Best Sex Positions for Preventing Lower Back Pain in Men
For the first time ever, scientists have determined which sex positions are best for avoiding lower back pain by documenting spinal movements throughout the process. In the study, researchers from the University of Waterloo measured the motions of five opposite sex couples during the act, asking them to perform as naturally as possible while motion capturing technology tracked their movement.
As a result, physicians now have research-based recommendations to offer the men and women that come to them complaining about back pain caused or exacerbated by sex, some who have selected to abstain from sex altogether to avoid the debilitating results. The issue may be more prevalent than realized, with approximately 20% of men reporting lower back pain (LBP) during sex, and additional studies suggesting that people suffering from chronic LBP have sex less frequently as a result of their condition.
The study’s senior author Stuart McGill originally performed the biomechanical analysis of movements and postures in order to provide clinicians with meaningful solutions to help patients with this issue. The five couples were instructed to try five different sexual positions, which included spooning as well as variations of the missionary and doggy style positions, while infrared and electromagnetic motion capture systems recorded the motions. The researchers were then able to rank the level of discomfort experienced in each position in order to identify which were the least likely to trigger pain in the lower back.
Doctors had previously believed that spooning was a sexual position beneficial for all, but that assumption had been based off of opinion rather than research. In contradiction to the popular belief, McGill’s study found that spooning is actually one of the worst positions for the segment of men who experience pain specifically when leaning forward.
While findings suggest that optimal positions will vary based on the person’s specific sensitivities, the study was able to determine certain positions that are generally better for people susceptible to back pain. Men who are flexion-intolerant, i.e. whose back pain worsens when leaning forward or sitting for an extended period of time, are better off in positions involving a “hip-hinging” motion over thrusting-oriented movements. While in comparison, men who are extension-intolerant, i.e. experience pain upon arching their back, would be more comfortable performing in the spooning and missionary positions.
The best position for overall LBP avoidance was found to be with the woman on all fours and man kneeling behind her, or more commonly referred to as “doggy-style”. This position was determined to be the least taxing on the back, followed by the missionary variation with the top person propped on their hands.
The findings of this study have the potential to improve the overall quality of life and relationships of people suffering from ongoing back pain. Researchers plan on conducting further research on the topic in the coming months, with a focus on determining which positions are better for women
sufferers of back pain.
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