Nearly everyone suffers from back pain at one time or another, but chronic back pain is a growing problem in America. It’s also an expensive one. According to The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, back pain costs Americans more than $100 billion each year.
Preventing back pain is much cheaper and easier than treating it. Identifying the cause of your back pain also helps prevent it. Poor lifting strategies, overexertion and ill-fitting shoes are some of the most readily identified culprits. And while you may follow ergonomics in the workplace, you may not have considered your back when it comes to your favorite chair at home.
Always Watch Your Back
If you do a lot of heavy lifting, chances are you have personal equipment such as a back brace or weight supporting belt. If you’re participating in aggressive exercise like CrossFit, you focus on your stance and technique. If you’re on your feet a lot, you probably choose shoes with good support. That’s the type of attention you should be paying to your favorite chair.
After a hard day’s work, it’s nice to settle into that comfy chair to relax. But it can lead to a late night of binge watching your favorite show. You may even wake up in the chair, not realizing you fell asleep. Maybe you spend way more time in that chair than you realize, scrolling through social media or reading a good book. If the chair is more comfortable than supportive, it may be a not-so-obvious source of back pain.
Preventing Back Pain When You Snooze in Your Chair
If you have a subpar mattress, you may think you’re better off sleeping in your chair. But you may want to replace your current mattress instead. You should replace an inexpensive mattress every eight years; better mattresses come with 20-year warranties. An older, lumpy, uneven mattress may be the source of your back pain. If you’re really interested in preventing back pain, choose the right mattress.
Changing your chair, on the other hand, could mean the difference between preventing back pain and suffering more. Choosing a chair based on comfort and not support can lead to back problems. It’s possible to keep your cozy chair and prevent back pain if you follow a few guidelines, such as:
- Invest in a quality chair. The right chair not only allows you to relax, but also relieves pressure on your back. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for support.
- Stand up during commercials. Not only does this suggestion take the pressure off your back, but it also allows you to wake up and not fall asleep as readily.
- Make a habit of noticing your posture. Pay attention to your spinal alignment. Be aware of any pressure points.
- Enjoy your recliner for relaxing and your bed for sleeping. In this way, you can prevent back pain.
There are a few reasons that you may want to sleep in your chair, such as after surgery or when you’re avoiding your bed because of a substandard mattress. Otherwise, chances are falling asleep in your chair doesn’t do much for preventing back pain. Now is a good time to examine your everyday chairs to see if they could be a source of your back pain.