Best and bad sex positions for back pain

Best and bad sex positions for back pain

An understanding of best and bad sex positions for back pain and how it affects sex is essential; this is the only way we can learn to manage it. This knowledge will also help us determine the steps to take so that we can lead an almost normal life.

There are several causes of back pain. Usually most pain is caused by postural dysfunctions, body wear and tear and a few of them by accidents. Although there seems to be a new school of thought that says back pain is more of a mental problem than physical one


best and bad sex positions for back pain



The type of pain you experience will determine what positions are most comfortable for you.  Lower back pain can be generally categorized into two; flexion-intolerant pain – meaning pain that becomes worse when you try to touch your toes or sit for a long period of time. This pain is common with those who suffer from disc herniation or degenerative disc disease. And extension intolerant pain – meaning pain which is more felt when you bend backwards, when the back is arched. This is most common with people suffering from spinal stenosis.

Psychological and Emotional Effects of Back Pain

Pleasure and pain, this is a really bitter mix to swallow. And this is not the BDSM pain which some consider spicy and can be turned off at will. It is something way more sinister, uncontrollable.

The remembrance of back pain at the thought of intimacy just has a way of dampening one’s desire.  What’s the use of getting physical pleasures, if your get to nurse your pain afterwards

This can cause a big strain in the relationship, especially if the couple involved in not able to communicate effectively.

This could be challenging to communicate though, knowing that discussions about sex can be difficult to start. Also only a person who is feeling back pain or has felt it before will be able to understand how disabling and scaring it can be.

It could also lead to feelings of rejections, where one partner feels unattractive or thinks the other partner is cheating.  Back pain though can be managed so that it doesn’t bring an end to intimacy.

According to Helen Kaplan’s research, the body’s response during sex can be divided into three – desire, excitement and orgasm. Desire has to do with a person’s libido, one’s appetite for sex. Pain can reduce it, making the person reduce sex or avoid it out rightly. What’s the use if sex brings when it brings about pain?

The excitement phase; this is the point at which the man achieves an engorgement of the penis. The blood vessels in the penile tissue are filled up with blood. For the lady the labia swell because it gets filled with blood and then the body secrets lubricating fluids to ease penetration and reduce friction.

Pain can influence these phenomena is such a way that the man is unable to achieve or sustain an erection and the woman gets too dry, such that sex becomes painful and not enjoyable.

As for orgasm, we know pain can stop someone from climaxing. Feeling a sharp pain just close to the point of orgasm can cause an end to stimulation


Pain affects the emotions in such a way that it could cause the bearer to be short tempered. They feel very touchy as little things will get to them. Everyone starts to avoid them in order to prevent fireworks

The results will be loneliness as they feel as though their loves ones don’t care enough. When a man cannot have sex it has a way of affecting their psyche and their masculinity negatively

The solution may be this. Old routines might have to be switched up to allow for sex with back pain. There are certain positions that allow for minimal movement of the back. Especially in that part of the back where the pain is mostly felt, if these positions can be explored, things will definitely get better in the sack.

There is no one size fits all positions, the positions are actually determined by the kind of back pain being suffered from.


Best and bad sex positions for back pain

Bad sex positions for back pain

Recent research carried out at University of Waterloo in Canada reveal some of the best and worst sex positions for people suffering from low back pain. Of course physicians have always tried to help couples who back pain has affected their intimacy.

This is the first time the effects of sexual position have been scientifically researched. And the result is a number of sex positions that help to minimize back pain or avoid it completely during sex.  Ten couples were used as the test subject, though the research was mainly for the male.

A few advises were given on female positions too. “Our analysis of spine motion during intercourse shows that, in fact, the recommended positions for men depend on what movement trigger their pain.” This was said by Natalie Sidorkewicz when he was presenting his paper on this subject at the University of Waterloo. The positions below were found out to be quite uncomfortable for a good number of people with back pain


Before now, physicians recommended spooning position as a back friendly sexual position.  In this position, the couple lie on their side, with the man behind the woman.

With both their legs bent at the knees and hips. New research carried out at the University of Waterloo seems to be saying a different thing

For flexion intolerant men, from research it was determined to be the worst of the positions, as it is hardest on the spine.  In this position the spine and the back muscles have a lot of work to do.

The idea in pain elimination is to give the back as little as possible work to do. So adopting a posture that ensures this is of great importance. For extension-intolerant men it wasn’t such a bad position though.

Missionary position

This is a classic position, though it has many variations. In this position, the man lies on the woman fully, with his weight supported at the elbows. Chest to chest with his legs in between her two legs, this position is not spine friendly.

It puts too much work on the spine and the lower back as they are the parts that work most in this position.  This position is bad for those who suffer from disc degeneration


Doggy position

In this variation the woman is on her knees and elbows and the man kneels and she’s been penetrated from behind. This position is not advisable for women who are extension intolerant. In this position the back is arched because of the position of the hands


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Best Sex Positions To Combat Back Pain

There are several ways to prevent back pain during sex. One of the ways to prevent pain is to take pain relievers before the act begins.  Another way is to have the person with the pain play a passive role and the healthier person a more active role.

This will take pressure of the muscles and back of the person suffering the pain. The following sex positions are suggestions to help minimize back pain to the barest minimum during coitus.

These are not hard and fast rules, they are only suggestions. Try them and also experiment with others. The goal here is the keep the spine in a neutral position as possible during sexual intercourse


Standing position

This is called the vine creeper in the Kamasutra. Here they both stand and the woman raises one leg and wraps it around the man for ease of penetration.  Now the person with the pain should lean against a wall or a pillar as a way to rest the back.  And the other person can do most of the job. The beauty of this position is that it can be used by men and women. It also appears to work for the both kinds of back pain


Missionary position

For the flexion intolerant man, this position has been regarded as one of the best positions to avoid back pain. In this variation the man supports himself on his hands as opposed to his elbow. His back is arched in this position so there’s going to be no room for pain

And for a lady that suffers from degenerative disc disease (if arching the back hurts) a pillow should be place at her lower back this while keep her spine in a neutral position. It will also serve as a cushioning effect.

The woman could bend her leg upward to her chest if she can manage it, or just keep it straight.

Rear-entry quadruped position

Also known as doggy style, here the lady is on all fours and the man kneels behind her.  The woman supports herself on her elbows; this position is especially spine friendly for the man who is flexion-intolerant.

It allows for the least range of motion. The other variant where the woman is supported by her hands instead of elbows is comfortable for women with flexion intolerant back pain.

This position uses minimal spine flexion. The spoon is another very good position for women who feel pain when they sit for long periods of time or when they bend their backs to touch their toes.

Woman on top position

this is also known as the reverse missionary or cow girl position. Basically this position is recommended for a man with flexion-intolerant back pain. The back can also be supported with a pillow place under the lower back.

Here the woman straddles the man and she can rest her hands on his chest or on his legs for support. In this position, the man doesn’t have to move; therefore his back is spared the pain of movement.

Another variation of this position is for her to back the man while she straddles him.

Rear entry

This is different from the doggy, and this position is assumed with the woman in mind. Ladies suffering from spinal stenosis or extension intolerant pain will find this position comfortable. The woman lies on the bed or any other comfortable surface.

A pillow can be can be place under her lower abdomen for comfort and to help raise the posterior. The man kneels on the bed and penetrates from the rear; he gets to do the entire job, saving the lady’s spine.


Edge of the bed

The woman lies at the edge of the bed with her knees higher than her hips. Her legs can be place at the side of the bed, or supported on pillows. The man kneels at the edge of the bed also.

This position is good for a lady suffering from spinal stenosis, and for men suffering from disc degenerative diseases. If the bed is too low or uncomfortable, this same position can be achieved on a table.

The woman lies on the edge as usual, but this time the man stands while he penetrates her. A reversal of this edge of the bed position is when the woman lies on the bed but on her stomach and the man kneels behind.

This is great for the flexion intolerant woman and also man. Using the table in this position can also be attempted.

To wrap it up, these are not the exhaustive positions for easing back pain. A couple should experiment with different positions so as to know what works for them.

The experimenting alone could bring back intimacy and closeness into the relationship.

Taking a pain reliever or massaging the affected region before sex could also help to reduce the pain and prepare the muscle for the job ahead.

If you feel pain after sex you might want to try icing the place with cubes in order to ease the pain.

For those who just have temporal pain, you could just wait until the pain subsides. Usually 3-6months for acute pain, anything beyond this, it is chronic pain, although not many people get to suffer from chronic back pain. If the pain during sex is unbearable, there are other non-penetrative sexual activities which can be engaged in, pending when relief comes.

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