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It’s a Canadian study that would have done Dr. Wiliam Masters proud. For all those chronic back pain sufferers out there who thought their sex lives were doomed to spooning for the rest of eternity, researchers may have finally found a solution. For the men, anyhow.

In the first part of a study done by Ontario’s University of Waterloo, researchers hooked 10 couples in their 30s up to sensors to see how traditional sex positions affected men’s backs. And it turns out that the long-time doctor-recommended spooning position isn’t always the best bet. In fact, sometimes it can even cause more pain in men with lower-back problems. Since back pain is such a universal problem, there are a variety of triggers out there that cause the actual pain. As such, there are also a variety of sex positions that could actually work to minimize said pain and maximize the – er, pleasure.

More research still needs to be conducted (and women with back issues still need to be tested), but this study is being touted as the first step towards creating actual guidelines for couples who have resorted to abstinence when nothing else works.

Want more info? Here’s the dirty on, well, doing the dirty:

If you have all-over pain

It sounds as though good old-fashioned missionary might be your best bet. To help relieve pressure from the spine, have the woman put a pillow just under the curve of her back and make sure the man focuses on using his hips and knees to control movement. Experiment with the exact positioning as even the slightest adjustment can make a big difference. Already bored? Try having the male partner kneel behind the female instead.

Missionary

If you have pain from touching your toes or sitting too long

Remember the lyrics from that Bloodhound Gang song about being mammals and doing it like they do on the Discovery Channel? Apparently, they were referring to people with back pain. For men who suffer from pain after sitting for an extended period of time or who can’t touch their toes without tweaking something, doggy-style is the position of choice. But only if the woman is propped up on her elbows and not her hands. The runner up? Missionary, where the man is propped up on his hands. The study also warns people with this type of pain to actually stay away from spooning.

Doggy

If you can’t arch your back or have pain from lying on your back or stomach

Here’s where the traditional spooning advice actually comes into play: For those who are extension-intolerant, the spooning position actually helps keep pressure on the hips and away from the spine, alleviating soreness. Looking to switch it up? Missionary might be your next best bet, but in this case, the man will want to use his elbows to prop himself up instead of his hands and really focus on those hips for motion. In some cases, it can even be comfortable to try doggy-style, but only if the female is propped on her hands.

Spooning