Is Your Recliner Causing Your Back Pain?

by Dr. Wendy Schauer, D.C., R.K.C. on October 3, 2012


Lounging In Recliner

It is the end of the day, you are tired and you just want to sit down. You plop down in your recliner, put your feet up and watch television. You believe because you are in a reclined position your back/spine is in a better position. But for some reason when you get up you are a bit stiff or even have pain in your back. Couldn’t be the recliner, could it? Most of my patients think their pain is coming from the stresses of their day, not the couple of hours sitting in their recliner.

I personally do not like recliners because they do not support your lower back. Most do not have a lumbar support in them. When you recline there is a gap between you and the back of the recliner. Your body is going to slouch into the space to fill it. It is a small space so you may not even realize you are slouching, but you are.

This position causes stress on the ligaments and muscles of the lower back. The small stretch on these structures over time will lead to micro straining of the muscles. It is no different than your hunchy computer posture but because you are reclined you think you are supported. You may not notice anything for months but the damage is slowly being done.

Luckily this one has an easy fix. Roll up a small towel or use a very small throw pillow and stuff it behind you. Now you have support for your back. I don’t know how many of my patients have said that was the miracle cure for their lower back pain. Make it a habit to have the pillow or rolled towel on your recliner so that you do not have to go looking for it. I know for myself when I am exhausted and I sit down I don’t want to have to get up to find my support.

I hope this tidbit helps.

Yours In Health!

Dr. Wendy

Margarita October 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Hi, Dr. Wendy,

I like your tips about recliners and how to roll up a small towel and put it behind my back.

I have heard that sleeping on my stomach is not good for my back. Is it true?

Dare To Command Yourself?

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