The Best Ways To Have Sex When Your Back Hurts

Photographed by Lauren Perstein.
If you've got back pain, you're not alone — about 80% of us will have to deal with it at some point in our lives. But, just because your back's not at 100% doesn't mean you have to give up on getting it on. Thanks to some new research, we now know the most back-friendly sex positions for women.
The new study, published online last week in the European Spine Journal, follows up on earlier research. In both studies, the University of Waterloo researchers used electromagnetic 3D-motion capture to perform some of the first biomechanical investigations into back pain during sex. In the latest version, the scientists looked at 10 heterosexual couples having sex in five different positions for 20 seconds at a time — specifically focusing on the women's back movements.
The study's results contribute to a new set of recommendations for women with back pain. For instance, they suggest that women with flexion intolerance (those whose pain is made worse by trying to touch their toes or during long periods of sitting) should support themselves with their hands rather than their elbows when having doggie-style sex. And, those of you who have extension-intolerant pain (made worse when lying on your stomach or trying to arch your back): Try to keep your back as neutral as possible by sticking with the missionary position, or even adding a pillow for lower-back support.
While this was a pretty small study, it's some of the first high-tech research into this specific — yet important — area. We (and our backs) thank you, science.

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