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Finding Pleasure without Pain - Safe Sex Positions for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common conditions that people will experience in their life and sometimes on a regular basis. Sexual intimacy is one of the essential aspects of most relationships offering physical pleasure, emotional connection and fulfillment. It may be uncomfortable to talk about, but individuals with lower back pain may find that engaging in sexual activity may lead to increase discomfort or even exacerbation of a current injury making them feel worse. Fortunately, there has been research to help us better understand what positions are going to be the safest for those experience lower back pain and I am going to summarize them for you in this article. Along with a chiropractic assessment and care, you may be able to enjoy time with your partner without skipping a beat.

Lower back pain can stem from a variety of causes, including repetitive muscle strain (even from sitting), traumatic injuries (like a car accident) or underlying health conditions. Often times it will manifest as dull achy pain, sharp pain, or stiffness in the lower back which can cause reduced rangers of motion. Reduced range of motion can be particularly aggravating for the partner in the penetrating role.

When it comes to sexual intimacy, choosing the right positions can make a significant difference for individuals who are experiencing lower back pain. Here are some of my recommendations, coming from research done at the University of Waterloo in Ontario from spine expert, Dr. Stuart McGill:

1. Maintain a neutral spine alignment when ever possible. Try choosing positions that support a neutral spine alignment where the natural curves of the spine are maintained. This typically will mean avoiding extreme bending or twisting motions.

2. Use pillows or cushions for support. Include pillows to provide additional support that reduce pressure on the lower back. Placing a pillow under the hips or lower back can help maintain better support and alleviate discomfort.

3. Use positions that provide the least amount of stress on where your spine hurts the most. Most intimate positions occur in the range of motion that involves either flexion or extension of the spine. If your lower back hurts when bending forward you want to AVOID the positions toward the left of the diagram below. If your spine hurts more when you lean backwards, you should AVOID the positions on the right side of the diagram. These positions have the greatest risk of exposing the top or penetrating person to provoking pain. Unfortunately, the diagram below only shows male/female images but the same general rules would apply for the same roles being fulfilled by same sex or non-binary couples.

4. Communicate and listen to your body. Open communication between partners is essential for finding comfort and pleasurable positions that work for both individuals. Pay attention to how your partner is responding during sexual activity and adjust accordingly to avoid pain or discomfort.

5. Consider individual needs and preferences. Every individual's experience with lower back pain is unique and it is important to consider personal levels of comfort and preferences when exploring sexual positions during a longer bout of pain. Experiment with various positions to find what feels best for you and your partner.

While we are able to see some insights in to safer sex mechanics for individuals with lower back pain, it is important to remember that the effectiveness of specific positions may vary depending on individual circumstances. Consulting with a health care professional, specifically a chiropractor, can provide personalized guidance and recommendations tailored to your specific needs and concerns. Ultimately, prioritizing spine health and comfort during sexual activity can contribute to a more enjoyable and fulfilling intimate experience.

Dr. Alfredo is a health enthusiast who’s goal is to help people and families live healthier, happier lives. My philosophy on health is simple - our body’s have the amazing ability and potential to self-adapt, self-regulate and THRIVE in this world.

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