Herniated discs, pinched nerves, and tight hip flexor muscles can all cause regional numbness and / or decreased blood flow to the penis. For some men, the result is erectile dysfunction (ED).
Sure, pain in your back can keep you from getting in the mood to have sex. After all, it’s really more of a fetish to want to have sex when you’re in pain.
But there can actually be direct links between back pain and erectile dysfunction. Here’s why.
What Causes an Erection?
When a man is stimulated sexually, the muscles of his penis relax and the blood flow increases into the penis. This, in turn, pushes against the veins that would normally carry blood out of the penis, causing an erection.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
In terms of the physical causes of erectile dysfunction (vs. psychological), it’s all about hindering the blood flow to the penis. When the blood flow that’s needed to cause an erection is halted or slowed, a man experiences erectile dysfunction.
In the case of back pain, erectile dysfunction is caused when the nerves or veins are pinched. For example:
- A herniated disc: Often referred to as a “slipped disc,” these incidents can irritate nearby nerves and cause pain, numbness tingling or weakness in arms, legs, buttocks and other areas.
- A pinched nerve: Your pudental nerve provides sensation in your groin and surrounding area, so pinching it could cut off sensation.
- A tight hip flexor: This muscle runs from your lower back through your groin and into your hip. Compression on the muscle can decrease blood flow to the penis.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction
Although painkillers may help with the back pain, they don’t address what’s causing the pain. Consider seeing a chiropractor to get professional advice.
Although erectile dysfunction medications like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra can help, it’s vital that you not further harm your back by engaging in intercourse. Pain is your body’s way of saying something is wrong; pay attention to the signals and fix the problems in your back, which may fix the erectile dysfunction.
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