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Could Recliners Be Bad for Your Back?
Old 06-09-2011, 08:03 AM   #1
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Could Recliners Be Bad for Your Back?

I've spent a lot of time either in one of our La-Z-Boy recliners (reading, sleeping, or watching TV)



or this leather recliner (on the laptop)



But recently, when my back was sore, just a few minutes in either of these chairs caused it to get a lot worse. Although I would feel completely comfortable in the chairs, when I got out of them, my back hurt more. Note that both chairs feel as if they are supporting my back just right.

It's true that at that point, almost anything other than standing or lying down made things worse.

So the question is: when my back is fine, are these chairs putting stress on it? Can I use the compromised back as a canary-in-the-coalmine type indicator that there's damage being done that, in normal circumstances, I don't notice?
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:07 AM   #2
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To me, when I have a bad back I actually get in my recliner as it makes my back feel better...

The only negative is there are some that have big pillow head rests and they seem to push your head forward which can cause some problems... but my back problem is at the bottom of my spine....
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:10 AM   #3
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YouTube - ‪End Back Pain: Stretchsitting‬‏

This is very helpful I believe. Also, her voice is really fun to listen to.

Ha
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:42 AM   #4
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Al, It was over a month ago that you hurt your back and you are still in a lot of pain . Maybe it's time for a second opinion and possibly some physical therapy?
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:42 AM   #5
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Was leaned back in the recliner, reach up to get my beer, and pulled a muscle...
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:43 AM   #6
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It's an interesting idea that the recliners might be harmful. As an alternative theory about why your back hurt worse when you got out of a recliner, maybe while standing, before using the recliner, you had accommodated to the pain and so just weren't noticing it. The recliner helped, but when you got up again, you needed time to get used to the renewed higher pain level.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg
Al, It was over a month ago that you hurt your back and you are still in a lot of pain . Maybe it's time for a second opinion and possibly some physical therapy?
No, I'm a lot better now. I think I would have healed in 2-3 weeks if I hadn't had to play piano. I got better, then practiced for five hours in one day and it was back to the drawing board.

That stretch-sitting thing is great and I am doing it right now. Stretch lying also good. They provide immediate relief and I suspect they are quite beneficial. The accent: her mom was Dutch and she grew up in India. Her book is good.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:26 AM   #8
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Maybe you need one of those upside down recliners that stretch your spine out.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:23 PM   #9
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I have a homemade square throw pillow, filled with very soft fiberfill (looks like cotton candy) and a plush teddy bear, filled with same type of material. I use them for my lower back, upper back, or as a headrest (teddy) as needed when I sit on my leather recliner or couch. Sometimes I don't need anything.
Mr B has permanently commandeered the leather recliner. He says it is the most comfortable recliner he ever sat in. It molds to his shape easily and is very soft but has firm support.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:26 PM   #10
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I don't know if sitting in a recliner is bad for one's back, but I do know this.

Turning a heavy recliner upside down and wrestling unsuccessfully with the stupid mechanism underneath when it gets stuck and won't move for anything is murder on one's back. It's even worse when the malfunctioning recliner is one of two in an unbelievably heavy Laz-y-boy sofa like the one that I gave to the Salvation Army last fall. Yes, the recliner thingee was permanently stuck in the "feet up" position but they said they would fix it and were glad to get it.

Well, maybe I just have had bad luck with recliners, or maybe my personality type is a little too intense to mesh with recliner ownership. At any rate, I stick to easy chairs with ottomans, now. Much less stressful for me.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:30 PM   #11
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You are living to far below your means Al. I can tell by the hat. Turn the heat up, that will warm your muscles and improve the back .
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:25 PM   #12
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Turning a heavy recliner upside down and wrestling unsuccessfully with the stupid mechanism
Been there. I once spent hours trying to eliminate a squeak that would wake me up when Lena finished her nap. No success.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:44 PM   #13
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Been there. I once spent hours trying to eliminate a squeak that would wake me up when Lena finished her nap. No success.
Slow, fat, hanging right over the plate... I can hear REWahoo typing already!
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:46 PM   #14
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Al: You Googled this guy - saveyourself.ca - on the Body by Science thread. Did you notice that he is all about fixing back pain?
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:19 PM   #15
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So the question is: when my back is fine, are these chairs putting stress on it? Can I use the compromised back as a canary-in-the-coalmine type indicator that there's damage being done that, in normal circumstances, I don't notice?
Yes. Your lower back needs lumbar support which most chairs don't have, especially soft back sofas and recliners. A lifetime of improper seating catches up with some of us and seems to be aggravated by back strains.

Regularly stretching the lower back will help. There are some very specific stretches that are simple and very effective you can do on the floor. A link to this website was posted by Alan some time ago I have found very effective BackFitPro.com for stretching and strengthening advice. DW uses an inversion table. I find it helpful for my neck and shoulders but not for the lower back.

You asked in another thread if stretching and strengthening really worked. My experience is there is no "cure" for decades of bad posture, but stretching and strengthening keeps the pain to a minimum and I have the sense that my back is rehabilitating slowly but truly. I also use a Herman Miller aeron chair (I'd probably be a basket case without it) and a lumbar pillow when I know I'll be spending extended time in poor seating.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:41 PM   #16
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Slow, fat, hanging right over the plate... I can hear REWahoo typing already!

This had me LOL! Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:47 PM   #17
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Slow, fat, hanging right over the plate... I can hear REWahoo typing already!
Self restraint is my only weakness...
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:56 PM   #18
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Was leaned back in the recliner, reach up to get my beer, bong and pulled a muscle...
Fixed it for ya HFRW I hear ya baby. I'm gettin' too old for that $hit too.

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Old 06-09-2011, 08:46 PM   #19
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I'd smoke weed with Willie...

Al, if it's squeaky, you need more lubricant...
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:01 AM   #20
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My recliner is the only comfortable place when my back hurts
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