Broken coccyx - cycling possible?

alasdairgf

New Member
Location
Liverpool
So I've been at it for a couple of weeks now, and loving it. One down side is the wife...

...she's jealous!

My wife's coccyx broke during childbirth a few years back, and they won't operate to remove the floaty bit that seems to be ambling around her the bottom of her now-slightly-shorter spinal column, something about the spinal cord being apparently quite important for, you know, living.

The other day, in the park, she got on my bike and rode off a little shakily, coming back only four or five minutes later in considerable pain. She's really like to start cycling again, hasn't since university days and we could both stand to lose some weight & get a bit fitter. OK, get a lot fitter & lose thousands of kilos.

Is there anything she can try? My bike is a Richmond "Optima" trekking bike which I can find hardly any metion of online, and seems to me to have an admirably comfortable saddle - wide, mostly!

My wife saw this saddle online, and I've also seen others like it. However, I don't really want to spring for a saddle (and thereafter a whole freakin' bike!) if there's no hope of this working, and wondered if anyone here had experience with this.

Is it possible/likely that my wife will ever be able to ride comfortably?
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
I believe I fractured my cocyx many years ago in an industrial accident. It was a little painful for a few weeks but never since. Maybe your wife should start by getting advice from an orthopaedic consultant?

Is she sure that she wasn't just feeling the pain from a narrow saddle? She needs to go out and try as many as possible as there are some fantastic women's saddles available now.
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
It may seem a bit counter intuitive but maybe look at firmer saddles ... those "comfort" ones you sink into ... whereas you sit on top of a firmer saddle which might (no experience of a broken coccyx to comment on) keep the coccyx further away from the saddle? I use a specialized saddle that has a lowered channel down the centre, and you can even get some that are totally split at the back...
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Good idea. I think she was sitting on a narrow saddle, which would have put all the weight in the wrong place.
 
alasdairgf said:
My wife's coccyx broke during childbirth a few years back, and they won't operate to remove the floaty bit that seems to be ambling around her the bottom of her now-slightly-shorter spinal column, something about the spinal cord being apparently quite important for, you know, living.
Not quite true.... The Spinal cord ends at about the level of your kidneys and then becomes a series of strands like a horses tail (hence cauda equina), these then pass ot at the vertebrae and sacrum.




There is no spinal cord in the lower coccyx!

Regrettably most Coccygeal injuries are self-healing and therefore no intervention is the standard practice.
 

HJ

Cycling in Scotland
Location
Auld Reekie
There is a saddle out there for everyone, it is just a case of finding it, I would suggest a cut-a-way type saddle (ie something like this) where the body weight is supported on the sit bones of the pelvis. But I am no expert and I would recommend checking with a qualified occupational therapist before spending serious money
 

Scoosh

Velocouchiste
Moderator
Location
Edinburgh
Try her on a recumbent - much more comfortable for people with back issues - though whether those include coccyx issues, I don't know.

HTH
 
OP
A

alasdairgf

New Member
Location
Liverpool
Globalti said:
I believe I fractured my cocyx many years ago in an industrial accident. It was a little painful for a few weeks but never since. Maybe your wife should start by getting advice from an orthopaedic consultant?
Undoubtedly, this is the best suggestion - seek help!

Globalti said:
Is she sure that she wasn't just feeling the pain from a narrow saddle? She needs to go out and try as many as possible as there are some fantastic women's saddles available now.
Yeah, the saddle that hurt her was a wide, sprung saddle from a trekking bike. Seen a few saddles (some linked above), but how do you try them? Most of them only available online.

Cunobelin said:
There is no spinal cord in the lower coccyx!
Thanks for the anatomy - interesting! Not sure what the doc was talking about, then... he def didn't want to operate. I guess there are still other major nerves and blood vessels in the general area that one would want to avoid.

Cunobelin said:
Regrettably most Coccygeal injuries are self-healing and therefore no intervention is the standard practice.
Indeed. And 'no intervention' seems to be the only option offered here, too, even though one doc has essentially said, "Sorry, you'll just have to deal with chronic pain for the rest of your life..."

scoosh said:
Try her on a recumbent - much more comfortable for people with back issues - though whether those include coccyx issues, I don't know.
Heh, I suggested this to her, and got such a "Get serious" look that I immediately blamed "this bloke on the cycling forum, not me, love, honest!" Seems recumbents aren't an option she'll consider!

Thanks all for your comments & suggestions.
 
alasdairgf said:
My wife's coccyx broke during childbirth a few years back
:sad:

I think I have some kind of injury to my coccyx following a white water rafting incident. It hurt for a few weeks, then stopped, but every now and again I still get a twinge.

For me, I think sitting in a recumbent style pose for long distances (never having tried!) would antagonise it; knowing when it usually gets upset; but I'm fine on my normal saddle.

I would hazard that one of those odd saddles where you make sure only the sitbones are in contact would be best, but it depends on what bits of bone are floating where!

What normally starts the pain - walking, sitting?
 

yoyo

Senior Member
I broke mine almost 25 years ago - I fell when I was 7 months pregnant with our second child. For many years afterwards I could not sit down for long periods of time as it was agony but this was of little practical problem as I had three children in three years. I am still occasionally 'replacing bones' that feel out of place. An oesteopath may prove helpful. For cycling I have a suspended seat post, otherwise I would not be able to cope. One of my bikes has no suspension in the seat post and I can only manage about 20 miles with many months of rest in between.
 

guitarpete247

Just about surviving
Location
Leicestershire
I used to work with a woman who slipped down the stairs whilst drunk and broke her coccyx. She was told that they couldn't operate too. As far as I know she didn't cycle but she still played sport (hockey). And still got drunk;).
For most of the time she didn't have a problem she but come the cold weather or if she sat awkwardly she did.
 
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alasdairgf

New Member
Location
Liverpool
Update: On a whim, my wife bought this "Lookin Relaxed Unisex Bike Saddle" from Halfords and we fitted it to a friend's bike (as mine didn't have the right fitting!). Seems to work a treat - she says all the pressure is now on her bum bones, none on the coccyx. We ambled around the neighbourhood & through some parks the other day, clocking up four miles or so, and when she got off she was a bit sore, sure - but nothing to do with the coccyx!

She also really enjoyed getting on a bike for the first time in 10 years, so looks like we're going to have to buy one for her own! With the son in a seat on the back of mine (I consider him my 20kg handicap!), looks like we have a new family activity. V pleased.
 

Telemark

Cycling is fun ...
Location
Edinburgh
Congratulations, that's excellent news :sad:

Beware, your wife may become addicted and your "handicap" may turn into hard work until he starts pedalling for himself :laugh:

T
 
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