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WHAT PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS ARE THERE FOR COCCYDYNIA (TAILBONE PAIN)?

Air-cell cushions?
For those with coccydynia who are also at risk of developing pressure sores, there are hi-tech air-cell cushions available with a cut-outs in the coccyx area. See what is meant by clicking here.…and here.

Moulded seats?
Sometimes it helps to approach coccydynia pain in a counter-intuitive way. Perhaps it would be better to sit on a hard surface - if it is the right shape that is. How about the 'butt bucket'? Let the manufacturers speak for themselves: "The unique design takes advantage of the RelaxoBak patented effect of eliminating pressure from the base of the spine (tailbone) to effectively relieve pressure and discomfort on up your back. Its portable, light-weight construction means you can take your comfort anywhere. Like other great inventions, the RelaxoBak Original Orthopedic Seat may look modest, but as over a million satisfied users also say, 'it simply works'!”

Understanding posture?
Well, your bottom is not flat and your coccyx area is curved, so why on earth do we expect to be comfortable sitting on a flat surface. Medical writer Anne-LiseGotzche explores this idea in such an intuitive and eloquent way in her book Postures - The Book of the Back. This book, first published in 1988 is still available from all good booksellers. It is an absolute must-have for back pain sufferers everywhere and it contains many insights which will resonate with coccydynia sufferers too.

Find a pain-free position to stand, sit, kneel or lie down?
It can be very tiring 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 at 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 forward seat tilt function and a coccyx cut-out option in the seat. Kneeler stools have been 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 support and chest resting on the kneeler chair seat cushion. Well, now there is a kneeler chair designed with the coccydynia sufferer in mind, with a specially-shaped coccyx recess on the seat cushion.

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

Well-padded chairs?
Padded sofa sittingPeople 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.

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.

Meditation Stools?
Kneeling is an option for coccydynia sufferers, but it can be tiring and painful. A halfway-house such as a meditation stool might help. There are many designs of meditation 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. 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. Pictures of meditation stools can be found in Google Images. Why not ask your local woodwork expert to make you one?

Do-It-Yourself Mattresses?
Most people with coccydynia will instinctively lie on their side to avoid discomfort. One solution is to buy yourself some mattress-sized foam and cut a 'coccyx hole'  about half way down the length of the mattress. 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 cutting 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. Take care though! Cheap ‘memory’ 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