Neurosurgeon Dr. Gary Kraus is founder and medical director of the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KNBI) located in Houston, Texas.
Lower Back and Neck Pain Essays
Pain in the Box
Diagnosis and Treatment at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute
This article discusses the diagnosis and treatment of pain in the low back (lumbar) and mid/upper back (thoracic) regions of the spine performed by the Kraus Back and Neck Institute. A discussion of the diagnosis and treatment of neck (cervical) pain at KBNI will be provided in a separate article.
Sex and Back Pain
Millions of Americans suffer the agony of back pain, every day, due to back conditions such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, muscle strain, arthritis, trauma, or other spinal pathologies. Conditions associated with back pain can impact your sexual health and affect your personal relationships since sex is an important part of the intimacy between couples.
People who suffer from severe back pain may voluntarily abstain from sex or have sex less often leading to a less satisfying sex life. As pain involves both physical and psychological factors, accurate diagnosis is essential to relax your mind and overcome any limitations or restrictions to normal activity. People with back pain should talk about it openly, with their partner and doctor. A hot bath or shower, or applying ice to the painful area or a gentle massage can relax the affected muscles and ease pain. You could try different positions that are comfortable for both partners so that the sexual activity won't strain your back.
Sexual problems in people with back pain can affect men and women of all ages. It is essential to recognize and acknowledge the problem at the time of its initial presentation. If left untreated this could have a negative impact on your sex life that can lead to bigger problems in your relationship.
Each day millions of Americans suffer from back pain caused by muscle strain, sciatica, herniated disc, traumatic fracture, bone spurs, spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease, or other forms of spinal pathology. Depending on the severity of the pain, most people will make physical and behavioral adjustments to their lifestyle in an effort to achieve some level of comfort or relief. One of the first aspects of daily living to be affected by back pain is that of intimacy. While headaches, exhaustion, or stress often interfere with sexual relationships, back pain can be equally incapacitating, affecting one’s feelings of self-worth and causing additional stress in relationships.
For most people, sex is the most important part of intimacy. A recent survey found that 56 percent of those with severe back pain would voluntarily discontinue sexual relations if it resulted in an end to their back pain. The same study revealed that 46 percent of the respondents had chosen to discontinue all sexual activity, while others in the survey had sex less often or had less satisfying sex when it did occur.
This problem affects both men and women of all ages and it is important to recognize and address the problem when it first arises. Left unaddressed, the back pain can negatively affect a previously healthy sex life, and frustrations and bigger problems are likely to arise in the relationship.