Health & Fitness

How lower back pain leads to erectile dysfunction

Our bodies are a complex structure of connected parts that can either work well together or cease to function properly when one area is affected. When your back hurts, you do not feel like having sex. Men suffering from back pain and erectile dysfunction may be surprised to find out that the former could be causing the latter commonly known as ED.

The process of getting an erection begins when something sexually stimulating impacts the senses, making the muscles of the penis relax and blood flow increase to the area which then pushes against the veins carrying blood out so that they are blocked and thus an erection is created. Erectile dysfunction is then usually caused by blood flow being disrupted, slowed or hindered throughout the body. Back issues can cause ED when veins and nerves are pinched, leading to reduced blood flow to the pelvic area. Several causes of back pain that can cause ED include:

• Tight hip flexors — These muscles run from your low back spine through your groin and into your hip; simply called hip flexors. When they become tight they can cause compression in your groin area. That compression can lead to reduced blood flow and other problems.

• Pinched nerves — The pudental nerve allows you to have sensation in your genitalia and the surrounding area. Obviously, damage to this crucial nerve can cause ED, loss of sexual interest and many other problems

• Herniated Discs — This can cause ED as well since spinal disc herniation can mess with many bodily systems. Watch out for so-called ‘slipped discs’.


You do not need to live with nerve damage that decreases sensation in your groin and cuts blood flow in your penis. To prevent back pain and ED from being permanently linked in your life, you need to take action to prevent and reverse any of these issues that could be impacting your sexual performance.

While it is known that lower back issues can negatively impact your sex life, not enough attention is paid to sexual problems by the average doctor. Painkillers do not address the root cause of the ED.

In a study in the journal Spine, more than 11,000 men with back pain were in the study, and more than 19 per cent of those who took the highest-dosage painkillers over the long term also got prescriptions impotence. And things got worse with age.

Treatment: It all starts with admitting to the problem. Work with a chiropractor and a physical therapist to deal with your back pain and ED before things get worse for you. The chiropractor will deal with the herniated disc and pinched nerves. A therapist will relieve inflammation or swelling and any muscle spasm.

Exercises to strengthen weakened muscles in the hip and lower back are crucial. Avoid sitting too long which makes the hip flexors shortened.

Choose to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle and habits that increase rather than inhibit your ability to have satisfying sex.