A new study looked at the the spines of 10 couples performing five sex positions.
Finally! Remember a few weeks ago I wrote about the study that had found the best positions for sex for men with bad backs? And remember how I concluded by basically saying, "Oh, this all great for men, but doesn't do much for women…" Do you remember that? Well, good news, ladies, because now it's our turn. Professor Stuart McGill of the first study has answered the prayers of women with back pain everywhere with a study specifically for us. As I said, finally!
Once again, McGill and his team studied the spines of 10 couples performing five sex positions with the help of his handy-dandy infrared and electromagnetic motion capture systems. The five positions were as followed: "two variations of doggy style, one in which women supported their body with elbows and the other with their hands; two variations of the missionary position, one that required less flexion at the hips and knees and the other more flexion at the hips and knees; and, finally, spooning or sidelying."
What the researchers found is that women who experience pain from lying on their stomach or arching their back could find relief by having sex with a pillow under their lower back in the missionary position.
For women who suffer from pain due to sitting too long, then the best positions for them would be doggy style where she supports herself with her hands, or everyone's favorite lazy position, spooning.
Overall, spooning is the most recommended sex position for anyone suffering with back pain, because, as Ph.D. candidate, Natalie Sidorkewicz, explains, lying on one's side is "thought to reduce nerve tension and load on the tissues," despite the fact that it can actually be "one of the worst position for certain types of back pain." Huh? Yeah, I don't get it either. Science can be so confusing, man.
Takeaway? Do what you can to avoid back pain so you don't have to worry about this conundrum of a study. While you may not be able to avoid getting older or escape hereditary back issues, you can keep your weight in check and stay physically active.
You can also be communicative with your partner about what feels good and what hurts like hell, as opposed to just grinning and bearing it as some bizarre means of being polite when it actually feels like your back is being hacked away by an axe, in some positions. Knowing when to stop, when to take a break, and when to give in and see your doctor can also put excessive back pain to bed.
Similarly to the study about men and their backs, this one does sort of run around in a circle. But what I do know is that experimenting to find what position works comfortably for both you and your partner is going to be a good time, a really good time. Even sans the infrared magic.