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Back Pain & Erectile Function

I was speaking to a male client recently who a certain number of years ago had a lot of things happen in his life which brought a lot of fear into his body. Fear can be from job issues, problems with your partner, not having a support network to call on etc. It was around that time that he started with lower back pain.

For those who don’t know, the lower back muscles are linked with the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is also interconnected to the diaphragm. When we experience fear we can hold our breath affecting the muscles around our diaphragm. We can also squeeze the muscles in our pelvic floor. Constant squeezing can create tension which can move up into our lower back and cause issues there.

As he was talking about his back pain, I asked him outright ‘do you also suffer from erectile dysfunction?’ He looked at me. This wasn’t what he had intended to bring to his coaching session. However, he could see I was onto something and answered ‘yes’.

Our pelvic floor can influence how ‘well’ our muscles function and how our nerves are affected by tension or weakness of muscle. I have recommended the client seek professional help from a physical therapist specialised in pelvic floor issues. In the meantime I have given the client some exercises to help relax the pelvic floor and the area around the diaphragm.

Will that be the end of it? Likely not. The problem is, when our body doesn’t perform in the way that we want it to, it can create blockages. We can automatically assume on an unconscious level that we can’t ‘perform’, therefore we don’t. So as my client goes to seek professional support with the physical aspects of his pelvic floor, I will be supporting him on a somatic and limbic (emotional) level to get his sex life back to where he wants it to be.

As I said above, this client didn’t come to me for erectile dysfunction which he has been living with for a number of years, he came for something else. There is so much shame around this for men as that’s where many see their ‘power’ lies, in their penis and ability to ‘perform’.

Continuing to live with erectile dysfunction, it really doesn’t need to be this way.

Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at

Other articles and podcasts which are supportive around this topic are:


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