Sex Talk

What's the best sex position for someone with a bad back?

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng answers your sex questions

10 September 2017 - 00:00
If you have a bad back, it can help to place a small pillow in the lower back to support the lumbar region while having sex in the missionary position.
If you have a bad back, it can help to place a small pillow in the lower back to support the lumbar region while having sex in the missionary position.
Image: iStock

Q. I have a bad back. Which sex positions are safest?

A. Back pain can have a significant impact on the ability to enjoy sex. This can last for months or even years as many people self-diagnose and self-treat before consulting a healthcare provider.

Conditions commonly linked to back pain include:

• Muscle or ligament strain;

• Bulging or ruptured disks;

• Arthritis;

• Osteoporosis; and

• Skeletal irregularities.

For many people back pain occurs without a specific cause and can respond to mild analgesia within a few weeks. But backache may also be a sign of a more serious underlying disease and can become chronic.

Consult a doctor if you experience:

• Muscle ache;

• Shooting or stabbing pain;

• Pain that radiates down your leg;

• Limited flexibility or range of motion of the spine.

Regarding sex, there is no "best" position for everyone. You need to find a position that ensures your back is well-supported. Any position can be made more spine "friendly" by having the partner who is controlling the movement use their hips and knees more than their spine.

Try these positions for sex:

• Spooning: While lying on your side, have your partner, also lying on their side, scoot up behind you so you're both facing in the same direction.

• Missionary: When lying down, place a small pillow at the lower back to support the lumbar region. Pillows underneath the knees - to make them slightly bent - also take pressure off the back and hips.

• Lying on stomach: If your pain reduces with flexion or bending forward, lying on your stomach may be helpful.

• Chair position: Sit on your partner's lap facing them.

• Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng (MBChB), sexual and reproductive health practice, DISA Clinic, 011-886-2286, visit safersex.co.za.

Do you have a question about sex?

E-mail your questions to lifestyle@sundaytimes.co.za with SEX TALK as the subject. Anonymity assured.

X