Back pain is a prevalent condition, and it can interfere with many aspects of life. It can make daily activities difficult, impede a person’s ability to work and even interrupt a vibrant romantic life. Bedroom problems associated with back pain take a toll on relationships, and it’s important for sexually active men to take steps to limit how much their pain interferes with their love lives. For men with lower back pain, practicing proper back care is as important to their sex lives as practicing proper penis care. Fortunately, the first scientifically-supported recommendations for sex positions and thrusting techniques just became available to help men get busy without suffering from worsened pain.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo studied muscle loading and spinal movement in 10 couples having sex in five popular positions. They were able to make recommendations for what positions were best pursued and best avoided by men with different types of back pain.

Types of Pain

The researchers categorized two types of back pain: flexion-intolerant and extension-intolerant. Flexion intolerance indicates pain that increases when a man bends forward, while extension intolerance is characterized by worsened pain upon leaning backward. The best and worst positions were identified for each.

Best Positions for Flexion Intolerance

- Modified Missionary (version 1): Traditional missionary encourages spinal flexion, so it is best avoided by men with flexion-type pain. However, a man with this type of back pain can simply prop himself up on his hands in the missionary position, arching his back and avoiding forward-bending.

- Doggie Style: This classic rear-entrance position sets a man up to thrust away without painfully bending his back. The partner positioned on all fours can support him/herself on his/her hands or drop down to the elbows in this set-up for variety.

The positions that work best for flexion-intolerant back pain are the least recommended for men with extension-type pain, and vice versa.

Best Positions for Extension Intolerance

- Missionary (version 2): The type of missionary recommended for men with extension-type pain is pretty standard. The man can support himself on his elbows, keeping his body close to or directly against his partner’s. The partner on bottom can boost the top partner’s comfort in this position by bending her knees and flexing her hips slightly.

- Spooning: This intimate position allows a man to keep his spine neutral or partly flexed, avoiding any backward arching. Couples can play with the positioning of the front partner’s legs - knees tucked in; legs extended; top leg elevated, straight or bent, for example - to change the feel of this classic position.

Thrusting Technique

When a man gets excited and begins thrusting, he’s likely to get his back into it. The University of Waterloo researchers recommend that men with lower back pain adopt a different thrusting technique wherein they maintain a neutral spine and use their legs to thrust their pelvises forward from below. This limits spinal and muscular strain while still allowing for plenty of pumping action.

Don’t Forget Penis Care

Managing pain is a key ingredient in the recipe of a spicy sex life; another crucial element is proper penis health. Men can support their circulatory, sensory and skin quality by using a penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). Creams with L-arginine may contribute to the production of nitric oxide in the member, a chemical that is needed to open blood vessels and allow plenty of fresh, erection-prompting blood flow to the organ. Acetyl L-carnitine protects nerves and therefore assists in the maintenance of sensitive, responsive tissues. Finally, look for high-end moisturizers like Shea butter and vitamin E in a product for smooth, supple skin.