Are Recliners Bad For Your Back?

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Reclining chairs are comfortable alternatives to arm chairs or couches. You can customize how far back you want to be reclined with your legs elevated or not.

Some people find that they are more relaxed in a recliner than an armchair, and some people find them easier to sleep in over a bed!

With a surge of popularity surrounding recliners, people don’t generally want to hear anything that goes against them. Here are some good recliners for tall people.

But could your recliner be the reason for your bad back pain? We’ll talk you through why your recliner might be at fault.

Can Reclining Hurt Your Back?

A study has actually shown that sitting reclined rather than up straight all day can be good for your back.

Sitting up straight might cause strain on your back muscles and even lead to chronic pain. The study found that the best position for your back was angled back at a 135-degree angle.

The study also showed that when you sit upright, your spine is less flexible.

When you’re lying down, your spine is naturally curved and bent, which helps distribute weight evenly across your body.

So if you spend most of your time sitting up straight, your spine will become stiffer and less flexible.

This means it’s harder to bend your spine into positions that help relieve pressure on your lower back.

This is great news for recliner lovers!

However, you might have found your way to this article because your recliner has caused harm to your back in the first place and you want to know why.

Let’s take a look at what might have gone wrong.

Why A Recliner Might Hurt Your Back

The study that we just talked about showed that reclining is better than sitting at a 90-degree angle for long periods of time.

However, what it didn’t account for was lumbar support – or lack there of it.

Your lumbar is the area between your ribs and hips and it supports your upper spine. The lumbar supports most of your body’s weight, so there is a lot of pressure on it.

If you’re sitting in a chair without any sort of lumbar support, your spine isn’t held in its natural curve.

Instead, it’s either being forced to stay straight or it is slouching into itself. Both of these scenarios are not beneficial for your spine and will likely cause back pain.

Recliners often don’t offer much lumbar support when in the reclined position.

Manufacturers can get around this as the chair will often have ample support for your lower back when in the upright position.

However, when you recline this type of chair, you’ll often find that there is a triangular gap between your lower back and the chair.

This will cause you to slouch into the chair as it provides zero support for your lower back, which can cause the pain.

Even if your back pain is at the top of your back or somewhere other than your lumbar, most pains stem from strain on this area.

So it is extremely important that we support and prevent our lower backs from straining.

Checking Your Recliner For Lumbar Support

Now that you know where your back pain might be stemming from, let’s check and make sure that your recliner is to blame.

Thankfully, there is an easy way of doing this.

Start by fully reclining the chair without sitting on it. Now notice how deep the chair is where your lower back would normally be positioned.

If the gap is surprisingly large, you can assume that your lumbar has been sinking into this hole for some time and is the reason for your back pain.

Now sit in the reclined position and really take notice of how your lower back feels and behaves in the chair.

If you feel your lower back sinking into the chair, you’ll know that you need some added lumbar support to stop this from happening.

How To Stop Recliners From Hurting Your Back

Don’t panic if you’ve found that your recliner doesn’t have any lumbar support – you don’t necessarily have to buy a completely new one.

There are many ways that you can add lumbar support to your existing chair.

First off, it might be as simple as putting a folded cushion behind your lower back when sitting on your recliner to see if this takes the pressure off of your lower back.

If successful, you can consider getting a more long term solution such as a lumbar support cushion.

Another option is to simply buy a different recliner with built-in lumbar support. Click here for some office chair options

You may also want to look into buying a separate lumbar pillow that attaches to your chair. These options can help alleviate the problem altogether.

Why Lumbar Support Is So Important

If you’ve been thinking about getting a new recliner for a while, this could be an excellent excuse! Lumbar support is something not to overlook – it could cause serious problems in the future.

The average person spends over half their day sitting down. When you’re sitting all day without lumbar support, your lower back will start to sag.

This puts pressure on your ligaments and muscles around your lower back, straining them.

If you catch this problem quickly, you can amend it and prevent yourself from suffering through chronic back pain.

Poor lumbar support has also been linked to migraines, poor posture, and even productivity.

Final Thoughts

So what does all this mean? It means that your recliner might be the culprit for your back pain.

But don’t worry – there are plenty of solutions out there to fix this problem. First, determine whether your recliner has sufficient lumbar support or not.

If not, try a pillow and see if that does the trick. Alternatively, trade up and treat your back to a new recliner altogether.

Just remember to do your research before making a purchase to ensure that it has proper lumbar support that isn’t going to further irritate your lower back.

Poor lumbar support can lead to chronic pain, so this is not something to take lightly!

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