Living with Chronic Pain

5 Ways to Keep Knee Pain From Ruining Intimacy


Knees that hurt, throb, swell and ache often interfere with daily life. Because the knee is crucial to mobility, the quality of life is affected if the knee(s) do not work properly or cause pain. Knee pain is classified as chronic or acute.

What causes knee pain?

Chronic knee pain is caused by various conditions, injuries or infections; acute knee pain is frequently the result of an injury. Causes of knee pain include, but are not limited to, dislocated kneecap, iliotibial band syndrome, bone fracture, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, torn meniscus, patellar tendinitis, knee bursitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, and gout.

Knee pain and intercourse

Knee pain can also make it extremely difficult to enjoy intimacy. However, it doesn't have to ruin intercourse. In fact, sex can actually help in improving an individual's condition. Although many people avoid intercourse in fear of making their condition worse, below are a few tips about having a healthy sex life while reducing knee pain.

  • Take a warm bath before intercourse.
    Adding Epsom salt to a warm bath can ease pain and provide relaxation. It may also be beneficial to bathe with your partner and make the most out of the experience.
  • Use pillows to help.
    Pillows can be used to cushion the body and alleviate stress. Just place one underneath the knees, back or stomach and get into a comfortable position. Also, try not to readjust often.
  • Find the right position.
    Keep the legs extended, especially if bending them causes extreme pain. Try to stay in a position that doesn't require additional pressure on the knees. Avoid positions that require crouching, squatting or kneeling for a long time. It's better to opt for the missionary position, or possibly try a spooning position instead.
  • Don’t apply pressure to the knees.
    Avoid applying pressure to the knees. This is especially true if a knee replacement has occurred. Kneecaps that are made of plastic can wear out sooner if placing additional pressure on them.
  • Opt for morning intercourse.
    Throughout the day, activities can cause knee pain to worsen. To reduce the pain during intercourse, get intimate in the mornings instead of evenings or night.
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