What do Charles “Huggy Bear” Huggins, Jack “The Hammer” Szostak, and Frederick “The Fredster” Banting all have in common? Besides being Canadian and having goofy nicknames, which we totally made up, all won the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
If it were up to us, a team at the University of Waterloo would have claimed the 2014 award for its groundbreaking research on the best sexual positions for relieving lower back pain. Can back pain affect sex? You bet it can! Four out of five Canadians suffer from severe back pain at some point in their lives, with studies showing that most people with back problems have less sex because spinal movement during thrusting, arching, or supporting their weight can cause or worsen the pain.
Then again, who needs our two cents on the Nobel? From Albania to Zimbabwe and everywhere in between, guys will get behind anything that helps them have more and better sex. Important fact: not all back pains are created equal. If you’re having back pain during sex, we have some positions and tips which can help a LOT.
Pro tip: If you have an increase in back pain after reaching down to touch your toes or sitting in a chair, you’ll want to try sex positions that limit the amount of rounding of your lower back. Read on. We’ll walk you through it.
This timeless classic sex position can be more comfortable for guys who have back pain from sitting for extended periods or touching their toes. The Canadian researchers recommend that you fellahs use a hip-hinging motion rather than thrusting with your spine. Meanwhile, those on the receiving end can reduce pain by using their hands instead of their forearms for support. Are we having fun yet?
Another rear-entry option, spooning, can be ideal for guys who feel pain when arching their backs. No pain, big-time gains!
Hasta la vista, back-arching pain, this position would be difficult for people who have back pain with arching or leaning backwards. Missionary thrusters can use their hands for support and lie or kneel over their partners, who, in turn, can put their knees up and place a back pain pillow or rolled-up towel under their lower back for extra stability.
This can be a go-to for people who find sitting painful for long periods. If you feel pain when arching your back, though, you may not want to give this face-to-face move a go.
Can’t find anything that works with you on top? Maybe try to be on the bottom…and enjoy the view. Remember to maintain neutral spine positions. Bolster your hips with pillows or towels for support.
More back-friendly bedroom tips
Along with picking the right position, there are plenty of other things you can do to nix lower back pain during sex:
- Move your hips and knees instead of your spine, just like safe lifting.
- Make slight adjustments to your posture or your partner while having sex.
- Go for a hot soak in the tub or a hot shower before getting it on. This can help relieve tense muscles and help you relax.
- Roll out your butt, leg, and back muscles with a high-density foam roller with molded edges. Working the kinks out of surrounding muscles can relax your tender spots. If you’re new to the roller, don’t overdo it; build it up over time.
- Apply a back pain cream to your back — but NEVER you-know-where — before the fun begins. Just be careful not to hurt yourself, as the cream’s numbing effect can mask an injury.
- Tell your partner about your back pain and how it affects your ability to have or enjoy sex. It takes (at least) two to wango tango, and there’s no “I” in “team”…or in sex for that matter!
Have you found something that helps with back pain beyond the boudoir? Share the scoop with your buds in the comments below!
This blog is part of a 3-part series on health tips to relieve back pain:
- 5 Simple Stretches that Blow Lower Back Pain Away
- How to Get Rid of Back Pain Simply by Sitting or Standing
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Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. He’s been covering men’s health for over 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and National Post newspapers.