Weight Loss
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Has anyone else had problems with tailbone pain since losing a dramatic amount of weight?


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I've lost 40 lbs. and developed severe coccydynia (tailbone pain) after maintaining for a couple months.

I'm 5'2" and weighed 147+ or - a 10 pounds, which is oddly specific but accurate, for about a decade+. In March 2011, I changed my whole lifestyle, relationship with food and approach to exercise.  Between March and November '11, I lost around 40 lbs., reaching my goal weight.  I've maintained my weight, plus or minus a few pounds, since November, and noticed a mild pain in my tailbone some time in late January or early February.  

At first, it was just a little sore sometimes, not having any real impact on my day-to-day.  It slowly and gradually got more painful.  Because it seemed like such an insignificant thing and it wasn't caused by a fall or any other impact, I didn't see my GP until the pain was severe enough that I could no longer sit normally.  I always had to be tilted or resting entirely on my hip to keep my tailbone from having any pressure on it.  I've been going to a physical therapist for a few weeks now, but the pain has only continued to grow worse.  At this point, I have to take opiate painkillers and naproxen just to blunt the pain, and I'm essentially debilitated by it.  If I'm on my feet, even just cooking or washing dishes, for only a half hour, my tailbone and the area around it throb and ache.  I'm hoping to get a lot out of my PT and acupuncture to get back to living my life like I was before and getting off of these strong medications, but my GP and PT have told me that coccydynia can take a very long time to heal.

I'm wondering if this is an issue is something that any others have experienced this after a dramatic weight loss because it seems they might be related.

Anyone?  I'd really like to know if I'm alone in this and if anyone has any advice for the same experience.  It's become really difficult to deal with and I could use some support.

Thanks.

ZombieBride

19 Replies (last)
#1  
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I've experienced a bit of this, but not nearly as severely as you have.  If I sit too long on an uncomfortable chair, my tailbone bothers me.  I think it's because I lost the extra cushioning from my butt, and now my tailbone hits the chair directly, where before there was extra flesh to cushion it.

Doing exercises to build up your butt might work, in the long term.  In the meantime, instead of sitting on a chair when you're relaxing at home, you should lie down on the couch instead.  Take as much pressure off the tailbone as possible until it heals. 

Could you get a special cushion to sit on at work?  Sorry that you're having such a difficult time.

 

I appreciate the advice, as well as knowing that I'm not one of the only people dealing with some form of the tailbone issue.

Unfortunately, I've already implemented all of your suggestions.  The inflammation is too severe for me to do the exercises that build muscle in the glutes, i.e. lunges and squats. I actually started doing that kind of exercise not long after I first noticed my tailbone hurting once in awhile. I thought the same thing that you do, that I could help resolve the issue by trying to add on some of the booty padding that happened when I lost all the weight.

The coccyx cushion and resting on my side or stomach at home usually help with the immediate pain and discomfort, but they're not helpful with the actual healing or resolution of the problem.

I really do appreciate the support though.  Thanks a lot.

I swear by my saccrowedgy.  I don't know if my tailbone pain came on from weight loss, or running.  But I was having a lot of problems, I was unable to sleep at night.  Until someone told me about the saccrowedgy.  I used it religiously for 2 months, and since then I only do it once in awhile when I start to feel problems again.

 

Also, I started getting massages again. 

My coccyx cushion should be arriving this week.  I've used one in PT, and I couldn't believe how helpful and comfortable it was.  I ordered the exact cushion as soon as I got home.  I hadn't been able to sit upright for more than a month, maybe two, so it felt like a miracle when I first tried it.

I'm starting acupuncture today.  I'm hoping that will have some of the healing effects that massages can have.  If it doesn't offer enough help, I'll definitely invest in a series of massages.  I'm trying everything at this point.

On a side note, I noticed the pain before I started running again, but it got a lot worse quickly when I did start running.  It's been keeping me from sleeping, too, since I wake up with pain every time I move.  It sounds like we've had a similar experience, but you managed to tend to it before it got so bad.  

It's really good to hear that the things I'm trying are so similar to what have successfully resolved the problem for you.

I lost 60+ pounds and have tailbone pain as well.  I can barely sit on my couch and some chairs.  I just bought a gel seat and it somewhat helps.  I never had any pain in this area until I lost the weight. I can actually feel my tailbone protruding.  Like Glindas said, I think I lost my cushioning as well.

I hope you get some relief.  I don't have any pain standing, only sitting and even laying down at times.  I usually have to sleep on my side. 

Maybe your spine is out of alignment (or something.)   You might want to try shoes with a better or different support than you are wearing.  You might want to change your running shoes as well to something with better support.  You might also want to try a Chiropractor.  These are just some suggestions I thought of.  I hope something helps.  I know how irritating this is.  Best of luck to you.

#6  
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I had a lot of pain in my tailbone, then I figured out it was from my poor posture.  I was slouching and sitting way back; putting weight onto my tailbone.  Once I corrected my posture and with the use of a donut pillow, the pain dissapated.

Thanks for the suggestions, but I guess I should have stated in my OP that I've tried literally everything I could do on my own, ev.er.y.thing! Now, I am making some very slow but steady progress working with my doctor and physical therapist, and it's been better, more effective than anything I've done on my own.  Also, a lot of self-treatment, so to speak, can end up causing more damage than good. Trying to adjust your own posture without the guidance of someone who has a knowledge of anatomy and, specifically for coccyx pain and not lower back pain, using a donut almost always causes the condition to worsen rather than improve.  It was worth it for me to do my research, try all of the things that I could do myself safely, then going to my doctor.

I really do find a lot of comfort in knowing that this is a common occurrence among us "losers".  :)

And I had my first acupuncture treatment with my physical therapist this afternoon, and the results were almost miraculous!  After I got up and got dressed, my PT came back into the room and pointed out that I was sitting normally!  I wasn't leaning or arching my back or try to suspend myself, and there was no pain!  Amazing!  It wasn't permanent by any means, but acupuncture is supposed to have a cumulative effect.  I was just bizarrely responsive to the treatment.  So encouraging!

I wonder what you PT has to say about the reason for your condition.

 

The funny thing about coccydynia is that it's never more specifically diagnosed than as pain in the coccyx.  The diagnosis is that vague, if you can believe it.  Sometimes it's caused by trauma, but more often it just happens with pain growing more troublesome over time.  Doctors don't even bother to do x-rays because the treatments for a fractured or disjointed coccyx are the same as the general treatments for all coccyx pain.  Being given that information by my doctor and my PT was really frustrating, especially since they also said that it simply takes a long time to heal and no particular treatment is going to be as good for one patient because it had been for another.  It's just... just frustrating.  Because it is really painful and it can shut down your entire life while you are suffering from the symptoms.

#10  
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I had coccydynia for several years, and now it's  gone completely. It is miserable, I feel for you. Hope yours soon resolves.

Just to throw a cat amongst the pigeons, I had a lot of pain in my tailbone a few years ago, sometimes it felt like it was on fire. Turned out I had a pilonidal cyst, basically an ingrown hair that winds itself into a hard ball. It's very common in men, not so much in women and doesn't always need removing; mine did. If the pain is that severe it may be worth being checked for that.
Original Post by piperoo:

I had coccydynia for several years, and now it's  gone completely. It is miserable, I feel for you. Hope yours soon resolves.

It's so hard to describe to someone who hasn't experienced it just how painful a little tailbone can be and how much it can affect your daily life.  I really appreciate the support.

I can't imagine dealing with this affliction for years.  You must be one strong gal.

Original Post by keira_m_:

Just to throw a cat amongst the pigeons, I had a lot of pain in my tailbone a few years ago, sometimes it felt like it was on fire. Turned out I had a pilonidal cyst, basically an ingrown hair that winds itself into a hard ball. It's very common in men, not so much in women and doesn't always need removing; mine did. If the pain is that severe it may be worth being checked for that.

One of the first diagnostic exams for any pain in the tailbone or along the spine is a thorough palpation, a good feel along it to make sure there are no abnormal lumps or bumps.  Neither my doc nor my PT found anything but healthy vertebrae, although I wish it were that simple.  Thanks for the suggestion, though. Your "cat" is appreciated.

#14  
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Hi Z Bride,

I just read your posts. I too have got tailbone pain after a 30# weight loss. I have been through 1 1/2 yrs of treatment to no avail. I've had 8 injections in my spine with no success. Anywhere from L5/S1 to the nerve sac behind the tailbone. Just wondering how your accupuncture is doing? This is actually the next step I'm considering.

Thanks, NS

I fell as a child ( think I sorta am still one :) and landed on a rock. Was unable to walk without blinding out of this works pain. 10 years later the pain is still there if I sit to long or bump it or even the cold. It has taken years to get better but there was nothing they could do ya just sorta have to deal with it sorry :(

_

Original Post by len_g:

Hi Z Bride,

I just read your posts. I too have got tailbone pain after a 30# weight loss. I have been through 1 1/2 yrs of treatment to no avail. I've had 8 injections in my spine with no success. Anywhere from L5/S1 to the nerve sac behind the tailbone. Just wondering how your accupuncture is doing? This is actually the next step I'm considering.

Thanks, NS

My acupuncture has been a miraculous treatment.  It is not permanent, but with every session I get 24 hours virtually pain-free and a couple of good days after that.  Two treatments a week, spread evenly apart, are what I've been getting.  So, while it doesn't fix the problem, I've been able to stop taking the opiate pain meds that my doctors had put me on.  

You probably already know that coccydynia doesn't show up for any specific reason or disappear after any particular physical therapy, injections, etc., but acupuncture is a great alternative to medication for me until this thing goes away some day.  The other great thing about it is that because I have absolutely no pain at least two days a week, I've started moving more naturally again which is supposed to help healing or at least stop making it worse by moving awkwardly to compensate around the pain.  

Also, get a coccyx wedge cushion!  I just took a ten hour+ flight, and I couldn't have made it without my cushion.  Use it all the time at home, too, so I can sit like a normal human being, instead of leaning all over the place.  You need a firm surface to put it on, so it's not great for the sofa.  Who cares, though?!  I love being able to sit up again!  Dining room, desk chairs, works great.  I even tried laying it under my bum in the right spot last night while I was in bed, and I could actually rest on my back!  Amazing.

Hope you can find something that can work for you, something to give you some relief.  Obviously, I feel your pain.

-ZB

 

i never really chalked it up to weight loss but i have to give a resounding yes! i lost about 70€# fairly rapidly and noticed it would ache every once in awhile but now, even though my weight loss has all but stopped this past year i find that sitting or laying down at all causes unbearable pain and so i prefer to stand most of the time.  problem is, my standing tends to make people nervous.  i never thought of acupuncture as a solution, i always assumed i'd cracked it during a childhood mishap and the pain i'd just have to live with. thank you for this thread, i'm going to call my local acupuncture clinic tomorrow and give it a try!

I have coccyx pain also going on for about a year. It was worse for me in PT. I got the boot from PT for my insurance for PT and found that the pain subsided. It now only hurts SEVERELY if I have to travel in a car or something. Posture helps, also if I squeeze my legs together something in my coccyx pops and it relieves most of the pressure. 

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