From ABC News in Science, 11 September 2014:
The ultimate guide to pain-free sexual positions for men with lower back pain has been developed by Canadian researchers using motion-capture technology.
A lack of evidence-based guidelines on how to avoid triggering back pain during sex prompted the research, says co-author Professor Stuart McGill, professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. The findings are published today in Spine.
“If you survey the primary care physicians around the world, they will tell you that they are absolutely lost when a couple comes to them and says that ‘sex causes back pain and in fact we are now abstinent or celibate because we’re knackered for two month afterwards’,” says McGill.
So McGill and PhD student Natalie Sidorkewicz set out to build an evidence-based and practical ‘atlas’ matching sexual positions and styles with possible back pain triggers.
They recruited ten healthy couples who were filmed using motion capture and infra-red technology while they had sex. The researchers were in a separate booth where they could hear, but not see, the participants.
Electrodes were used to record muscle activity in certain parts of the body to get an idea of force.
Their results showed that existing advice in favour of the ‘spooning’ position for sex was actually one of the worst positions for individuals with flexion-intolerant back pain—back pain that is worsened by bending over forward or by sitting for long periods of time. Read more.