Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and couples all over the country are preparing for a night of passion. Although we are continuously reminded of how important ‘safe’ sex is, it’s worth bearing in mind that a sex related injury can really kill the mood.
A surprising one-third of adults manage to injure themselves during their most intimate moments, with five per cent even having to take time off work. So while we all love to embrace romance at this time of year, make sure you’re prepared before wowing your partner this Valentine’s Day.
To minimise the risk of awkward trips to A&E, here are some top tips for avoiding five of the most common sex related injuries so you can both having a night to remember… for the right reasons!
Passion problem: Muscle Strain
It’s easy to overestimate gymnastic ability in the bedroom. Unfortunately our flexibility doesn’t always match our expectations, which can lead to overstretching muscles, a painful predicament.
Pulled muscles are the most common cause of injury in the bedroom, with 30% of adults reporting muscle strain during or after sex. Our endorphins are in overdrive when we are aroused, numbing the body and increasing our tolerance to pain. This explains why we sometimes only notice the subsequent pain the next day.
Reduce the risk: Most pulled muscles need rest, gentle stretching, heat or ice, and time to recover. Should you be concerned or feel the problem isn’t resolving, an assessment can determine which muscle has been affected and further treatment can be recommended.
Passion problem: Back Injuries
A good range of motion in your back is a handy skill when it comes to passion, but be wary to stay within your limits. Certain positions require difficult (and unrealistic) movement of the spine, which can be too challenging and overload your back.
Reduce the risk: There’s nothing wrong with revealing your adventurous side out in the bedroom, but make sure you are comfortable and supported before attempting that new move. Experiment gradually with positions that work for your body and don’t aggravate existing injuries. If you have disc problems, avoid positions that require excessive movement or put lots of additional weight through your back.
Passion problem: Shower Time
Sex in the shower can be a risky business for obvious reasons. Showers are one of the most dangerous locations for sex with an array of injuries attached to them. Broken limbs, bashed elbows and bruised shoulders are linked to falling over whilst enjoying a shower together.
Reduce the risk: Try to stay on your feet and make sure you have something to hold onto (your partner doesn’t count!) to ensure you don’t take an embarrassing tumble. Being sprawled on the bathroom floor with wet hair covering your face is not the most attractive look. With a little planning you can have fun, and save water, without an injury spoiling the fun.
Passion problem: Neck pain
Awkward positions can cause tension in the neck, leading to stiffness and pain. Dramatic hair flicks look like a great idea in the movies, but in real life it’s important to be cautious of sudden movements or uncomfortable positions that might aggravate the structures surrounding the neck.
Reduce the risk: Rearranging pillows to create a supportive base or sharing a nice deep massage to relax you beforehand will help you avoid this injury. Mix up your session with a variety of positions to ensure you don’t stay in one position for an extended period of time. If you have restricted range from neck pain then see a physiotherapist for an assessment to prevent future pain.
Passion problem: Hip Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis can be very painful and uncomfortable, as well as limiting range and movement to the hip. It’s important to remember that this injury doesn’t directly affect the sexual parts of the body, so you can still enjoy your sex life!
Reduce the risk: Communication is key. Tell your partner what feels good, and comfortable, for you. If you experience pain then let your partner know and try something different until you find what works for you both. Use pillows to support your hip, for example putting a pillow between your knees when lying on your side, or under your hips and thighs when lying on your back. If movement causes you pain, find your preferred position and get your partner to do most of the movement.