In sports, playing with pain is a given. No pain, no gain - right?
Well, try a sporty tumble in the hay when your back aches. Although there was a certain American president who was famous for it (at least that was the Marilyn Monroe-fueled rumor), for regular folks, having sex when your back hurts isn't an appealing idea.
In fact, up to 85 percent of people with chronic back pain say they avoid sex because they fear increased discomfort and that they won't be able to carry through with the act.
But you can do a lot to ease lower back pain and get back to enjoying time with your honey.
1. Reduce stress to ease pain and anxiety. Pet companionship is a known emotional stress reducer, as is 10 minutes of meditation, twice daily. A licensed physical therapist can ease physical stress in tight muscles and sore tissue. If pain persists after eight weeks, see a specialist.
2. Talk to your doctor about nonopiate pain-relief meds that won't dull your lust for life.
3. Ease pain with smart sleeping positions. Put a small pillow under your knees when sleeping on your back. Put a pillow between your legs at your knees when you sleep on your side (no tight fetal positions). Keep pillows pretty flat. Now you'll get the sleep you need to feel rested and interested in sex again.
4. For intimacy: You're best lying on your back or trying new positions and activities.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.