Are you considering buying a recliner for back problems but are worried about whether recliners are suitable for back pains or not?
If yes, then you have come to the right place, as we’ll cover everything in this article. Most of us spend our days in standard office chairs with hunched-up shoulders. Coming home, we need a comfortable place to relax.
We understand that choosing the right recliner for this purpose can be a difficult decision. You need answers to questions like whether it solves neck and hip pains.
If you don’t do the required research and buy one without thinking, you will waste your money and get chronic pain problems. In addition, you will also ruin your leisure time in this way.
However, worry not. In this article, we’ll answer your burning questions about recliners and what they do for your back.
We also tell you how to buy a fitting recliner for yourself to have the best possible experience. So, without further wait, let’s get into it!
Why Are Recliners Good For Your Back?
Recliners are suitable for your back. They can help alleviate back pain problems. Here we list several reasons behind it.
1. Best Angles
Reclining offers the best angle for sitting. Most people have the wrong perception about the appropriate angle for sitting. They believe sitting upright at 90 degrees is the ideal position. However, that is not true. Studies suggest that sitting upright like that for long periods can hurt your back.
So, according to the experts, the most suitable sitting position’s angle is 135 degrees. The pressure on your back is minimal at this angle, and you will experience almost no discomfort.
2. Zero Gravity Position
A suitable recliner provides proper lumbar support. The frame is designed in such a way that it supports your spine perfectly. Recliners keep your body in a so-called “zero gravity position.” It is the equivalent of standing in space!
Usually, when you are standing, gravity acts on your body. It exerts negative pressure on your bones and joints. However, in a zero-gravity position, your feet level is higher than the heart. This position allows for complete relaxation of all muscles and relieves pain. It takes the weight away from your back.
Also Read: How To Sit After Back Surgery?
3. Extra Features
Extra features in the recliner make the experience more comfortable. First, there is an adjustable head tilt that keeps your head elevated and prevents neck strain. Second, most recliners have built-in footrests. With the help of footrests, you can pull your feet up.
So, there is absolutely no pressure on the lower back, so you will not experience any pain in this region. Additionally, it saves you from future knee problems since they are no longer in a bent position.
Choose A Recliner That Fits You
Just as clothes have different sizes and fit us. The same is the case with recliners, as they come in several other builds. A recliner must fit your body. Only then can it provide the appropriate support.
A recliner that is too big or too small can worsen the situation by causing complications such as mild to severe pains in the back, knee, ankles, and joints. Typically, a recliner is made keeping the general male body in mind. However, companies cater to other categories as well. We have listed them below:
- Petite (5’4″ & under)
- Small (5’5″- 5’9″)
- Tall (5’10”- 6’2″)
- Extra Tall (6’3″ & up)
Must Visit: Recliners for Degenerative Disc Disease & Tailbone Pain
How To Pick The Right Recliner For Yourself?
You need to make sure that the recliner’s height, depth, and width conforms to your body. You can ensure that by following a simple checklist. We have explained the process below for your convenience.
- The first pressure point to check is the knees and feet. As you lay back, your knees need to be at a 90 degrees angle, and your feet should touch the ground.
- Second, you need to check for the shoulders’ checkpoint. When you sit down, your shoulders should naturally rest at the point where the two cushions meet.
- Third, you need to check for lumbar support. The seat should ultimately support the natural curve of your spine without any hollow spaces. There should be no tension.
- The following pressure point is that of the neck. The headrest should not cause it to move forward. If there is any strain, switch to another recliner.
- The last pressure point is of knees and calves. Your legs should not be dangling too far away from the footrest; they should be relatively near the footrest’s edge.
Other Health Benefits
Believe it or not, using a recliner offers other health benefits too. We have listed a few of them here.
1. Improved Lung Health
Recliners improve lung health. You may wonder how so? Well, when you are in a reclined position, your lungs and diaphragm have more room to expand. More space allows for deeper breathing that significantly improves respiratory health down the road.
Furthermore, the air is usually blocked in hunched-over positions. However, in a recliner, you can altogether avoid that since you are lying down straight.
2. Improved Digestion
Surprisingly, recliners also help improve digestion. Most adults experience acid reflux after eating food at night. It is because the valve at the bottom of your esophagus remains partially open. When you are lying, gravity no longer acts on stomach contents to keep them down.
However, sitting in a reclined position helps prevent stomach contents from coming back up. Moreover, reclining also promotes complete and smooth processing of food since you are in a relaxed place.
3. Better Circulation
Additionally, recliners also improve circulation. We mentioned earlier that recliners provide a zero-gravity position. So, there’s no pressure on any of your body parts, and blood can flow better. Better blood flow means better heartbeat.
The heart can pump satisfactorily. It relieves pain from every muscle and joint by pumping effectively. Some people might say that recliners can be bad for knees and circulation might be blocked to feet, but the footrest option fixes that.
4. Reduces Other Complications
Recliners reduce significantly reduce the load on the spine. Your back is not hunched over, so no force is acting on the spine in this position. It reduces your chances of developing complications such as slipped disc, compressed nerves, muscle, and bone breakdown in the long run.
Recliners are perfect for rest after back surgery. Moreover, pregnant women can also greatly benefit from recliners. It competently supports their weight and prevents back pains.
Are Recliners Bad For Your Hips?
No, recliners are not bad for your hips, as they provide proper lumbar support. When you are sitting upright, your body weight is applied to the hips. However, when you are sitting in a reclined position, all your weight is equally distributed. So, no extra weight is applied to the hip region.
You can inspect whether a recliner provides good hip support. To check, look for any hollow spaces between your back and the chair while sitting. If there are any hollow spaces, then your hips will sink into that space. Such a chair cannot provide adequate support.
Are Recliners Bad For Your Neck?
No, recliners are not bad for your neck. Most recliners are designed in such a way that they accommodate your neck. In this way, you won’t experience any neck pain. Before purchasing a recliner, you can test whether it supports your neck or not.
You can do so by observing the position of your neck when reclined. The position of the upper vertebrae should be the same as when you are standing. Furthermore, if you experience some discomfort, you can easily adjust it by adding a neck pillow at the base of your skull.
When Is A Recliner Bad?
Recliners indeed solve back pains, but there are instances with opposite results. In those cases, the problem is sitting too much. People who spend a significant part of their day laying around in their recliners report back pain. However, the problem lies with the lifestyle and not the recliner.
It is a passive way of life, and no one encourages it. In such cases, it can lead to difficulties like joint stiffness and deep vein thrombosis. So, always remember not to stay in the recliner for hours. You should frequently get up and walk around to avoid such complications.
Also Read: List of 5 Ergonomic Recliners For Dementia Patient
Summing it up, sitting in an ordinary chair keeps you in a hunched-over position. It keeps your chin upright and head at an uncomfortable angle. With the back curved, the spine takes pressure. However, the recliner saves from all these problems. It proves to be beneficial for back pains as well as hip and neck pains.
After reading this article, you also know how to pick the most suitable recliner for yourself by keeping all the pressure points in mind. We hope that now you can make a wise decision with this information, and you will consider buying a recliner. If you have any more questions, you can contact us.
About The Author
Dr. Patricia is a healthcare consultant and a Chiropractors at the American health association department. She loves writing about physical therapy & health improvement tips. And She always suggest top rated products for better health ergonomics.