Sex Tips

Fun Sex Positions for Back Pain: What You Need to Know

woman holding back

It’s no surprise that back pain interferes with your sex life. But you can lessen the impact by learning what sex positions for back pain can reduce your pain so you can get it on again!

Last month, my Hubby hurt his back. And being that we have a rather active sex life, it meant that we needed to either 1) slow down or 2) modify how we had sex. It took us about a week or so, but we eventually found the right combination that worked for us, and allowed Him to get it on without cringing in pain.

But as I thought about it, I figured we’re not the only ones who’ve faced this situation. Hell, it’s estimated that one-half of American adults suffer from back pain within the last year and that 80% of Americans will have experienced back pain within their lifetime.

sex positions for back pain

Back Pain and Sex: What You Need to Know.

Back pain comes in many flavors and the best sex positions depend on what types of movements make your back hurt. I do want to preface this with some transparency. The research this is based on was done on men, even though women are more likely to experience back pain. If you don’t know, much more scientific and medical research is done on men than women, often times to the detriment of females. From sex to cardiovascular diseases to medications, women are almost always under represented.

Anyway, there are three primary types of back pain we’re going to discuss:

  • Flexion-intolerant pain: Which means you experience back pain when you touch your toes or sit for extended periods of time.
  • Extension-intolerant pain: Which means you feel pain when you arch your back.

sex positions for back pain

Sex Positions for Back Pain

For the flexion-intolerant (when it hurts to bend forward)

For Men:

  • Doggy style: Have your partner support their upper body with their elbows or hands. The angles will be different on both, so if one causes pain, try it the other way.
  • Girl on top: While you may have the urge to thrust up into her, try to resist and let her do much of the movements.
  • Sideways face to face: Make small movements, primarily driven with the hips. If you need more depth, play with your leg placement.
  • AVOID: Any spooning positions that are back to belly, as they put a lot of stress on the spine.

For Women:

  • Spooning: To make it more comfortable, prop a pillow or rolled towel to help keep the spine aligned.
  • Doggy style: Stay on your hands and knees to start or try dropping to the elbows. Going all the way down to check on the bed may cause back pain so proceed with caution.

For the extension-intolerant

For Men:

  • Missionary: Have the top partner use their elbows for support, while the person on the bottom stays flexed at the hips.
  • Girl on top: Same as for the flexion-intolerant, let the partner on top do the work and keep the back in contact with the bed instead of thrusting up.
  • Spooning: All sorts of variations can work here, from traditional belly to back to more of a bent over, side-ways doggy style
  • AVOID: Sideways face to face. This puts a stress on the back and can pull and tweak things in a way that can cause pain both during and after sex.

For Women

  • Missionary: Pull the knees up. This helps in two ways. First, it takes some of the arch out of the lower back, offering more support on the spine. Second, it absorbs some so the shock of the thrusting and opens up the hips, putting less strain on the back. You can also put a pillow or rolled towel under the curve of your back. Again, some added support.
.pillows as props
  • Avoid morning sex, especially if you have issues with herniated or ruptured discs. The back is the most compressed when rising in the morning and the pain should be less significant if you wait at least 90 minutes.
  • Take a hot shower before you head to the bedroom. This helps your muscles relax and makes it less likely to pull or injury the back.
  • If it’s safe for you to take anti-inflammatory medications, pop a could Aleve about an hour or so beforehand. Again, this loosens you up and make it less likely to experience pain during sex.
  • Use your hips and knees more than your back. Keep the back and spine stable by engaging your core muscles to protect the spine.
  • Add some props, try small pills and rolled up towels. Put there where ever you need to them to ease pain. I use an oversized triangle pillow that can make a difference.
  • Talk about it. Let your partner know about your pain. That way they can help find something that works for both of you.
  • Broaden your definition of sex. As always, sex doesn’t have to be penis-in-vagina. Expand what sex and intimacy means to you and don’t feel that you have to fit in some little box definition. If actual intercourse is too much, consider things like oral sex and mutual masturbation. They are just as valid and can be just as satisfying and intimate.

Hope this was helpful!

And as always, if you have any questions about sex or relationships, don’t hesitate to ask! Email me at

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