Tips to Find the Best Recliner for Back Pain
Experts say that 80% of the American population currently experiences some form of back pain. Back pain, reports the American Chiropractic Association, accounted for more than 264 million lost work days. And where does this come from?
Most cases of back pain are because of mechanical or non-organic reasons, such as wearing uncomfortable shoes becoming physically inactive and failing to maintain a healthy body weight, rather than conditions like inflammatory arthritis, infection, cancer, etc.
But, says the Association, “spinal manipulation” techniques — which are therapies that include moving and jolting joints, massage, exercise, and physical therapy — can significant and consistently improve back pain and your spine’s condition.
While it can be difficult to try and incorporate these therapies into our everyday lives, however, using a recliner for back pain can help those suffering from chronic back pain deal with their everyday experience by supporting the back while sitting and sleeping.
Spinal alignment often becomes an issue when sitting for prolonged periods of time on seating that isn’t ergonomically designed. The back’s alignment can also become weak with poor sleeping arrangements or on a mattress that simply isn’t built for the right support — or corrective support.
So how do you find the best recliner for back pain? We’ve put together a set of five tips designed to act as a self-assessment. Read through this brief but handy guide of five tips for finding the best recliner for back pain.
1. Narrowing in on Your Causes of Back Pain
Finding the right recliner for back pain should first begin with an evaluation of what the causes are and where you feel the most pain.
You should obviously consult a medical professional or at least a therapeutic specialist who might have been helping you deal with your pain issues or injury for a while now. Based on this, you’ll be able to narrow in on what kinds of features the best lazy boy recliner for back pain will need to have.
Sometimes, causes of back pain are due to sports injuries, strain from repetitive exercises or even unsupported seated positions. Back pain can also occur due to shoes with high arches (such as heels) or poor support for the heels and soles of the foot. The misalignment and increased pressure can warp spinal alignment over time and even place pressure on the knees.
Sudden strain can occur due to pinched nerves, an issue that usually results from poor sleeping positions. For example, if you sleep on your back but your neck falls sideways, your beck muscles are at risk of being pulled down and causing stiffness and pinched nerves around the area.
2. Finding a Back Recliner That Targets Your Specific Pain Area
First off, you’ll need to focus on whether your back pain is in the upper region, with the neck and shoulders, the mid back, with the scapula and lats, or the lower back pain, in the lumbar region.
What’s interesting is that “general” back pain, whether temporary or chronic, can be eased with good lumbar or lower back support. You also want a seat that allows you to spread your legs and then supports them to keep them slightly elevated.
Besides lumbar support, your mid-back pain will need a chair that is soft and that has comfortable cushioning. This also helps you soothe muscle strain that comes from strenuous work or repetitive exercise, even a sports injury.
Stabbing pains due to pinched nerves will require a soothing massage chair, which makes a good investment when considering which is the best recliner for back pain. Again, you also want to look into a chair with lower back support, as always, and look for a low footstool that accompanies the chair.
Sometimes, back pain is just the precursor to further mobility issues. If you’re an individual who has difficulty lowering themselves into the seat, you might also consider a lift chair, since these are recliners whose seat heights can be adjusted.
3) Choosing Based on Functionality and Style
When selecting a recliner for back pain, you want to make sure that your chosen chair for lower back pain fits the aesthetic of where you’re going to be using it. So if you’re looking for a chair for your home, recliners or lounge chairs like a lazy boy will be best suited for the sense of comfort and relaxation that these types of chairs give you.
However, if you’re looking for a chair that will suit your office or a workspace, you want to look for a sleek and minimalist design, once again with lumbar and neck support, but a chair that has a swivel base, armrests and the ability to adjust height.
Now that you know which areas of your back you are trying to target and what kind of functions you’ll be using your recliner or back-support chair for, you can move on to learning more about the styles and materials available on the market today.
Generally speaking, there are three broad “types” or “styles” of recliners. The best recliner chair for back pain should fall under one of these three categories for you.
Manual recliners: As the name implies, manual recliners are those that will require you, the user, to manually operate any reclining or movement of the chair. Of course, this limits many people from choosing this option because those with back pain might also have other mobility issues. However, if you’re not one of these individuals, the manual recliner may be the best back pain relief chair because it comes with an affordable price tag.
Electric recliners: Fully motorized, these recliners don’t need any manual manipulation or handling. Instead, they function with a remote control and include push button features, including lift, making them ideal for users with mobility issues.
Anti-gravity recliners: These “specialized” recliners work to elevate the user’s legs above their torso. This position allows for healthy circulation through the legs, which helps with varicose veins, helps refocus and reading your breathing and your heart rate and feels incredibly good if you suffer from chronic back pain.
4. Which Recliner Size and Materials Will Work for You?
Going for the right size of recliner is important because you don’t want to feel constricted, nor do you want to feel like you’re sinking into the sheer size of your chair.
Fit and materials matter a great deal and can help you arbitrate a decision on which the best recliner for back pain is for you. Taller people, for example, will need a larger recliner so that their lower back and spine fit the back cushioning at the right spot and they’re being supported when they sit.
Regardless of how tall or short we may be, we all have different proportions of torsos and legs. This means that even a relatively “short” person would have a different lumbar pressure point if they have a longer torso but shorter legs.
Since that proportion and distribution is different from person to person, make sure to actually sit and try the chair out before making any purchases.
As far as materials go, the most common materials for recliners are genuine and synthetic leather. The latter is usually formed from a mix of real leather or can be composed entirely of materials like vinyl.
The most durable — but the most expensive — is top-grain leather, which will last you for years to come. However, there are also recliners for back pain which come in microfiber. This material gives a good performance and is resistant to stains. However, it doesn’t last as long as top-grain leather but it’s a good and affordable alternative.
5. Going for Massage Options and Other Special Features
A good way to make a decision on which the best recliner chair for back pain is for you is to look at the features. Decide on what kind of experience you’d like to have and what are the things you’re most likely to do when you’re sitting in this chair.
For example, will you be sitting for long periods of time? Would you want to sip a drink while watching television? Do you end up falling asleep while relaxing?
Many recliners for lower back pain come with features like:
extra lumbar support
head and neck pillows
To address chronic back pain, however, there are also massage options that include:
shiatsu massagers with different speeds and intensity, controlled remotely
If you plan to use your recliner as a means to do more than just sitting — in fact, as the American Chiropractic Association says, as a form of therapy and spinal manipulation — then you want to make sure you have the right special features.
At the end of the day, finding a recliner for back pain is a matter of trying out the physical chair before buying. But use this guide as a way to narrow down your choices and pick the best recliner for lower back pain. Learn more about the health benefits of finding the right chair for you by visiting our helpful guide.