The best sex positions for bad backs
Once touted as the go-to position for those battling back pain, spooning is no longer recommended as the best position for every couple.
“One position does not fit all types of back pain,” says Natalie Sidorkewicz, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. Sidorkewicz used her findings to create a set of guidelines based on two common types of back pain.
Does your back hurts when you touch your toes or sit for long periods of time?
You may be flexion-motion intolerant.
Best position for men: doggy-style
Best position for women: spooning or doggy-style while the woman supports her upper body with her hands, not elbows.
Does your back hurts when you arch your back or lay on your stomach?
You may be extension-motion intolerant.
“The ideal sex positions for this type of pain are ones that limit arching of the spine. This would prevent stressing lumbar facet joints that could easily be sensitized and trigger a cascade of low back symptoms,” says Sidorkewicz.
Best position for men: spooning or missionary with the man supporting his upper body on his elbows as opposed to his hands.
Best position for women: missionary, especially while ﬂexing at the hips and knees.
To make any position more spine-sparing, the guidelines suggest that the individual controlling the movement use more of their hips and knees, rather than their spine, while their partner keeps a more neutral spine position.
“By hinging with the hips, rather than thrusting with the spine, the individual controlling the movement can reduce the strain on their lower back. If the individual not controlling the movement is lying on their back, using a low back support such as a pillow will also help keep the spine in a more neutral position, reducing pain."