresponding inch of the chair surface, from a coccydynia sufferer's point-of-view, the chair user's backside and coccyx are not the only parts of the body resting on the chair.

LYING DOWN
Most people with coccydynia will instinctively lie on their side to avoid discomfort. There are a few other ideas which might help. Special do-it-yourself mattresses. Some coccydynia sufferers find it uncomfortable to lie on their backs in bed. One solution is to buy yourself some mattress-sized foam and cut a 'coccyx hole' in the middle of the foam, about half way down. Mattress foam comes in different types and densities. It is probably not a good idea to buy a slab of visco-elastic 'memory' foam or latex foam and start chopping it up. Why? because good quality 'memory' or latex foam will be quite expensive. If you want to experiment with a coccyx hole, start with some less expensive foam. A word of warning! Don't cut away too much foam at first. One of the neatest DIY ways to cut foam is with a serrated bread knife; a hand-held hacksaw blade is quite good too. Make sure you practise on some scrap foam first.

Where to buy foam? If you live in the United Kingdom, type 'foam converters' and your town, city or county into Yell.com's search box. Most foam conversion companies offer a 'foam cut-to-size' service. They will also advise you on the right density of mattress foam or mattress topper foam for your weight and needs.

Memory Foam or Natural Latex?
A lot of coccydynia sufferers say how much a 'memory' foam mattress or mattress topper has helped them cope with pain when lying down. That's good news, but buying memory foam can be fraught with difficulties. Cheap foam will rarely last very long and even the very best quality memory foam is susceptible to changes in ambient temperature. Too cold and the foam goes stiff; too warm and the foam becomes so soft it offers little useful support.

A few reports recently have indicated latex mattresses and mattress toppers will be 'the new memory foam'. There are some good reasons for buying a latex mattress or topper (whether you plan to cut a hole in it or not - and you probably won't need to). Natural Latex mattresses have been around for 60 years. Latex embraces and supports your body unlike any other sleep surface...it is not hot to sleep on ...and is instantly responsive and resilient, giving a bouyant sensation. Because it is so highly elastic, it allows you to turn easily and distributes your weight. It reduces pressure points far more effectively than any other sleep surface and vastly improves your sleep hygiene. A 100% natural Latex product will last for many years, without the risk of decaying and breaking down as synthetic, petrochemical-based latex and foam products are known to do. Also natural Latex repels dust mites, is naturally anti-microbial, and is therefore an excellent product for those with allergies or hypersensitivities to these organisms.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

For more information go to coccyx.org