Manual therapy can be exceptionally safe and effective as an option for coccyx pain treatment. Alain Michelotti, our Chiropractor and Physiotherapist, discusses more:
Coccyx pain: what a pain in the bum!
A term we use to describe a painful condition caused by damage or irritation to the coccyx is coccydynia.
The coccyx is a small bony structure, which is found at the very base of the spine. It is the human equivalent of a tail seen in animals, and so is often referred to as the tail bone.
It is triangular shaped where the tip of the triangle faces downwards.
The coccyx varies in structure between individuals, where some it can consist of five segments others just three! The physical size of the coccyx can also vary considerably.
Due to its position within the pelvis, it is vulnerable to injury.
There are many causes of coccyx pain – falling onto your backside being the most common cause.
Other causes can include:
Repetitive small trauma/irritation when riding a bike equipped with a hard saddle,
Childbirth and/or pregnancy
The coccyx is a richly innervated structure, so is very sensitive when irritated.
It is also an important structure for the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Landing on your backside has the potential to bruise the bone, to strain the joint between the coccyx and the sacrum and to create spasms of the pelvic floor muscles. As a result, recurrent pain every time the sufferer sits down will occur.
A donut cushion is commonly prescribed for these people – not always the most convenient thing to take with you everywhere you go! Changing position (getting up after sitting) and sometimes even walking typically triggers pain.
As we spend an important (too important!) part of our life sitting, this condition can be debilitating.
It becomes difficult to concentrate, to drive, to participate in social activities. It is no surprise that chronic coccydynia can result in low mood and in some cases depression.
Conventional medical treatment includes anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers and mild anti-depressants. If this fails, the sufferer is usually offered a local injection. Surgical removal of the coccyx is a rarely performed procedure.
What is not so widely known is that very gentle manual procedures aimed at relieving the tension and irritation around the coccyx can improve and often entirely cure this condition.
Two to three sessions are usually enough for the patient to feel a noticeable difference.
Summer holidays are finally here! Holidays are supposed to be a time to relax, soak up some vitamin D and be good to ourselves.
You would think that a break from the usual routine would leave you feeling better than ever, however whether you like to rest and relax or get active on your holiday, many of us find that the change in routine is not always welcomed by our bodies.
Changes in beds/mattresses/pillows, long haul flights, jet lag, flip flops, reduced movement or change of activities all adds up to a rather un-welcome challenge for our frames to adapt to. It’s no wonder at Guildford Chiropractic Centre we commonly see patients booking straight in after their summer holidays, not feeling quite as replenished as they were hoping…..
If you are travelling further afield this summer, these tips are for you.
1. Luggage: Before you consider ensuring you get your monies worth of baggage allowance, think again. A typical 25kg piece of luggage is a heavy piece of kit and when that moment comes where you have to heave it on to the travellator, your back and arms would really appreciate it if didn’t strain them too much. Tip 1: Take only what you need, watch your posture when lifting, squat if possible or get someone younger and stronger to help you out.
2. Plane Seats: You’re on the plane, regretting the fact you booked economy, and you’re stuck in the middle seat of the aisle. Tip 2: Get up every 30-40 minutes to off load your spine. Walk up and down the plane to mobilise your joints and get some blood pumping through those legs. If the guy at the end of your seat aisle complains – let him.
3. Sun loungers: You’ve been looking forward to getting your annual dose of vitamin D since January. If you are one of those who loves to lounge around on a sun lounger, please beware that this is a common source of lower back pain. Sitting for long periods upright with your legs up at 90 degrees concentrates all your weight into your lower back. Whilst you’re getting into the latest Baldacci novel, your spinal discs and joints are being squashed and irritated. Tip 3: Sun lounge lying flat on your back or tummy; get up and move around at least every 30-40 minutes and keep the 90 degree sitting to a minimum!
4. Over indulgence and lack of activity: Sampling the local cuisine at a taverna is great, but with the average person putting on 7lbs during a fortnight holiday (that’s like a new born baby!) we should keep an eye what we guzzle down. Tip 4: Keep active during your holiday, do something active every day for at least an hour. Take a good multivitamin daily and don’t feel the need to have three courses with every meal.
5: Footwear: We know that your foot health and biomechanics affects the way the rest of the body functions. Be kind to all those little muscles in your feet and don’t give them too much of a shock whilst you’re away. Tip 5: Look for sandals with a back strap rather than flip flops which cause havoc for those little muscles under your arches. Whilst at the beach you may wish to go bare foot and give your feet a lovely stretch in the sand.
Where ever you are jetting off to this summer, we would like to wish you a wonderful holiday from everyone at Guildford Chiropractic Centre!
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