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Osahon Okodugha: Is Your Back Preventing You From Having a Great Sex Life?

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Back pain can limit various aspects of a person’s life, including your sex life. The dynamics of sexual activity involve constant motion, forward and backward movements while arching the back. People suffering from spinal conditions like herniated or slipped discs may have issues that make forward bending (spinal flexion) cause overwhelming pain during sex.

It is very important to assume positions that minimise flexion, and decrease pain during intercourse. Simple exercise routines involving arching and flexing the trunk before sex can greatly help you understand positions that are less painful and don’t affect your spine.  

To figure out what position is suitable for sex, especially for you, you need to assess your back first. During the assessment, you can determine how much you can flex or arch your back. Positions that don’t hurt or possess minimal pain should be adopted during sex.

Before you assume these positions, it is best to speak with your partner about it, to avoid awkward situations.  

Missionary position with a pillow under the hip

If you take this position as a receiving partner, roll a pillow around the lower back for support. This way, the back is positioned into an arch shape. The objective is to ensure that hips and knees, rather than the spine, are controlling the motion.

Role switch (Partner on Top)

If you are the insertive partner, the missionary position may feel uneasy being on top, as it requires you to bend and extend your spine. You should tell your partner to get on top if you have back pain. You can also cushion your back with a towel and advise your partner to move gently to prevent spinal flexion.

Sitting Position

The receiving partner can sit on the partner’s legs during intercourse. This gives you a manner of control over your back and can help ease the pain. Your partner may move as they desire because the seated position stabilizes the back and minimizes flexion.

Facedown position

Lying face down is an idle position for the receiving partner with lower backache because the back forms an arch in this position. This position also gives you some form of control. If you still feel discomfort in this position, you can place a pillow beneath your chest for support. You may also lean on your elbow to prop yourself up if needed.  

If you are the insertive partner, you can prevent back flexion during thrusting by placing a pillow under the pelvis. Doing this will minimize back movements.

These positions are convenient, and largely helpful for older males and females who are more likely to suffer from backache, especially menopausal women. 

If you have persistent back pain, or require further information, please visit a physiotherapist.



Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

Osahon Okodugha is a Healthcare Consultant, Physiotherapist, Clinical Director, and Founder of St. Joseph's Physiotherapy clinic. He obtained his first degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Ghana, Legon, and Masters Degree from the University of Lagos. He is passionate about healthcare in Nigeria and Africa, and is dedicated to improving the physical therapy and rehabilitation structures and outcomes in Nigeria. He often publishes health and disease prevention/management content on the St. Joseph's physiotherapy blog

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