Don’t Let Chronic Pain Interfere with Your Sex Life

Don’t Let Chronic Pain Interfere with Your Sex Life

For the more than 120 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain, loss of a healthy sex life is an oft experienced but rarely discussed problem. A 2015 survey conducted by SpineUniverse.com found that 72% of back pain sufferers had sex less frequently after the onset of pain, and 70% found their sex lives less satisfying. But research shows that sex is important—not just for our relationships, but for our personal well-being. In fact, sexual activity has been shown to reduce pain, raise pain thresholds, and lower the depressive symptoms of chronic pain. To make sex more pleasurable, doctors recommend that those with pain stick to certain positions that don’t exacerbate their problem areas; for example, if lower back pain is the problem, the patient should focus on positions that shift pressure to the knees and hips. Support can be helpful too—a pillow or a rolled up towel can offer gentle pressure and stability to troubled areas. Chronic pain shouldn’t be a deterrent to sex; with a little bit of planning and care, pain sufferers can achieve healthy and satisfying sex lives.

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