Are power recliners good or bad for your back?

William Adams
 min read

You might find it surprising, but if you’re on the larger side, using a recliner can be a right pain in the… back. Hence the question: Are power recliners good or bad for your back?

are power recliners good or bad for your backBack pain is more common than you’d think: in the US, one in six adults complain of back issues, and it is one of the main things for which people seek treatment.

Back pain is notoriously hard to treat, and even harder to live with.

Sometimes the cause is found, but it is more the exception than the rule. There’s even a name for it: Non-specific lower back pain.

If you are aware of any health condition that may be causing you back pain, then you’re likely to be able to consult a specialist, so make sure you have a chat with your GP before.

Are power recliners good or bad for your back? Introduction

Having said that, it seems that back pain can be caused by several things: Anything from inadequate nutrition and lack of exercise to the wrong posture.

So, we hear you wonder: Has anyone come up with a recliner for bad backs?

And while we’re on it, are they any good for you at all?

Stop worrying! We’ve got the answers.

Is sitting bad for neck and back pain?

Sitting upright strains your back, leading to potentially long-term discomfort (especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle).

Studies have regularly shown the importance of adequate exercise to keep your back pain-free.

The problem is that sometimes, we just don’t have a choice.

Some of us have particular health-related conditions (not necessarily age-related), making us sit longer than desired.

While there might not be much that you can do about that, you can make sure that you are comfortably seated and try to shift position from time to time.

Is reclining in a chair bad for your back?

If you’re a slumper or a stooper, then you’re familiar with back pain, and it may surprise you to learn that sitting upright can hurt too.

But let us put your mind at rest: Recliners are not the enemy.

In fact, research has actually determined that a reclined position is better for your back than sitting upright.

Naturally, it all boils down to finding what works for you.

If sitting in a reclined position reduces your back pain, then you’ve found an easier solution than most.

Believe us when we say it’s easier to find the correct position on a recliner than trying to balance on cushions and pillows.

The angle of your recliner will be determined through trial and error.

And you’ll know what position to find according to how much it hurts, or rather, doesn’t. Let your body speak to you.

If you find that changing your position from time to time alleviates your neck and back pain, an adjustable chair can make your life that much easier.

TIP: Check our reviews of top recliners for tall and/or plus-size men.

You can choose different positions, from your head to your toes, with just a button.

And if you usually struggle to stand up, then a recliner will solve that problem too.

Are recliner couches always good for your back?

No and that isn’t the chair’s fault. Allow us to explain.

Recliners bring design and convenience to your living room.

There is absolutely nothing more relaxing than stretching out on your reclining chair after a long, tiring day at work.

But for correctness’ sake: Stop right there.

There are many health issues connected with reclining chairs. They could trigger knee pain and backaches. And it’s not the sofa’s fault.

You see, this furniture is not intended to take the place of a bed. Long naps on a recliner may be to blame if you’re experiencing discomfort in your knee, back, or hips.

But please don’t despair! A little playing around will determine the right angle you need for that post-work (or lunch) snooze.

Health advantages of buying a reclining chair sofa

Happily, you don’t have to suffer in pain for the rest of your life.

There are plenty of advantages to buying a recliner:

The impact of recliner chair couches on your back

Recliner chair sofas that offer lumbar assistance are suitable for your back, as they raise your feet above the level of your heart.

You can easily discern whether your recliner offers lumbar support by checking if there is a space between the lower back and the sofa when you put your legs up.

If it doesn’t have enough back support, you need a different model.

We don’t usually like pushing people in a specific direction. After all, to each their own.

But buying a recliner without proper back support could trigger many problems, ranging from backache to neck discomfort and leg pains.

Then again, recliner sofas have various health benefits, especially when it comes to your back.

You see, your back muscles are always active in maintaining a balance between the upper and lower body.

A recliner helps maintain this balance while seated. It also helps circulation.

With your feet up, the blood circulates more freely with less effort, reducing tension on your lower body. Your muscles and tendons will thank you for it.

Improved circulation means fewer muscle cramps and niggling body pain, particularly useful to pregnant women and arthritis sufferers.

The reclined position eliminates pain by relaxing the muscles around it.

Medical professionals suggest that osteoarthritis and back stenosis sufferers benefit from a reclining chair through its ability to raise the head and knees.

Other health consequences of reclining chair couches

Sleeping on a recliner could help with problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Heart bypass patients and sleep apnea sufferers have reported enjoying better rest using a recliner rather than a bed.

Resting on recliners is likewise recommended for anyone recovering from shoulder or hip replacement surgery.

On the other hand, recliner chair sofas are also the main reason for indigestion since many tend to nod off after a meal.

By watching television and eating while lying on their recliners, stomach acid will swell, causing indigestion, bloating, and pain.

Not to mention, of course, stomach cramps, diarrhea, throwing up, and even colitis. Not a very good idea, is it?

Frequently asked questions related to recliners and back pain

Questions are often asked about recliners and their relation to solving or causing back pain; given the topic, we thought it better to cover them.

How to select a chair for lumbar support?

Recliners can be made to measure, so you can have a chair made to your own specifics; a brilliant idea to remove stress on locations of your body, including your back.

There are various back styles to select from, with some specifically developed to support the person’s back.

When leaning to one side is an issue, consider a chair with additional cushioning that allows you to change to a position to suit you.

Besides maintaining optimal posture, anyone familiar with back pain may often need to change position while sitting down.

It is easy to appreciate the simplicity of doing this with a recliner.

Some offer more lumbar assistance than others. Therefore, when looking into your best choice, our recommendation is to focus on your particular needs.

Make sure you look out for a well-established manufacturer, one that understands your particular health issues and that offers the right chair for you.

How is sleeping in a recliner chair any different from sleeping in a bed?

While sleeping, the spine remains horizontal; your spinal cord is vertical when sitting or standing.

So when you’re asleep, the fluid is distributed evenly through the discs that form part of your spine as opposed to when you’re upright.

Sleeping in a recliner in such a position puts pressure on the spine since it remains vertical.

But don’t worry: If you elevate your feet, this pressure is lessened considerably.

If you prefer sleeping on your back, you’re going to love slumbering on a recliner.

But if you’re inclined to stretch out on your side or bury your face into a pillow, you’ll definitely prefer a traditional bed.

Is a recliner couch specifically designed for a backache a good idea?

Nowadays, recliners are specially designed to relieve backache. Are reclining chair sofas any good for your condition?

Yes, and combined with physiotherapy, they can go a long way in lessening your backache.

Being in a reclining position is far healthier than sitting upright.

Sitting upright exercises a lot of pressure on your back, increasing your chances of chronic backache.

Reclining also puts less stress on the spine’s ligaments, so a recliner can be a great choice if you suffer from backache or need to sit down for extended periods.

Are power recliners beneficial for a backache?

What’s the verdict about power recliners? Are power recliners good or bad for your back?

We’ve noticed that this is a common dilemma and came up with some points you should consider before deciding.

Unlike the manual version, power movement recliners give you a wide variety of positions at the touch of a button.

The moving parts of a power-operated recliner move individually. The positioning of, say, the footrest is independent of the upper part.

You have more control since they offer many more positions than manual recliners.

This is why they are particularly suited to anyone suffering from back issues. You can change each position individually without affecting another part of the chair.

Moreover, power recliners are perfect for persons with disabilities or plus-sized or older. No particular physical strength is needed to operate them.

For this very same reason, physicians tend to recommend them.

We’ve also discovered that power recliners are more long-lasting than manual ones, as the very nature of their operation means less wear and tear on moving parts.

Research reveals that the optimum angle for reclined sitting is between 100 and 135 degrees.

How do I understand if my chair has good or bad back support?

This is such an important point. You may well be sitting down in a position forced by your muscles adapting to back pain.

We’ve tackled this already, but it is so important that it merits repeating.

You probably don’t have enough back support if you find yourself slouching or stooping while sitting.

If your back hurts when seated, then it’s time to change.

How to buy a recliner chair couch which will not hurt your back?

And here’s the dilemma – how can we make sure that our backs won’t hurt when we’ve splashed the cash on our new shiny toy?

Personally, I’ve never bought a chair I haven’t sat on for at least five minutes, but I’ve yet to come across an indulgent salesperson that will allow me spend the night in one.

So let’s find some tips to help you out.

Is a recliner durable?

Before buying, your recliner, it is crucial to determine how long this chair is expected to last.

Many of us notice an increase in neck and back issues after a few years of use.

You’ll want good value for your money, so don’t hesitate to enquire about its lifespan.

Be sure to pay adequate attention to the mechanics of the reclining chair as well. Learn more about it by reading our related article can power recliners be operated manually?

What material is it made of?

It is essential to think about the suitable material for your recliner.

While selecting the material for your reclining couch, make sure that besides being stylish, it’s also comfortable.

Spending your money on something that is only visually pleasing is a mistake.

Does it fit your body?

Just as you wouldn’t or shouldn’t buy a pair of badly fitting shoes, you have to make sure that your chair is the right fit.

Your feet should touch the floor while sitting upright, and your head must lay comfortably on the headrest.

The space between the recliner sofa and the leg rest should be 5 inches or less.

There are so many recliners on the market with their own specific pros and cons.

Read reviews and pay close attention to the functionality of any model that has caught your fancy.

What is the perfect reclining angle when sitting?

We know that sitting upright for long may cause back pain. The good news is that reclining can decrease back pain.

Experts state that a reclining position might minimize back pain for those who have to sit for extended periods.

This position means having the back part of the seat slanted back 20 or 25 ° when compared to the front.

Researchers tell us that the best total inclination angle between the upper and lower body is 130 degrees.

Make it exciting! Try out different positions, and when you’ve found the most comfortable one, make a note of it, so you can make sure you can use it on any recliner you have.

Living with back pain can be incredibly disheartening, but your posture can help. Decreasing your pain means increasing your quality of life, so work towards it.

Recliner chairs are meant to give you optimal and hassle-free seating.

You can refresh your mind and body after a long, hard day simply by resting on your comfy recliner.

Here’s a reminder: Power recliners have more locking positions and settings than manual ones, thus offering more convenience.

If you regularly experience any back discomfort or physical problems, a manual recliner might be more challenging to use.

Its given functionality requires physical strength, unlike power recliners which can be operated automatically.

Are recliner chairs recommended for keeping a good posture?

Yes. A well-made reclining chair supports your back marvelously, just as it should.

You can discover the appropriate seating posture with the help of the adjustable function of the reclining chair.

We promise: You will definitely notice an improvement when you start using a recliner.

Remember that each of us has individual issues, so your neck and back pain needs a different approach from anyone else’s.

You may want to consider a massage recliner chair; they can help with muscle pain and spasms if you have backache.

But be warned: They aren’t usually suitable for back injuries.

In conclusion: Are power recliners good or bad for your back?

Is it good to sit in a recliner? It depends… How are you using the recliner and for how long? What about your posture?

You should preferably change your position every 45 minutes to avoid excessive pressure on one part of your body.

The overall consensus is that yes, they can work wonders.

However, we cannot emphasize this enough: Consult medical experts if you’re unsure.

About William Adams

I’m an engineer and a happy plus-size individual myself. I love to blog online if I can have a positive impact on the lives of others. I help other plus-size people with in-depth product guides to make shopping for products and services less stressful in their busy lives. Read More