When you have back pain you know it can be difficult to perform even non-strenuous activities like walking and sitting. So more vigorous activities such as sex often wait until the pain subsides.
This can place unnecessary pressure on a relationship as intimacy takes a back seat 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 sexual intimacy is 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.
Fear of pain can also take the spontaneous nature of sex out of the equation altogether, causing tension between you and your partner.
First Steps Back to the Bedroom…
Before you let back pain dictate your sex life, make sure you get an accurate diagnosis from a physician.
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. Include your partner in this discussion in the exam room so both of you can be fully informed about what is and is not okay.
An accurate diagnosis and understanding of what movements are possible with your current physical limitations lets you move forward in the bedroom with confidence and less risk of injury.
Contrary to what you may believe, back pain does NOT mean the end of your sex life. It only means you and your partner will have to adjust to your new reality – at least temporarily – to keep the pain at a minimum.
Moving into the bedroom, start by ensuring the injured party remains as relaxed as possible. This could mean beginning with a sensual massage or a hot bath or shower to relax tight back muscles and minimize the chance of spasms interrupting your night. Once you’re relaxed and in the mood you’re ready to experiment.
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 your partner or prepared for entry from behind.
- Place a back pillow under your lower back for woman on top position.
- Try having sex on a chair with a sturdy back while in a sitting position.
- Missionary position with knees bent toward chest instead of facing to the left or right.
- Try 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. Don’t rush your progress. You may have to continuously adjust your lovemaking positions as your recovery progresses or digresses. But avoid getting too boisterous until you have been pain free for at least a few days to avoid prompting back pain to return or worsen.
Physical vs. Mental Pain
There are two important aspects to back pain: physical and mental. We identify with physical pain most as that’s what most inhibits us in our everyday lives. The physical pain manifests itself in limited movements, but can also increase the mental aspect of pain.
The mental part of back pain can be far more damaging to your recovery and your relationship. Feelings of inadequacy or not feeling “whole” because of your limitations can make matters worse for you and your partner. Worry about the pain getting worse and your sex life deteriorating further can leave you terrified of having sex until you are completely free of back pain. Misconceptions about how your partner perceives you can cause you to act too cautious when it comes to activity in the bedroom.
The best way to overcome this is to be open and honest with your partner about what he or she can expect during sex. Discuss 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 exercise is great for back pain… and sex is excellent exercise. The longer you put off sex and other physical activities the more difficult it will be to overcome. Approach sex as exercise and figure out which positions hurt the least and which 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. Take note of what positions cause pain and where the pain is located. Use your imagination to come up with new positions that let you both enjoy sexual encounters without further damage to your back.
Back pain doesn’t require you to say “goodbye” to your sex life. It only means becoming more imaginative.
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