Back Pain During Sex? Maybe It's Time to Switch Positions

Medically reviewed in January 2021

Using those back muscles with extra gusto during sex may not be such a good call for back pain sufferers whose aches often interfere with pleasure. But there may be hope yet. One Canadian study published in the journal Spine found that sufferers may be able to keep pain at bay just by switching up their sexual positions.

More to Gain Minus the Pain
Researchers from University of Waterloo in Ontario used motion-capture cameras to track the spinal movements of 10 healthy couples while they had sex. The scientists looked at a few variations of three common sexual positions as the men had sex facing their partner (missionary), from the side (spooning) and from behind (doggy style). Based on the results of the study, the scientists came up with a few interesting suggestions:

  • Men who experience back pain by flexing their spines forward should avoid having sex from the side position and have sex from behind instead, using their hips more and not their spine. Second best is the missionary position, with the man supporting his weight with his hands rather than his elbows.
  • Men who experience back pain from extending their spines should avoid having sex from behind and do it from the side or missionary position.
  • Men who experience either type of back pain should just focus on using their hips and knees.

Along with future research (including studies focused on positions where women are in control), the Canadian scientists hope their findings could one day be used as a sexual resource guide for men and women with a wide range of pain issues. Also, don’t be afraid to do your own "research." Work together with your partner and experiment to find your best position to overcome pain in the bedroom.

Give Your Back Some Extra TLC
You love a good roll in the hay. So, why let back pain get in the way? If you want to get it under control to ensure you can still have fun in the bedroom, use the following tips:

Be proactive about pain. 

Gather more info. Here are 8 more ways to help you keep back pain in check when it’s time for love.

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