Here's some news that 80 percent of the U.S. population should take sitting down. According to a nationwide survey, a majority (68 percent) of primary care physicians say they are likely to recommend that a patient sit in a reclined position to help alleviate back pain – a suggestion that should come as welcome news to the 8 out of every 10 Americans who will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.
"We hear a lot about the importance of exercise and stretching muscles to relieve back pain but the fact is that resting those muscles properly is just as important," says Dr. Dave David, a board-certified physician who has been practicing medicine for more than 30 years. "Sitting in a reclined position provides full body support – from the upper back down to your legs – which relaxes surrounding muscles, ultimately taking tension away from the pain-ridden area."
According to the survey of primary care physicians from across the U.S., 80 percent of doctors prefer patients to sit in a reclined position with legs elevated up high and the back partially or fully reclined. Dr. David agrees that this position provides the appropriate lumbar support and pressure needed to help alleviate pain in back muscles, especially those in the lumbar area that are used for stability and are a vital part of the body's core.
"Any type of pain stemming from the spinal area will have a significant impact on the body's overall feeling and function," explains Dr. David. "Even a few minutes resting in a properly reclined position can make a huge difference."
The survey also uncovered that the types of back pain doctors feel can be most alleviated by sitting in a reclining position include muscle strain (77 percent), degenerative changes (61 percent) and pregnancy associated back pain (60 percent).
For maximum relief, Dr. David recommends relaxing in reclining furniture that offers total body and lumbar support as well as varying degrees of reclining, since every person has unique support needs. This is great news for the millions of fans of La-Z-Boy reclining chairs and sofas, which offer customizable reclining options with exclusive benefits, including:
- No added back strain. A Patented Three-Position Legrest offers a choice of locking positions to keep the back reclined.
- Multiple reclining angles. A Patented Reclining Mechanism allows for 18 incremental tilt positions to fit different comfort preferences.
- More comfort options. An Independent Back Recline feature allows the user to recline the back of the chair with the legrest in the closed position.
- Total body support. A Patented Full-Layout Recline Position means the user can kick back and stretch out for full-body relaxation.
"Over the years we've heard from many customers that La-Z-Boy reclining chairs and sofas have helped them relieve their back pain," said Doug Collier, chief marketing officer for La-Z-Boy. "We are pleased to now have support from the medical community that recognizes the genuine relief our reclining furniture can bring."
"Back pain is one of the top reasons people visit their doctors," adds Dr. David. "My patients are always pleased to learn that reclining is a real solution to help ease their pain. I hope that with this new research, other sufferers can find relief too."
And, yes, doctors enjoy a taste of their own medicine when it comes to reclining. Six in 10 of the physicians surveyed personally own reclining furniture at home (beyond their desk chairs).