If you’ve ever had back pain you know that it’s difficult to perform non-strenuous activities like walking and sitting, so more vigorous activities such as sex often have to take a back seat until the pain subsides. This can place unnecessary pressure on a relationship as intimacy takes a backseat to pain. You should not feel alone however, as more than 30 million people are suffering from back pain.
The problem with back pain in sex is that the pain can go away for hours or days and you never know when the pain will return. This can put you in a fearful state of mind, constantly worrying about re-injuring your back or causing injury to your partner. The fear of pain can also take the spontaneous nature of sex out of the equation altogether, causing tension between you and your partner.
Before you let back pain dictate your sex life, make sure you get a diagnosis from a physician. An accurate diagnosis will let you know what’s causing your back pain, but it will also let you know what is possible with your current physical limitations. Contrary to what you may believe, back pain doesn’t mean the end of your sex life. It means you and your partner will have to adjust to your new reality–temporarily or permanently–to keep the pain at a minimum.
After your diagnosis don’t be afraid to speak with your physical therapist about what movements you can and cannot perform in the bedroom. Set aside your embarrassment and you’ll ease your fear about worsening the back pain. Make this discussion easier by making sure your partner is in the examination room with you so both of you can be fully informed about what is and is not okay.
Before you engage in sex you want to make sure you, as the injured party, are as relaxed as possible. This may mean beginning with a sensual massage or a hot bath or shower to relax back muscles. Once the muscles are relaxed you can get into the mood, leaving fear as a distant memory.
Try These Positions Tonight…
Enjoy a painless sexual encounter by giving the positions below a try:
- Try having sex while lying on your side, facing each other or prepared for entry from behind.
- Place a back pillow under your lower back for woman on top position.
- Sex on a chair with a sturdy back, in the sitting position.
- Missionary position with knees bent toward chest instead of facing to the left and right.
- Straddling your partner on a chair.
- Position yourself on hands and knees for rear entry, or place a cylinder pillow under your chest with back arched.
Your best bet is to try different positions to maximize pleasure while minimizing back pain. You may have to continuously adjust your lovemaking positions as your recovery progresses or digresses. But avoid getting to boisterous because you have been pain-free for a few days, as you can cause back pain to return or worsen.
Physical vs. Mental Pain
There are two important aspects to back pain: physical and mental. The physical pain is what we most identify with because it is what most inhibits us in our everyday lives. The physical pain manifests itself in limited movements, but it is also what causes the mental aspect of back pain.
The mental part of back pain can be far more damaging to your recovery and your relationship. The feelings you have of inadequacy and not feeling “whole” because of your limitations can make matters worse for you and your partner. As your worry increases about the pain getting worse and your sex life deteriorating further can make you terrified of having sex until you are completely free of back pain. Your misconceptions about how your partner perceives you can cause you to act too cautious when it comes to activity in the bedroom.
The best thing you can do to overcome this is to be open and honest with your partner about what he or she can expect during sex. Let me know what you can and cannot do in terms of positions and map out a plan that allows you both to enjoy sex without aggravating your back pain.
One thing you should remember is that exercise is great for back pain and sex is excellent exercise. The longer you put it off the more difficult it will be to overcome. Approach sex as exercise and figure out what positions hurt the least and what positions feel the best. Only by working with your partner can you figure this out and get your sex life back on track.
Start slowly with basic positions that don’t require a lot of jerky movements and do your best to take note of what positions cause pain and where the pain is located. Use your imagination to come up with new positions that lets you both enjoy sexual encounters without doing further damage to your back.
Back pain doesn’t require you to say “goodbye” to your sex life, it just means you’ll have to get reacquainted with imaginative sex.