Is a Recliner Chair Bad for your Back?

So long as you make sure that your chair provides you with proper support, then a recliner chair can be really helpful to people who suffer from back pain or simply want to ensure that they have correct posture.

Generally speaking, sitting at a recline is one of the best ways to prevent pressure from being put on the spine. According to researchers, a 135-degree reclining position is the most ideal sitting position for reducing the risk of back pain and alleviating pressure on the spine. A reclining chair is designed to be able to recline comfortably to this angle, which will help to take the strain off your back and relieve your muscles after a long day.

However, to get the best support for your back from your recliner chair, you should make sure that the recliner is tailored to provide support to the areas where you feel you need the most support, such as the lower back. There are many recliner chairs on the market that have not been designed to offer adequate support (particularly lumbar support) which can cause the user to actually develop back pain, rather than soothe it. 

Therefore, if you don’t already have a recliner chair, try to only consider ones that offer something known as “lumbar support” which essentially means that it has been optimized to offer support to your back, particularly the lower area. However, if you do not have a recliner chair that has been built to offer lumbar support, then the next best thing that you can do to ensure that your back stays supported is to add a pillow to the lower back area of the seat, or take a towel and roll it up.

This will serve a similar purpose to recliner chairs that have been built to offer lumbar support and will ensure that your back is supported from any aches or strains. You won’t necessarily need to add any additional support pillows any higher up the chair, as all recliner chairs are built to offer support to that area, although you can if it feels more comfortable! 

Are recliner chairs good for your legs?

If you love nothing more than to stretch out on your recliner chair after the end of a long day of work, you might be wondering whether or not a reclining chair is actually healthy for your lower body, specifically your legs. Generally speaking, if you find that you only ever sit in your reclining chair for small periods of time each day, then your reclining chair won’t likely pose any risks to your legs, especially if you are an active person anyway.

However, if you find that you often spend long periods of time in your reclining chair, whether for sleep purposes or simply to catch up on your favorite shows, then this is where problems may begin to creep in. Our bodies are designed to move around, so sitting or lying in a reclining chair for hours on end is not healthy and can cause a whole host of health issues such as back pain, tension, and a general feeling of lethargy. 

However, sitting in a recliner chair for long periods of time can be particularly dangerous to the lower leg area. When you are confined to a recliner chair for many hours (such as throughout the night while you sleep) there is a risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, which is also quite commonly associated with long haul flights, where long periods of inactivity is hard to avoid.

At the very least, sitting in a recliner chair for a long amount of time can cause aching in the calf muscles and feet, so try and make sure that you get up frequently to move around and get the blood circulating.

Are recliners good for arthritis?

If you or someone you know suffers from arthritis pain, then we’re sure you already know how everyday activities that should be relatively easy (such as eating and relaxing) can be difficult and uncomfortable. However, when it comes to sitting down and chilling out, one of the best ways to ensure that discomfort is kept to a minimum is by purchasing a chair that is both comfortable and convenient to use.

This is why recliner chairs are so helpful and handy to people that suffer from arthritis! Recliner chairs are generally considered to be very good chairs for people who suffer from arthritis because recliner chairs will allow them to sit and recline in a variety of different positions without having to actually get up and move from the chair.

Additionally, one of the great things about recliner chairs is that they are able to help you to relax down into the chair before you’ve even fully sat down, which makes both sitting and getting out of a recliner effortless. You can even purchase a recliner chair that can “rise” at the touch of a button, which will offer further assistance to people who struggle with mobility caused by arthritis. 

Is a recliner good for a herniated disc?

A herniated disc, otherwise known as a slipped disc, is one of the biggest culprits of back pain. A slipped disc occurs when a soft cushion of tissue located directly between the bones of the spine begins to push outwards. Though symptoms are not always present, one of the biggest symptoms of a slipped disc is pain caused by pressure pushed on the surrounding nerves.

However, other symptoms can consist of neck pain, numbness (or even tingling in the shoulders, back arms, and even legs) muscle weakness, and sometimes sciatica which may be caused if the disc is pressing itself on the sciatic nerve.

If you have a recliner chair or want to buy one to help alleviate pain, then you should make sure that you purchase one that offers lumbar support. This is because there are many recliner chairs on the market that do not offer this feature, and in turn can actually make your lower back pain/herniated disc even more painful than it already is.

The best features to look out for when shopping for a recliner chair suitable for a herniated disc condition are additional padding across the lumbar region (lower back) as well as good quality foam padding that will be able to soothe any aches and pains. 

On the flip side, if you currently already have a recliner chair and find that it doesn’t help to keep your lower back supported, then there are some options you can try to see if you are able to get the lower back support that you need to support your herniated disc.

For starters, the best thing to do is either purchase a long pillow that can go across the base of the seating area of your reclining chair. This will help to support your lower back while you sit in it, all while encouraging your spine to stay in proper alignment. However, if you don’t want to invest in a pillow, you could also take a towel and roll it up, and it will serve a similar purpose.

Why do my feet hurt after sitting in a recliner?

While sitting in a recliner chair, your feet are designed to drape over the end, or footrest area of the recliner - especially if you’re laying down on it. This is intentional, as all lift chairs are specifically designed for the user’s feet to hang over the end of the footrest, as this position helps to distribute weight evenly over the lower body. 

If your feet were to be laid directly on top of the footrest, due to the reclining design of the chair, it would put undue strain on the backs of your legs and heels, which would cause the muscles in your lower back and legs to become very uncomfortable and strained after a very short period of time.

In contrast, if you are sitting upright in your recliner chair, then your feet should be positioned firmly on the ground. However, if you are sitting in a reclined position with the footrest extended, then your heels should be hanging directly over the edge of the footrest as this position will allow your body weight to be evenly distributed across the entirety of your lower body, rather than just your feet. 

If you are currently experiencing pain in your feet from sitting in a recliner chair, then it is likely due to the fact that you are not sitting in the correct position. Making sure that you are placing your legs and feet in the right place (regardless of which position you are in) is extremely important to preventing aches and pains in both your lower legs and feet. By making sure that your feet are positioned correctly, your lower legs and feet will be completely relaxed, and you should no longer experience any discomfort or strain.

Will a recliner help back pain?

A recliner chair is able to offer support to those who suffer from back pain. Sitting in a standard chair or couch at a 90-degree angle can cause chronic back pain, and even cause us to hunch. In contrast, a reclined position can help to alleviate pressure from the spine as it can help to reduce pressure. 

Additionally, if you regularly suffer from back pain, it might be worth looking into a recliner chair that has been specifically designed to help alleviate symptoms of back pain. Many high-quality recliners on the market feature an adjustable powerhead tilt that will allow you to move into different positions without putting undue pressure on your back.

We also recommend picking a reclining chair that offers lumbar support features to support your lower back, however, if you already have a reclining chair that doesn’t offer lumbar support, you can remedy the problem by placing pillows behind your back.