A recliner is also called as a reclining chair, lounger and an armchair. It is a chair that reclines when a person lowers the chair and raises its front. Its back which is used for resting can be tilted backwards and in some cases the foot rest can be extended or operated automatically when the back is in a reclined position. The modern recliners are provided with additional things such as headrest, lumbar support and footstool. Some of them come with automatic massagers, heat and vibration. Recliners were introduced in market only in 1920s. Due to their benefits, recliners got widely accepted as they offered a new level of comfort to the people. Today, recliners are found in medical hospitals, at home, in airplanes, trains and so forth. They are designed to enable relaxing and resting of the elderly people, pregnant women, post-surgical patients and people with chronic back pain. They offer comfort and can be operated effortlessly with the touch of a button or lever, one can recline the back or elevate the foot rest.

Can Recliners Help in Relieving Back Pain?

Can Recliners Help in Relieving Back Pain?

Today a number of people complain about lower back pain. It is because while working during the day, they are either standing or sitting, which puts a lot of stress on their spine. It is only when they lie down to rest that they feel relaxed. This relaxation is not achieved by sitting on a regular chair and resting the feet, since there is no rest given to the spine and lower back muscles. Sitting in a reclined position offers support to the full body, from upper back down to the legs, which relaxes the surrounding muscles and takes stress away.

Recliners are specially designed chairs that enable the user to lay their back to rest while sitting down. Recliners support the spinal region of the body by removing all the weight of the back and to ease the tension and stiffness generated in the back region.

The recliner supports the spine completely. It allows the entire back region of the body to rest and relax in reclining position. Recliner removes the weight of the back and helps to ease the stress and stiffness felt due to pain in the back of the body. It elevates the legs which prevents muscle strains. Further, it helps to improve the posture and reduce the back pain. Some recliners with a massager also promote good blood circulation.

Tips to Choose the Best Recliners for Back Pain

Most of the people these days suffer from back pain. For some people it is temporary while for others the pain is chronic. Physicians advise use of recliners to relieve this pain in the back. The popular brands include, La-Z-Boy, Barcalounger, Ashley, Basset and Lane provide variety of recliners. There are traditional recliners and modern recliners with capability to lift, provide massage and the zero gravity recliners. One needs to buy a recliner depending on one's requirements. Following are some of the tips to choose the best recliner for relieving back pain:

  • Recliners should be comfortable to the user. A recliner of appropriate size and weight should be chosen. The size should complement the height of the user. For a tall person, big sized recliners are required as compared to short size ones. Similarly the weight of recliner should be greater than the body weight of the buyer. The overall dimensions of the recliner should be such that it fits in the room where it is going to placed.
  • Recliners with soft leather fabric or soft microfiber upholstery, which offers maximum comfort to the back, should be chosen. It should be even throughout so that the person resting on it feels comfortable.
  • Recliner and its cushion should be firm to give good back support.
  • It should offer good neck and lumbar back support, which is necessary in case of patients with limited mobility and medical conditions. A recliner should also allow one to lean back at an angle of 135 degrees between the legs and the back, which puts less strain on lower discs of the spine.
  • It should not recline at fast speed, since it can cause more damage than good to the user.
  • Recliner should have good armrests, which allows one to get up easily.
  • Head rest should not be a problem.
  • It should not make or make minimal noise.
  • Buyer should check the warranty period. Any recliner should offer at least one year of warranty.
  • Buyer should check the price and it should be directly proportional to its quality.

Since it is expensive, hence one needs to be careful while purchasing a recliner. People with medical conditions should consult their doctor or orthopaedic surgeon to learn which type of recliner will work best for them.

Are Recliners Always Good for Back Pain?

Although recliners are made to provide relief from back pain, it might not be good always. According to the regular users, recliners do not always support lower back or may not have lumbar support in them. When one reclines, there is a gap between the person and the back of the recliner. Many a times the user has to slouch in the small space to fill in. This position causes stress on the ligaments and muscles of the lower back which causes damage and the person suffers more in the future. To avoid this problem, one has to put a small rolled towel in the space which provides support for the back.


Recliners can be called as one of the good inventions by modification of a chair which offers temporary relief to people with chronic back pain, elderly and people with limited mobility. Due to a variety of recliners available, one should purchase them only according to one's needs and should follow other tips too to relieve back pain.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: October 3, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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