Guest Post By RD Jaynes
When your back hurts, you don’t feel like having sex. Not only that, but in many men there’s also a link between back pain and erectile dysfunction.
As a matter of fact, several sources of back pain can cause ED, including…
Do you really want a lack of blood flow in your penis? Do you want to live with nerve damage that decreases sensation in your groin and other areas?
If you want to prevent back pain and erectile dysfunction from becoming permanently linked in your life, you need to understand these three ways that back pain and ED are linked.
Then you need to take action to prevent and reverse any of these issues that could be impacting your sexual performance.
Do you know where your psoas are?
These muscles run from your lumbar spine through your groin and into your hip.
Sometimes simply called hip flexors, it’s no wonder these muscles can cause ED since they can become tight and cause compression in your groin area.
That compression can lead to reduced blood flow and other problems.
Don’t believe that’s possible? The famed Mayo Clinic lists “surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord” as one of the common causes of ED (source).
Sitting down may be the worst thing in the world for tight, painful hip flexors.
Sitting causes your hips to shift forward and your legs to rotate. The hip socket gets compressed, causing all sorts of tendons, joints and muscles to pull in ways they shouldn’t.
That makes your back hurt. It makes your hips hurt. It makes your legs hurt.
And it decreases blood flow and circulation in all those areas — including your groin.
Consistently tight and overworked hip flexors mean permanent roadblocks for back, hip and leg health — and for sexual health too.
The pain and problems cause you emotional and physical stress, and that sends a signal to your brain that something’s wrong.
Your reproductive system gets the message too.
And since hips are really important for most guys when having sex, losing the ability to flex your hips correctly can lead to a less satisfying experience.
Stretching, core stability exercises, mobility exercises and muscular strengthening techniques are among the things that physical therapists use to help their clients loosen their hip flexors and strengthen their hip action.
The pudendal nerve allows you to have sensation in your genitalia and the surrounding area, so its pretty important. Obviously, damage to this crucial nerve can cause ED, loss of sexual interest and many other problems.
And this nerve has a unique relationship with the lumbar spine.
It’s known that lumbar spine inflammation can cause pain in the lower back. And it’s known that nerve inflammation can cause the same kind of pain.
So couldn’t people with lower back pain actually have ED as a symptom of it?
Some experts do suggest that the back pain and erectile dysfunction are often symptoms of nerve inflammation. Solve the inflammation, then, and solve both problems.
When the pudendal nerve is involved it can become entrapped…
This condition is called Alcock Canal Syndrome, where the pudendal nerve becomes compressed, which can lead to chronic numbness in the penis, scrotum and testicles.
And there are many other kinds of nerve issues that can impact your sexual health as well.
One study found a connection between peripheral nerves and diminished genital sensation.
Looking at a group of amateur long-distance cyclists, researchers found that of 260 cyclists examined, 33 had numbness in their penises after riding long distances — and they linked this to a nerve issue (source).
Astoundingly, 21 of the men were temporarily impotent after riding their bikes — 11 of them for more than a week.
But for them, things got back to normal when they weren’t cycling, although there are many reports of other hardcore cyclists who have been afflicted with chronic erectile dysfunction caused by pinched peripheral nerves.
A herniated disc can cause ED as well — and that makes sense since spinal disc herniation can mess with so many bodily systems.
Watch out for so-called “slipped discs”, because the condition is a bulge rather than a slip when:
“Idiopathic” just means you don’t know what happened to cause the damage.
And here’s the sad thing when this type of back pain leads to erectile dysfunction. Your doctor may not do much about it.
While it’s known that herniation of lumbar discs can negatively impact your sex life, not enough attention is paid to sexual problems by the average doctor, according to research (source).
Doctors simply don’t take the time to give you recommendations that help you improve your sexual function, aside from writing scripts for one of the erectile dysfunction drugs, which do nothing to address the root cause of the problem.
This much I can tell you for sure: you need to take action to deal with your back pain and related erectile dysfunction.
But painkillers aren’t the answer.
These drugs can actually increase your risk of ED, according to a study in the journal Spine.
More than 11,000 men with back pain were in the study, and more than 19 percent of those who took the highest-dosage painkillers over the long term also got prescriptions for impotence (source).
And things got worse with age.
So work with a chiropractor or physical therapist to deal with your back pain and erectile dysfunction before things get worse for you. And try to spend less time sitting which can tighten your hip flexors, leading to decreased blood flow and compression in your groin area.
It all starts with admitting to the problem.
Then, finding solutions that lead to a healthier, more active lifestyle and habits that increase — rather than inhibit — your ability to have satisfying sex.