Here’s an interesting study that looked at the most comfortable sexual positions for people with back pain. The most common advice that physicians give is for couples to use the spooning position to avoid back pain, but that seems to be wrong.

“I’m assuming because people lay on their side, someone thought the spine would be supported and this was good for people, but it turned out not to be true,” [Professor Stuart McGill, professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, Ontario] says.

For men with that particular back pain trigger, the study suggested ‘doggy-style’ sex was far less likely to aggravate the back problem.

In general, the researchers found that the person on top—whether male or female—is most responsible for motion.

For individuals with back pain triggered by movement, the researchers suggested there was no position that would avoid pain, and advised instead that they should try to move more using their hips than their back.

“The more the hinging takes place at their hip, the less the hinging takes place in their spine, the better off [their back is],” McGill says.

Basically, the person with the back pain should be in the top/active position, so that they can control the movement and avoid painful or aggravating motions. Check out our post about doggy style for some ideas!

The study also had some observations about orgasm strength. It’s not your imagination, some orgasms are stronger than others.

Researchers were also able to measure the impact of orgasm on the body, which yielded some surprises.

“I had no idea of the range; how it’s basically a non-event in some people, through to really substantial muscle contraction in others, and you could see that if they were out of position, they would hurt themselves,” says McGill.

Here’s to a pain-free, sexually adventurous new year with your spouse! If you’ve got any tips for avoiding back pain during or after sex, please leave a comment.