Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Dave David about recliners and back health. Back pain is one of the leading causes for doctors visits, and while there are many other treatments, many doctors think recliners can help as a part of home care.
In addition to practicing medicine for over 30 years, Dr. David has appeared on national TV and radio to give advice on various medical topics.
Passionate about helping people everywhere, he also led volunteer medical teams to such devastated areas as Sri Lanka after the 2005 tsunami and then to Haiti after the horrendous earthquake.
On the reasons for back pain:
A large chunk of the population suffers from back pain, with millions of dollars spent on it every year. Dr. David says that simply walking on two legs puts stress on the spine. Then there are sports injuries, carrying extra weight on your body, sitting for prolonged periods for work, and of course stress. Pregnancy can also cause back pain.
All these factors put stress on the back muscles around the spine which can tighten, leading to an aching back.
Why recliners can help:
Recliners can help with back pain for the simple reason that you take the weight off of your back. By reclining or lying down, you rest your spine. A reclining position is better than sitting up straight, because when you sit up straight you are still contracting your muscles.
Elevating your legs and reclining and supporting your back helps. This can help in many other medical conditions, for instance, varicose veins. The blood flow goes back to your heart and that is also good for inflammation.
About massage recliners:
Massage recliners can help, but it depends on the nature of your back pain. Massage recliners can help with muscle tightness or spasms. Especially, heat can help. But if you have back injuries then you are better off using a simple reclining position that supports your back. Its best to consult your doctor.
On using recliners for sleeping:
A semi-reclined position can help with medical conditions where a person experiences difficulty breathing. For instance, a semi-reclined position decreases severity of sleep apnea. It also helps with snoring.
On using recliners after surgery:
Do recliners help after surgery? While he thinks in general they would be good after open heart surgery or hip replacement surgery, it is better to ask your surgeon's advice. Any treatment depends on the nature of a patient's surgery.
On reclining sofas as opposed to reclining chairs:
It is a matter of personal choice as long as it supports your back. Choosing softer or firmer recliners is also a matter of personal choice, just as some like leather and some prefer fabric. As long as it supports your back and you are comfortable.
Lift chairs can help, too. They all have their advantages. It all depends on the disabilities and whatever works best for that particular disability.
Having a recliner with the capacity for multiple reclining angles helps more than anything else. 68% of doctors recommend recliners for muscle strain and also pregnancy related back pain so that the back is reclined and legs are elevated.