Low Back Pain and Sex

Topic Overview

Healthy, satisfying sex is very important for relationships. And the fear of having sex because of back pain can be a big problem. If your sex life has suffered because of back pain, take heart. Many people have faced this problem. And there are steps you can take to deal with it.

5 tips for a better sex life

  1. Talk to your doctor. This can be hard, because some people are embarrassed to talk about sex. But you need to find out which sexual positions may be good or bad for your back. Some back problems cause pain when you bend forward. Others cause problems when you arch your back. Just remember that doctors hear these questions all the time and can give you tips that may help you.
  2. Talk to your partner. Your partner can't possibly know what hurts and what doesn't. You have to tell him or her. And if the thought of having pain during sex terrifies you, talk about that too. Discuss which movements are comfortable for you and which aren't.
  3. Go slow. Sex is like exercise—warming up and stretching first are important. A hot shower will help relax your muscles. A massage can be soothing. Many people use yoga to gently stretch their muscles. When you're ready to have sex, keep your movements slow and gentle.
  4. Be prepared to try new things. You may need to try positions you've never considered before. You may need to use a firmer surface than your mattress, perhaps a nice soft rug on the floor or even a sturdy chair. Oral sex might be easier than intercourse for some.
  5. If it hurts, stop. That may seem obvious, but when things get passionate, it can be hard to stay in control. Try to keep it slow so that you can stop right away if your back starts to hurt.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
Last Revised December 14, 2011

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