What about sex?


Everyone talks about it but no one talks about what happens when you have a bad back…

Sometimes, even if you are in pain, you want to please yourself or your partner. For the person with a bad back this can seem like a difficult, if not potentially disabling activity. Actually this is far from the truth is you are aware of what you are suffering from and follow a few rules.

Most peoples pain is actually a combination of the pain they have from an injury (new or old) and the bodies attempts to compensate or protect them from further irritation. Most pain can be broken down into 3 categories and there are rules on what is potentially possible in each category.

Generalisations (pinch of salt please)

– Pain that worsens with bending or sitting movements may originate
in some sort of disc problem.

– Pain that is one sided and worsens
with walking and standing up tends towards more of a facet type

– Pain that goes down your leg when you bend forward and may
have some concurrent pins and needles sensation tends towards a nerve
root origin.

Given that these are only generalisations you can still use the information to help you accomplish your goals :’ ).

First if your pain is more likely disc based then you need to avoid being bent/twisted so any approach where the active partner is behind while the other person is face down. This would work for the more passive partner this would also avoid any bending as well although a pillow under the tummy might help to avoid too extreme a position.

If your pain is is more likely facet based then a variation on a seated position might be useful for either partner as there are no backward pressures. Traditional positions like the missionary position might work for the more passive partner or the more active partner can switch to a more submissive position on their back(knees bent) and let the other partner position themselves appropriately.

If you experience leg symptoms then sideways foetal positions offer an opportunity to be active with no stretch to the nerve roots for either partner.

 This is just a quick list of possibilities to give you some ideas but necessity being the mother of invention it may help you to determine what might work for you.

There are lots of variations that can be tried. I do have a set of descriptions with diagrams that can be sent to you if sent me a note at my e-mail address :  pt4u@linsladephysiotherapy.co.uk

Best of luck in all of your endeavours!!


8 thoughts on “What about sex?

    • I’m not sure that I am particularly good at writing anything but if you have something to read on-line I would be happy to take a look and make some suggestions. :’ )

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