How to Bone If You've Got a Bad Back

News you can actually use, since it’s practically the weekend and why not spend Saturday indulging in some naked wrestling: Researchers have finally tackled the thorny problem of finding the best sex positions for people with bad backs.

According to Reuters, researchers at the University of Waterloo recruited ten heterosexual couples, hooked ’em up to a computer and had them try five different sexual positions. (The study examined men in particular, but the Washington Post says the results are generalizable to whoever’s doing the rocking, and further studies on women are planned.) They found you should pick your position based on the type of pain you’re dealing with:

For example, while spooning has been recommended, it is actually one of the worst positions for men who get pain when they lean forward.
Instead, a position where the woman gets on all fours and the man kneels behind her was suggested as least taxing on the back. Some people refer to the position as “doggy-style,” said [the study’s coauthor, Stuart] McGill. Additionally, the man lying on top of the woman with his arms outstretched and supporting his body was thought to be less likely to cause pain.

There’s a chart! Your results may vary, though, and it’ll take some fine-tuning: “You’ve got to tune the technique for the individual and sometimes that tuning is quite subtle,” said McGill. If you’re looking for a simple rule of thumb, here’s a hint from the Washington Post:

In general, [lead author Natalie] Sidorkewicz advises that in any position, controlling the movement with the hip and knee rather than the spine will be more spine sparing, and for the person not controlling the movement, maintaining a neutral spine is key to reducing lower back strain.

So go forth and bone.

Photo via BeautyBlowFlow/Shutterstock.

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