If you’re suffering from pain in your lower or upper back, you’ve likely tried any number of treatments and products to find relief. One of the most comfortable ways to ease your pain is by spending time in some of the best recliners for back pain. While they won’t treat your pain directly, they can provide support and comfort while resting. Here’s some of our favorites.
What’s the impact of back pain?
Most people in the United States will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, so it’s not surprising that relieving back pain has become a big challenge—both on a personal physical level and monetarily.
A 2016 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) estimated that, in 2013 alone, people in the U.S. would spend an estimated $87.6 billion on treatments for lower back and neck pain. That number represents an increase over previous years. Assuming the trend has continued since 2013, the total is even greater now in 2018.
As this hefty price tag implies, there is a staggering quantity of products and treatments available for lower back pain. Among these products are recliners for back pain sufferers. Given the many things people use recliners for (napping, gaming, reading, watching TV, etc.), investing in one that will ease rather than exacerbate lower back pain is a smart decision. But with so many recliners on the market, how can you be certain your share of that $87.6 billion is going to a product that will truly help you?
In this article, we give tips on how to select a high-quality recliner for your pain. We’ll also provide advice on how to determine if a recliner is good for you.
Are recliners good for lower back pain?
Excessive sitting has been linked to a whole host of medical problems, including back pain. Exercise, though helpful, is not enough to fully mitigate the damage caused by too much sitting. Even those not currently suffering from lower back pain can benefit from spending more time on their feet, either walking or using a standing desk if at work.
However, we all know that some sitting is part of life. What can you do to reduce back pain during the time you do spend sitting? The right recliner can help to relieve aches and pains. However, not all recliners are created equal. The wrong one—i.e. a chair that doesn’t offer enough padding or has padding in the wrong places—could actually make your back pain worse. That’s why it’s vital to do your due diligence when it comes to selecting a durable, comfortable recliner that fits your needs.
Above all, it’s important to remember that even the best recliner is no substitute for talking to your doctor. If you’re experiencing back pain, scheduling an appointment with a medical professional should always be your first step.
How to find the best recliners for back pain
With so many retailers selling recliners of all shapes and sizes, finding the perfect one for you (and your budget!) can be tough. Online and in-person retailers offer a wide variety of recliners to choose from, including recliners with features designed specifically to reduce aches and pains. But, as with any major purchase, take great care before investing in something that will, if all goes well, be with you for a long time.
The best way to judge a recliner is, of course, to try it out. Good Housekeeping suggests sitting in a chair for at least five minutes to make sure it is comfortable and supports you where you most need it. It’s also a good idea to make sure the chair’s frame is constructed well. For example, look that it uses large metal screws rather than plastic fasteners. Ask the salesperson (if available) or look to reviews to see what you can expect when it comes to longevity.
If you are shopping online and can’t try a recliner in person, there are still ways to ensure you’re spending your money wisely. Read the product description and customer reviews carefully. Is it made from a durable material, like poplar or plywood? Did other customers with pain similar to yours find the recliner helpful? Does it come with a warranty? If so, how long does the warranty last?
How to get back support without a recliner
Recliners are not the only tool out there that can help alleviate lower back pain while sitting. Simply being aware of how you sit can be your first most important step.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends, among other things, keeping your feet flat on the floor rather than crossing your legs. This will ensure that you aren’t putting more pressure on your lower back than necessary. Good posture is no cure-all, but it can give you an extra advantage in the fight against back pain.
If you do have money to spend but would like to try something smaller and less expensive than a recliner, Amazon offers a multitude of lumbar support cushions to choose from. These are specially designed to provide extra support to the lower back, so you can use them to make any chair, including your current recliner or a car seat, a little more comfortable.
Most lumbar support cushions range in price from approximately $20 to $30. Some come with extra features, such as anti-slip covers, memory foam, or straps to secure the cushion to the chair. As with recliners—or, indeed, any purchase meant to ease back pain—it’s up to you to determine which one best fits your budget and your needs.
3 of the best recliners for back pain under $400
Ready to learn about some of the best back pain recliners that could help you? These are our picks if budget is a concern.
Note: PainDoctor.com does not endorse, nor do we make any money off the sale of these products. This information is provided for the benefit of patients based on patient reviews. Always ask your doctor if you have questions. Prices shown are at the date of the post’s publish date, and may differ.
Why you should consider it: this recliner is much more affordable than other models, but it still vibrates, massages, and provides heat to the lower back. Bestazy ranked it as their Best of the Best recliner for back pain in 2018.
Features: Extra padding, multiple cup holders and pockets, 360-degree swivel, extra cushioning
What users say: “The chair is so comfortable and massages better than I expected. One part of it arrived slightly damaged and the seller responded right away and quickly sent out a new replacement part. I am completely satisfied. You won’t find a chair like this for such a low price anywhere.”