5 Best Sex Positions If You Have Back Issues

Roughly half of U.S. adults suffer from back pain. And, to add insult to injury, many people's sex lives can suffer because of back issues. Which is some pretty frustrating news considering the fact that orgasms are nature’s answer to some very powerful painkillers. Really bad back issues can prevent someone from even getting into position to enjoy that level of blissful, yet temporary, lack of pain. It’s actually quite unfair.

A 2014 study by Waterloo University examined spinal movement of 10 couples engaged in sex. The couples were asked to perform five different sex positions and variations of those sex positions. Using infrared and electromagnetics, the researchers were able to deduce where the wear and tear on the spine was taking place in both the men and women who were having sex. What they found was that spinal movement meant everything in regards to sex positions that were most comfortable for those with back issues, combined with the knowledge of exactly what type of back problems were causing the pain. From there, the scientists were able to come up with a list of positions that worked or didn’t work, in regards to being comfortable during sex.

Even if you’re not dealing with any back issues now, don’t think you never will. According to the National Institutes of Health, back pain can affect anyone —young or old — and when we think about just how much time we all spend at our desks, it’s not like we’re doing our body any favors.

So even if your back issues are minimal or even non-existent at the moment, you still might want to take note. If you can avoid putting too much stress on your back during sex now, then maybe you can stave off greater back issues in the future.

1. Missionary With A Pillow Under Your Hips

How to do it: Lie on your back while your partner gets between your legs, lies down horizontally against you, and enters you that way. Since this variation of missionary requires a pillow under your hips, then that’s what you need to do, too: Put a pillow under your hips.

Why it’s good if you have back issues: When you have sex lying down, your back isn’t flat against the bed — or whatever surface you’re on. Due to the shape of the human body, there’s a little space between the lower back and the surface. Because of this, a pillow can create a more neutralized and even surface that takes pressure off your back.

2. Doggy Style

How to do it: Get on your hands and knees. Next, your partner, who is also on their knees, enters you from behind.

Why it’s good if you have back issues: As long as you don’t arch your back and keep your spine straight, you can avoid straining your back in doggy style position. There’s a reason doctors often tell people with bad backs to sleep on the floor and it’s because keeping your spine in a position that’s straight leads to less aggravation of the back nerves.

3. Spooning

How to do it: 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. While in this position, your partner enters you from behind, with a bit of finagling.

Why it’s good if you have back issues: Research has found that this position is good for women who have back pain from either sitting too long or while trying to reach their toes. Similar to doggy style position, women are supporting their bodies with arms or elbows, taking that pressure off the spine and nerve tissue. In the past, spooning was recommended as the ideal position for all back pain, but new research has found it’s only good for specific types of back issues.

4. Seated Oral

How to do it: In a chair with a nice straight back and sturdy legs, sit down and spread ‘em. From here, your partner can nuzzle their face right into your crotch and perform cunnilingus.

Why it’s good if you have back issues: If you’ve chosen a chair with a straight back, you can align your own back against it, therefore keeping your spine nice and straight, too. You’re also in a position in which you can situate and re-situate yourself if your back starts to hurt. If you’re someone who has back issues because you spend too much time sitting — you know, like the majority of us who have yet to learn the importance of taking a break during the work day — then you may want to consider not staying in this position too long or going for doggy style or cowgirl instead.

5. Mutual Masturbation

How to do it: Look your partner in the eyes and say in a very sultry voice, “We’re gonna get our mutual masturbation on, baby.” Then get into position.

Why it’s good if you have back issues: You can masturbate anywhere and in position. As long as you can reach yourself with either your hands or a toy, you can masturbate. So, since that’s the case, when it comes to back issues, mutual masturbation actually might be your best bet. It’s also hot AF — AF, I tell you!

Images: Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle