The kind of recliner you choose and how you sit and recline on it will significantly impact how rested you feel after being tired of your hectic routine.
Neck pain can also be caused by the twisting and bending you do throughout the day before sitting in the recliner chair.
So, choosing the right recliner, eliminating some everyday sitting habits, and knowing how to best position yourself in a reclining chair can help alleviate neck pain and relieve stress.
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Can Recliner Cause Neck Pain? Let’s Dive Inside
Throughout the day, we have so many habits that can cause back pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain. This may be one reason you sometimes wonder why your neck aches while reclining in a recliner.
In some cases, pain is age-related or provoked by things such as constantly looking down while using our cellphones or computers or slouching forward while working or sitting.
Therefore, sitting in a recliner without proper lumbar support or bending your head forward will only worsen the pain. The answer to the question can recliners cause neck pain will depend on a few more factors that are discussed in more depth later on.
If any of these resonate with you, you’re not alone. These are the most common seating positions and ill-advised habits. And although most of us do them wrong (incorrectly), there are ideal recliners and the proper way to sit or recline that is much more comfortable and provides the spine and neck with the appropriate support it needs for a better sitting experience.
How To Choose and Use The Best Recliner?
The rule of thumb for choosing a suitable recliner chair is that it should support your back correctly from the lower spine to your cervical spine. Look at this article on our suggested recliner for neck pain, where I discuss in detail what factors should be considered and recommendations for the best recliners that will support your overall posture well.
Mostly, people experiencing neck pain usually face small sensations at first that their bodies are telling them to change their posture while sitting or performing daily tasks that could put pressure on their neck.
People may initially become comfortable with such sensations and improper postures at first, but as they continue to sit in such ill-advised positions and don’t support their neck correctly, they can develop all kinds of neck problems as they continue sitting that way and may only realize once it’s too late.
Aside from neck strain and a stiff neck, you can experience spinal problems that, over time, can lead to permanent damage.
In order to avoid these issues, the following 6 tips can help you make lifestyle adjustments to promote healthy neck posture while sitting in a recliner.
1. Testing A Recliner For Neck Support
The following steps can help ensure that your recliner fits your neck and the rest of your body properly:
Avoiding The Space Between The Chair And Your Neck Is Beneficial
Ideally, your neck should not have any space between your chair and the back of your head. If there is any gap without proper neck support, it may result in neck pain and sometimes back discomfort.
The best way to position your neck to avoid neck pain is by ensuring that you place your neck correctly on the recliner’s headrest and maintain a comfortable posture while lying in your favorite chair.
Recliners That Offers Smooth Reclining Positions Are The Best
When testing an ergonomic neck recliner, there are two things your chair should offer: comfort and a smooth and stable recline motion.
People often neglect these small things when sitting or reclining. However, they can have a negative impact on their health in the long run, especially if the recliner does not have a smooth yet comfortable motion. Their necks will feel pain, and their backs will ache; as a result, making them think that they are in recliners that are bad for their neck.
It is obvious that sitting or reclining in a comfortable recliner will be relaxing, but the key is to avoid improper posture so that you won’t think about whether are recliners bad for your neck.
2. Where Should Your Head Be In A Recliner?
An average male body head weighs 7% of his entire body, so having an uncomfortable position for the head and neck can lead to neck pain. [source]
Therefore, you should know how to position your neck correctly when sitting in a recliner. This way, you can avoid pain in your nape area.
So, where should your head be in a recliner?
Ideally, it would be best to sit tall, have your chin tucked in, and your shoulder blades back. This positioning is called “neutral spine,” meaning your head isn’t directly hanging forward on your neck but isn’t pulled back either.
Similarly, your shoulders should be straight and rest comfortably on your recliner’s cushioned surface, your back should not be arched, and your head should be level with your spine.
3. How To Use Neck Pillows On Recliner?
It can be painful to sit or recline if your neck is straining from the headrest of your recliner or your neck curve is uncomfortable. In this case, a neck pillow or rolled-up towel will help relieve the tension.
Placing a neck pillow on a recliner is actually very simple. All you have to do is lace it on the chair’s headrest and let it adjust according to your neck’s comfort preference.
Next, you should lie back on the chair and let the pillow properly support your neck. Using a neck pillow for an extended period of time can make your neck feel warm, but it will be very helpful in preventing pain and other neck problems.
4. Positions Recommendations According To The Seated Person
There are two positions to rest in a comfy recliner chair: upright and reclined. We’ll discuss the proper way to position your neck while sitting in a recliner, both upright and reclined, to avoid back strain and other problems caused by improper posture.
Correct Sitting Posture in Upright Position
Sitting upright or reclining in a recliner depends on the seated person’s adjustability. Therefore, it is imperative to know how to properly sit in an upright position in a recliner to avoid neck pain and other body aches.
- Put your back straight and your shoulders back. Your buttocks should rest on the back of your chair.
- Slouch entirely and let your three normal back curves be naturally curved, preventing back strain and other body aches.
- You can benefit from placing extra pillows behind your neck and using a lumbar pillow while reclining in a recliner to support the natural curve of your spine.
- Put equal weight on both hips.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor so that you feel stable.
- Avoid crossing your legs or knees, and make sure your knees bend at the right angle.
- Don’t sit in the same position for more than 25 to 30 minutes.
Correct Sitting Posture In Reclined Position
Here’s how to sit correctly in a reclined position:
- Before reclining, the first thing is to sit in a proper upright position and let your body be relaxed.
- Your neck should be naturally curved, not arched. If there’s a gap while reclining between the neck and headrest of the recliner, try to place the neck pillow.
- Then depending on the type of recliner, operate the reclining adjustability manually or by a power system, and adjust the reclining position according to our preferences.
- Your back should comfortably rest on the backrest of the recliner when you are reclined.
- Your shoulders should be back, and your elbows should be naturally bent on the recliner’s armrest.
- The footrest of a recliner should provide adequate support for your feet so don’t feel any discomfort.
5. What To Do If Recliner Is Not The Cause Of Your Neck Pain?
If you experience neck pain, don’t just assume it’s from sitting on a recliner sofa or sleeping on pillows; it means something else is causing the pain in the neck. So, please make an appointment with your doctor so they can run some tests and figure out what the cause is.
If I feel any unusual physical stress, I think of moments in my past when the situation seemed similar, which might have contributed to my discomfort.
Similarly, you can remember times when you had neck aches or other body aches, like when you were physically uncomfortable for a long time because you sat too long in an awkward position on your office chair or accidentally slept in an uncomfortable position.
6. Excercise And Stretching
Even when reclining in a comfortable chair for a long time, it is recommended that you don’t sit for a prolonged period of time. It can make your neck stiff and can lead to constant pressure on your back muscles after being in the same position for a while or from the improper position you might be in.
Therefore, you should perform short sets of strengthening and stretching exercises to keep your neck muscles strong throughout the day.
The chin tuck exercise is one of the simplest exercises to do. This exercise strengthens the muscles that align the head over the shoulders. [source]
Are Recliners Bad For Your Neck? – Conclusion
In conclusion, the recliner is not impaired by itself or bad for your neck, and your neck will thank you for using the right recliner chair when resting. However, improper use of a recliner can lead to discomfort in your neck, back, shoulders, hips, and legs.
To avoid this, you should practice these six tips listed above. These six tips are easy to follow and will ensure that your recliner is used correctly. Therefore, when you read this article, you will have learned how to use the recliner correctly and take good care of your neck.