Is back pain preventing you from enjoying intimate time with your partner? If so, please know that you are not alone. This is actually a common issue, but people are often too embarrassed to discuss it. This lack of intimacy can cause many different relationship challenges including feelings of lack of connection as well as trust and self esteem issues. Your partner may feel that you are not attracted to them or they may worry that you are being intimate with someone else. You may have feelings with your self esteem and may feel like you are “getting old”.
There are a variety of issues that may cause back pain during sex. Degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, arthritis, recovery from back surgery and spinal misalignments can all contribute to back pain. Regardless of what is causing the pain, here are some tips to help you and your partner enjoy time together.
- The FIRST and MOST important tip is to have an honest conversation with your partner so they have a better understanding of the real reasons why you have been avoiding sex. Your partner has probably had a million things going through their mind about why you are avoiding sex, which has likely been incredibly stressful for your partner. Know that they will be relieved about the reason why and will appreciate you having this open conversation with them.
- Muscle spasms can make sex painful. Try taking a hot shower to relax those tight muscles before spending time with your partner. You can even use this time as a fun pregame to the main event. You will want to use moist heat, NOT a heating pad. Heating pads can make your inflammation worse. In addition, try icing the painful area after sex to decrease inflammation.
- Try different positions. It is OK to let your partner know that the usual “favorite position” is not comfortable. If you suffer from degenerative disc disease or herniations, you may find that bending forward or sitting forward will increase your pain. If you suffer from spinal stenosis, you will likely experience more pain when you extend or arch your back. Usually, the person with the back pain will find that it is more comfortable if they are on bottom.
- Try putting a pillow or rolled up towel under the area of the back that is painful or try putting a pillow under your knees. Try to have fun and try new positions to see what is most comfortable for you. Your partner WANTS you to be comfortable so open communication is important.
- Go see your chiropractor!! When you have a spinal misalignment, also known as a subluxation, this can put pressure on the nerves in your low back, which can cause pain during sex. Getting a thorough chiropractic exam, which oftentimes includes X-Rays, will give you crucial information about the cause of pain and non-invasive, drug free options for treatment. Correcting these spinal misalignments will take pressure off of the nerves, thereby making sex MUCH more comfortable.
Sexual intimacy is a vital part of a healthy relationship. Investing the time and effort to have an open conversation with your partner, troubleshoot and try these tips will pay off BIG in the long run.