My teacher said it wasn't a good thing to say - why? For example, my back really hurt - is this not what I should have said?

How do I express that my lower back hurts?

  • 9
    Two possible reasons: 1. 腰不好 sounds geriatric, not suitable for a young man to say that. 2. In Chinese, 腰不好 has a connotation that the man's sexual ability is weak. (That means if you're a women it's always OK to say 腰不好 without misunderstanding.) So, actually it's not a problem as long as it is said in a serious situation such as you're telling a doctor 腰不好 for advice, or your Chinese friends might tease you. The unambiguous way to express "lower back hurts" might be pointing out which muscle hurts (may be a little geeky though) or more roughly which part of the back hurts.
    – Stan
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 6:23
  • 1
    lower back: 后腰,下背 see iciba, jukuu (腰部, 腰部的背,腰背部下部,后背下部) for examples.
    – user6065
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 8:21
  • note use of 部 as second character when talking about body parts, 腰部 waist; small of the back;胸部 chest;面部 face;臀部 buttocks。
    – user6065
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 17:29
  • Am I the only one think 腰不好 actually affects... sexual performance for men? Even 肾好,腰不好 affects it, is it? I personally think it is a fact more than a slang. So If it is not a long term thing, men better not say it.
    – EXL
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 8:01
  • 腰不好 means can't f*ck anymore…… you can say 我的腰有点腰肌劳损
    – j5shi
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 23:29

8 Answers 8


腰 or 腰子 is slang for kidney. In traditional Chinese medicine theory, kidney is responsible for producing and storing sperms. Thus 腰不好 becomes a slang implying weakness in bed.

It takes a cheeky friend to twist 腰不好 towards sex; In a lot of situations saying 腰不好 is fine. If you are unsure, it is always OK to say 腰疼 or 腰痛.


It's not that troublesome as described in some other answers, I have lumbar disc herniation since college, and I usually say exactly "我的腰不好”. People would find it implicit sometimes, but I think it's fine to make it sound a bit hilarious.

However as said in congusbongus's answer, it should be used to describe a long term condition. If you only mean temporally back pain you can use 腰疼 腰痛 背疼 背痛.


Most Chinese people have very short sex sessions due to premature ejaculations, ie, their penises are way too sensitive. Since Chinese are all about faces (面子),they will blame their short sex on their backs instead of their penises. Thus 我的腰不好 is equivalent to 我的鸡巴不好。 (My penis is not good.) which is obviously a no face (没面子) thing to say to anyone.

The correct way to say "My back really hurts." will be: (我的后面真的疼。)

  • My = 我的
  • back= 后面
  • really = 真的
  • hurt= 疼

我的腰不好 In Chinese, the word has sexual meanings, implicitly meaning that you are weak in sex..


Depending on your tone. If you say 我的腰坏了 seriously, it means your back is hurt.

If you say 我的腰坏了 jokingly, it means you have had too much sex!


For backache, you could just say 我背疼了.


If your back hurts, you should just say 我的腰疼 or 我的腰痛.

When you say 我的腰不好, it literally means "I have a bad back". Normally this means you have a back condition, from old age or from a permanent injury. This is why it's not appropriate to say it when you simply have some back pain.

It's true that 腰 can also mean kidneys, especially in TCM, but usually people know what you're talking about in context, so in most cases it's fine to refer to your lower back as 腰.


you can say “我的腰受伤了”,but whether you say use any method,“我的腰不好”can bring misunderstand. the best way voice this thing,you can detailed description of how to hurt your waist. for example ,“我昨天摔了一跤,把腰摔伤了。”it means “yesterday i had been tripped, lead my waist injured”.

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