Sex Positions when One or Both Partners Have Back Pain

Recommendations by Diagnosis, with Modifications

Two lovers.
Two lovers. Chris Schmidt / E+ / Getty Images

Back pain can be the unwanted third wheel in what otherwise would be an enjoyable experience with sex. Back conditions such as herniated disk, facet problems, spinal arthritis and sacroiliac joint dysfunction each demand modification in sex positions if back pain is to be avoided during sex.

Missionary Position and Back Pain

The missionary position is a tough one if you have back pain, especially if you are on top.

It also is fairly limiting in terms of movement. But with the help of props and variations in positions, the missionary position can be tailored to accommodate back pain -- up to a certain point.

Sexual Positions for People with Disc Related Back Pain

Back pain from disk problems is irritated by excessive flexion of the spine. There are ways to counter this type of back pain during sex. Mostly, it is a matter of experimenting to find out how much arch in your back you need so that the pain doesn't appear as a third wheel! There are ways to vary sexual positions if you have a disk problem.

Back Pain from Facet Joint Problems or Degenerative Spinal Arthritis and Sex

Symptoms associated with facet joint problems and degenerative spinal arthritis tend to show up when the back is arched. Keeping this in mind, use positions that will allow you to flex your spine (without overdoing it, of course).

As with any sexual experience while you have back pain, staying relaxed is the key to success. There are several ways to position yourself during sex to accommodate both facet joint problems and degenerative spinal arthritis.

The Sacroiliac Joint and Sexual Positioning

According to Lauren Hebert, a physical therapist and author of "Sex and Back Pain", 80 percent of people with sacroiliac joint instability find relief from their symptoms when the hip relaxes backward.

This can be accomplished by bending the leg on the painful side at the hip. There are several positions that can accommodate one leg bent during sex.

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