Groundbreaking Study Reveals Best Positions to Save Your Spine During Sex

People with back pain are known for their grouchiness, and it is not helped if they are also starved for sex. Although sex makes serious demands on the spine, until recently no one has taken the time to study how different sexual positions can accommo­date different back problems.

Sex can be more agony than ecstasy for men with back pain, but Waterloo researchers are offering new hope with groundbreaking research that outlines the best sex positions for saving your spine.

The new research debunks the belief that spooning is the best position for men with bad backs and reveals exactly which ones work best for different types of back pain.

Senior author, Dr. Stuart McGill, who directs the Spine by Mechanics laboratory at the University of Waterloo in Ontario has tied the frequency of sexual activity to quality-of-life and used it as a marker of health and disability. Other studies have also found that 84% of people with lower back pain report having sex less frequently and about one in five men with lower back pain report discomfort during sex specifically with pelvic movements and finding comfortable positions, they point out.

“For the first time we can give guidance to the clinicians when patients come in with all kinds of pain triggers, to give them some evidence–based ranking of different positions”, he told Reuters Health.

“If people can find positions that don’t affect their back pain triggers” McGill said, “they may have a more active sex life.”

McGill cautioned that “The position really needs to be tailored to the person in their specific sensitivities, however.“

The team plans to study other options, such as the man lying on his back (the “cowgirl”). People with back pain find ways to do all sorts of activities, says Dr. McGill, and sex should be no different. But five positions in one session is pretty arduous, he points out. “You can only do so many.”

Yes that’s right, sex can do wonders for your back; orgasms are 10 times more effective than painkillers such as Valium. They also have 10 times the anxiety reducing effect as a drug. So if you want to sooth that back then some lovemaking is in the cards.

Speaking from experience, having had back surgery when I was 17, as well as the hundreds of lives I have helped transform over my 20 year career as a physical therapy back pain specialist, back pain excuses stop today!

(I also have a reasoning and treatment if need be to get beyond the proverbial “I have headache” excuse too…but you’ll have to wait for one of my next blogs to get the help and answer to that one).

If you want to learn more about treating back pain click here to download my free back pain report »

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Andrew Dombek, PT, MSPT, CMTPT, CGFI