Sore tailbone - seating position?

bobbyg
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Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby bobbyg » 6 Aug 2015, 12:50pm

I have had the same Specialised Hybrid bike for about 8 years or so. Last year I did 1700 miles on it over the course of the year between commuting and days out.
This year since almost the beginning, I am suffering from a very painful tailbone. It never goes away and gets worse after being on my bike. (On the bike itself isn't too painful its when I then want to sit on any other seat that makes it painful.)

I am wondering if this is maybe something to do with seating position or whatever? The only difference I can think of is this year I fitted cleats for the first time and have been using them. But I think this was happening before I fitted them. Would cleats be the cause?

Also, just remembered that over the winter I joined the gym and regularly did spin classes to keep my fitness up whilst I wasn't cycle commuting.

Any thoughts, ideas? Is this something that someone could look at and say "there is the problem", is there a right and wrong sitting position?

Flinders
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby Flinders » 7 Aug 2015, 7:03pm

Daft question, but have you had any accident that could have hurt your tailbone, like sitting down and missing the chair on a hard floor or something like that?
I fell off a horse and landed on mine years ago, and it was a very long time before it was 'right' afterwards; as it healed there was a point when it wasn't noticable for walking about on the flat or sitting down, but was still sore if I did specific things (like walking uphill for example).

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531colin
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby 531colin » 7 Aug 2015, 10:06pm

"tailbone" normally means "coccyx"....and you can't sit on your coccyx. Google "pelvis animation" ...."pelvis bones" and stuff like that

VTR1000F
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby VTR1000F » 9 Aug 2015, 7:22am

531colin wrote:"tailbone" normally means "coccyx"....and you can't sit on your coccyx. Google "pelvis animation" ...."pelvis bones" and stuff like that


As a person who suffers from coccyx pain I can confidently say that sitting down can cause the pain - I am not saying that it is direct pressure on the coccyx causing it. I now get it most when sitting on my motorbike or driving the car for more than an hour without stopping. I also get it when riding the pushbike.

However, at home I often sit on a rug on the floor as it does not cause pain - no pressure on the coccyx area.

The pain came on over a period of around a year getting progressively worse. The biggest cause of pain for me was sitting down at work. I now have a special seat with memory foam and a cut-out where there would be pressure on the coccyx area. This has completely taken the pain away when sitting at my desk.

See: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/coccydinia ... ction.aspx

Flinders
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby Flinders » 9 Aug 2015, 11:44am

531colin wrote:"tailbone" normally means "coccyx"....and you can't sit on your coccyx. Google "pelvis animation" ...."pelvis bones" and stuff like that

You can't sit on it directly, but if you land hard on it, it can wrench all the muscles around it, and that really does make sitting down/walking/walking uphill etc very uncomfortable, I can assure you from personal experience.... :mrgreen: .

bobbyg
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby bobbyg » 9 Aug 2015, 11:05pm

Thanks for all the replies so far.

Definitely haven't knowingly hurt it in a fall or jarred it or anything like that.

Using the same seat on the bike that I have had since I got it and never had an issue before. Actually when I am cycling its not sore as such but as soon as I lift my bum off the seat it is sore. And then when I sit down on a normal seat in the office or at home its sore.

All "biological" evidence would suggest that the coccyx is actually quite well protected and you really need to go out of your way to hurt it. I am starting to think maybe its not my coccyx at all but maybe something else in that area!

VTR1000F
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby VTR1000F » 10 Aug 2015, 12:23pm

bobbyg wrote:
Actually when I am cycling its not sore as such but as soon as I lift my bum off the seat it is sore. And then when I sit down on a normal seat in the office or at home its sore.



Almost exactly the same description as me - and I've not had any direct impact on mine.

I can feel an ache there and when I take the weight off there is a sharp pain.

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531colin
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby 531colin » 10 Aug 2015, 4:56pm

About the only function of the coccyx is to provide muscle attachments ......there are plenty of muscles, ligaments bursae and so forth.
When I used to stare down a microscope for eight hours a day the only thing which kept my back/neck/shoulders working was to take a hacksaw to an office chair and alter the angle of the seat (tip it forwards) in order to get a reasonable posture....(modern chairs may have this as an adjustment).
Is it possible that VTR's improvement that he(?) attributes to memory foam and a cutout is actually attributable to postural changes? Sitting here on a wooden seat, I can get 3 fingers under my coccyx....
Is it possible that bobby g's pain is due to postural problems on the bike?....I'll say again, I don't think bobby g is "sitting on his coccyx" as in directly weight-bearing through the coccyx.
There is some general advice about riding position here...http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=74985

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NUKe
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby NUKe » 10 Aug 2015, 5:49pm

I suggest seeing your doctor, but as guess I'd say hemorrhoids
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VTR1000F
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby VTR1000F » 10 Aug 2015, 8:47pm

531colin wrote:Is it possible that VTR's improvement that he(?) attributes to memory foam and a cutout is actually attributable to postural changes? Sitting here on a wooden seat, I can get 3 fingers under my coccyx....
Is it possible that bobby g's pain is due to postural problems on the bike?....I'll say again, I don't think bobby g is "sitting on his coccyx" as in directly weight-bearing through the coccyx.
There is some general advice about riding position here...http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=74985


I have to ask, did you read the link I posted?

Soft cushions make the problems worse for me.

Did Bobby G actually say he was sitting on his coccyx as I may have missed it?

I experience problems on my cycle, motor bike and in my car, the only area I no longer experience pain is on my desk seat - with a cut in the area of my coccyx.

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531colin
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby 531colin » 11 Aug 2015, 6:14pm

Yes, I read the link.
I thought it was the usual medical nonsense......take a condition with no known pathophysiology, and give it a scientific-sounding name....of course, it could be a whole spectrum of conditions, as we don't know what is actually going on in the body of any one patient.
One third of cases have no known cause....thats good, we can call that Idiopathic Coccydnia, that makes two scientific-sounding words for "pain in the area of the coccyx and we don't know the cause".
Pregnancy and childbirth are fairly sure-fire ways of upsetting the muscles and ligaments of the pelvis, as is trauma, and after that we have the usual "catch-alls".....age-related wear and tear, poor posture, and repetitive strain injury (RSI).
Going into the further link about RSI, poor posture figures large in their description of RSI, and they also mention constantly leaning forward during cycling and rowing as being causes of "stretching muscles and ligaments" causing coccyx pain, but I didn't find any mention of how common this is.
I found that people experienced coccyx pain when sitting down, particularly when leaning backwards, and that soft cushions may make it worse.
I didn't find anything that said that sitting on a soft cushion would cause coccyx pain, or indeed that sitting on anything else at all would cause coccyx pain.

I have had a torn medial cartilage, and its my experience that light finger pressure over the medial ligament will cause intense pain in the knee with the torn cartilage. (the medial cartilage is attached to the medial ligament)

Its my opinion that sitting on any bit of your bum that its normal to sit on will not, of itself, cause pain.....sitting on a wooden pew, or on an unforgiving bicycle saddle for long enough will cause a certain amount of numbness, even discomfort, and falling asleep on the sofa has also been known to, in my case.
Its my opinion that your coccyx (or the muscles, ligaments etc in that area) need to be inflamed or sensitised by some other cause or event for the mere act of sitting down to be painful.

What did you make of it all? Do you intend to just put up with it, because I'm damned if I would, unless I was certain there was nothing else I could do.

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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby Vorpal » 11 Aug 2015, 7:22pm

bobbyg wrote:Thanks for all the replies so far.

Definitely haven't knowingly hurt it in a fall or jarred it or anything like that.

Using the same seat on the bike that I have had since I got it and never had an issue before. Actually when I am cycling its not sore as such but as soon as I lift my bum off the seat it is sore. And then when I sit down on a normal seat in the office or at home its sore.

All "biological" evidence would suggest that the coccyx is actually quite well protected and you really need to go out of your way to hurt it. I am starting to think maybe its not my coccyx at all but maybe something else in that area!

See your GP!
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VTR1000F
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby VTR1000F » 11 Aug 2015, 9:38pm

531colin wrote:
What did you make of it all? Do you intend to just put up with it, because I'm damned if I would, unless I was certain there was nothing else I could do.


I saw my GP twice, subsequently referred to a physio for three sessions, later referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for a specialist opinion and later an MRI scan.

Short of surgery there isn't much I can do - the potential complications of surgery mean that the seat I now use is the best option for me at this stage. The infection rates are high for surgery.

Just out of curiosity, as I work in the medical products industry where most of what I'm involved with is evidence based (rather than opinion), I'm interested to understand what was on the nhs.uk web site is "the usual medical nonsense"?

I have not said my pain is from the coccyx itself, rather than the area of the coccyx.

However, I feel comforted that you are able to give an opinion on my bum without seeing it or reviewing my patient notes/scans :)

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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby GrumpyCyclist » 13 Aug 2015, 1:31pm

I feel your pain. Literally. I only got back cycling recently after many years. Initially my sit bones were uncomfortable but as that eased I felt more confident and went for a longer ride. On this ride it turns out that the roads around here are much poorer than I thought and.....sorry for the imagery.....my backside was getting a bit of a battering from the shocks coming up through the saddle. I spent the next two weeks unable to even sit on the saddle as the base of my 'coccyx' felt like I'd chipped it.

My job involves driving and I think that being unable to take the weight off the affected area made the healing time longer. Now, almost a month later, it is still a little tender but I can pretty much do everything I need to now.

Have you been able to have time out of the saddle to give the area time to recover?
Weight 8th July 2015 111.9Kg : Weight now 93.8Kg. Mostly due to cycling. Wish I'd started much sooner :( #LoveTheBike

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531colin
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Re: Sore tailbone - seating position?

Postby 531colin » 13 Aug 2015, 5:21pm

VTR1000F wrote:.....However, I feel comforted that you are able to give an opinion on my bum without seeing it or reviewing my patient notes/scans :)


Glad to have been of service, in some small way.
I think the reasoning is fairly straightforward.....it doesn't normally hurt to sit down, so if it does hurt to sit down, there must be something wrong. How is that different from the reasoning which prompts somebody who is employed in the medical products industry to seek a medical opinion when it hurts to sit down?

VTR1000F wrote:......Just out of curiosity, as I work in the medical products industry where most of what I'm involved with is evidence based (rather than opinion), I'm interested to understand what was on the nhs.uk web site is "the usual medical nonsense"? ..........


Exactly as I said in my previous reply......lumping any painful condition in, or in the area of, the coccyx all together under one term "coccydinia" is unhelpful. You have had various diagnostic procedures to establish both the nature of the condition you are suffering from and its site; that is necessary to establish what treatment (if any) is indicated. You didn't breeze into the GP's surgery for him to say "Oh yes, pain in the bum?....it must be coccydinia, would you like an operation?"

VTR1000F wrote:......I have not said my pain is from the coccyx itself, rather than the area of the coccyx........


........and you still haven't......