Sex And The Spine is the culmination of years of clinical research and consultations led by some of the world’s leading lights in this clinical space. This includes globally recognised spinal surgeons, physiotherapists, sex therapists and more, who share one common goal:
To help improve or restore sexual function in a range of conditions related to the spine and spinal cord –
- sexual dysfunction following spinal cord injury or nerve injury
- sexual impairment in back and neck pain
- sexual restriction following spinal surgery
- impaired body image in spinal deformity such as scoliosis
- impaired body image through surgical scars
- through accessible online educational media, therapy and support
It is widely recognised that a range of spinal disorders can lead to sexual dysfunction. And yet it is not a topic that is well understood or openly discussed even in a clinical setting.
This can be pinned down to a number of reasons, which can vary from the lack of knowledge or discomfort felt by the medical practitioner who sees such patients, versus patients not being open to the idea of disclosing such information or being unable to adequately describe their problems. These issues stem from some basic deficiencies in our approach as medical practitioners, and the lack of understanding a simple fact- Sex is an important aspect of daily life. Patients appreciate simple solutions to tackle day to day issues and some dos and don’ts. But sexual activity by itself does not readily feature as part of these discussions. In a recent informal survey conducted at Nottingham University Hospitals, 85% of patients presenting to the Physiotherapy Department due to back pain would have appreciated more information about how their condition could affect their sexual activity and what steps could be taken to improve this important part of their lives.
Over our experience in the last couple of years in dealing with patients with spinal issues and sexual dysfunction, we have understood how hard it is for patients to find answers to their questions, and solutions to their problems of sexual dysfunction. Unfortunately there is a lack of a good and genuine source of information, for clinicians or patients to access.
The “Sex and The Spine” platform was launched to provide a portal for education for both clinicians and patients, as well as a link through which patients who need help, can consult experts in this field. The multi-disciplinary team working on the platform includes spine surgeons Prof. Dr. med. Bronek Boszczyk and Dr. Areena Dsouza; Clinical Sexologists Angela Gregory and Dr. Martha Lee; Consultant Physiotherapist Eleanor Dunstan and Psychosexual therapist for regional Spinal Cord Injury centres, Michelle Donald.
The key goals of our website include:
- To improve understanding of the normal physiology and psychology of sexual function and how it is affected by a range of spinal conditions from back pain to spinal cord injury.
- To facilitate open discussions on the taboos involved and debate solutions to these problems that are rarely openly discussed.
- To create open discussion forums aimed at breaking down barriers and raising awareness of patient demands and treatment strategies by health care professionals.
- To offer an online consultation platform with our experts, to provide help to patients.
In the series of recorded lectures we focus on some important discussions related to sexual function, dysfunction and ways to deal with it. The recordings are intended for online access to reach as many global patients and practitioners as possible. As the platform develops we hope to create awareness of this important human topic and form a comfortable module for discussion for patients and clinicians who have traditionally shied away from talking about sex.