The X-Files: July/August 2007

Marshall Deltoff
January 02, 2008
Written by Marshall Deltoff
This is an otherwise healthy, 46-year-old lactation consultant who, more than a year ago, fell backwards awkwardly onto the armrest of a chair, injuring her sacro-coccygeal area.
54Thank you to Dr. Amber Gardiner of Grimsby, Ontario, for sharing this case.

This is an otherwise healthy, 46-year-old lactation consultant who, more than a year ago, fell backwards awkwardly onto the armrest of a chair, injuring her sacro-coccygeal area. The pain was initially very severe and burning. She has been unable to sit in a normal “neutral” posture (evenly distributed on both buttocks) since the accident, due to the pain intensity and tenderness.

She had been offered drugs, particularly cortisone, by her medical doctor, and was told that she would be better in a year.

But, in fact, her condition did not improve, and she seemed to be getting worse. Her quality of life had changed; she had to modify her lifestyle, as she could not sit for longer than 10 minutes at a time. A nursing colleague suggested that she try chiropractic. So, she initiated chiropractic care after suffering for a whole year post-accident.
 
Radiographic (Figure 1) and MRI (Figure 2) examinations reveal marked posterior angulation of the coccygeal apex. These studies, however, had been read and re-read as normal by the radiology department at the hospital.

Dr. Gardiner explains: “I have been adjusting her pelvis and lumbar areas, which have rotated and adapted due to the way she has to sit on the left buttock area, in order to avoid any direct pressure over the coccyx. Sacroiliac and lumbar subluxations were present upon examination at each visit. I have also been doing some deep pressure point work in the area of the sacral-tuberous ligament. The patient was given a series of stretches for the gluteal, low back and hip muscles. After 12 adjustments, she reported a 70 per cent improvement.  She is now able to sit for longer periods of time without continually shifting her weight from one buttock to the other. She can now sit in church on the hard wooden benches but she is still unable to sit directly or lie directly on the coccyx. I have started using an Activator instrument over the joint line area (sacrum-coccyx), and PA pressure with gentle thrusts over this area.  She ices immediately following the treatment.  I feel that acupuncture would be helpful to break up adhesions in the area.  She is currently being assessed and adjusted every 7 to 10 days. Continued progress is expected over time.”•

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