Are Recliners Bad for Your Hips? 2022 Guide to Using Recliners

If you’re reading this, you are probably having pains in your hips and think maybe your recliner is the problem. Well, you may be wrong or right; you’ll find out which after digesting this short read.

You see, recliners are my favorite chairs because they ‘recline’. No, for real, recliners make having a bed mundane. And if you happen to have had the misfortune of suffering an injury requiring surgery like shoulder surgery, then you’ll appreciate the use of recliners for recovery after surgery.

Anyway, back to the topic – are recliners bad for your hips? To answer this, we need to understand the root cause of the hip pains and then proffer solutions for the same.

General View of Hip Pains: Root Causes

Hip pains can be caused by a few factors – but it is mostly ignorantly self-inflicted.  How so?

When you sit on one spot for extended hours – like in a recliner chair, mechanisms like glutes, hip extensors, hamstrings, and even flexor muscles become strained because of the bending of your knee.

When you raise your body into a standing position after sitting for too long, these mechanisms must have maxed out their energy and have to return balance urgently to support your body weight.

This sudden need for weight support coupled with the almost zero energy in the leg muscles and tissues at that point causes discomfort that is felt in the hips. This discomfort can be from mild to severe.

Now that we have discussed the major causes, which are typically – self-inflicted (that doesn’t take away the fact that accidents and sports injuries and more can also cause hip pains though), should you ditch your reclining chair?

Will I Need to Ditch My Recliner?

Are you thinking of retiring your recliner because you feel considerable hip pain whenever you use it? While there are right ways to use a recliner for the best results, there are also recliners that may be bad for you.

This is why in all our reviews featuring recliners; we feature only the best (see here) and this sadly means that a lot of times, products we recommend are out of stock because a lot of people need to get their hands on the best.

You see, a recliner that doesn’t match up with your body’s need will always cause you problems.

If you’re a TV lover or game addict and also a bulky fellow, chances are that you may be sitting for long hours. If your recliner doesn’t particularly suit your body needs, it will be a problem in the long run.

However, some other people only turn into their recliners after a long day’s work – for relaxation of course and that way, there can hardly be any issues with the use of the machine.

Here are some reasons why your recliner may be the cause of the hip discomfort you’re suffering:

  • The recliner’s inefficient lumbar support
  • The recliner may not suit your size
  • Wrong footrest measurement
  • Wrong sitting position

Let us look into these issues one after the other.

Inefficient Lumbar Support

One of the most important parts of a recliner chair is the lumbar support. If the recliner doesn’t provide proper lumbar support, it will be useless to spend a dime on it.

The lumbar support area must be strong enough to cancel out the user’s weight – failure in this aspect will amount to discomfort in the hip tissues and muscles.

You must check if the recliner’s back and hip supports are strong enough to support and evenly distribute your weight, to avoid constant hip pains.

The Recliner May Not Suit Your Size

Using a recliner that is either too small or big for you can be a huge problem. Now it may not be about the overall recliner but its seat size.

Having a recliner with a seat size that is too small will mean your hip muscles press against the inside of the recliner’s armrests and this can cause considerable pain over time. On the other hand, using a recliner with too large a seat means you will have to move often. This constant person-recliner movement can weaken the hip muscles and cause discomfort and pains.

Additionally, the height of the recliner can be very important in determining if the recliner will cause you pain or not. Some recliners have adjustable height while some don’t and if you use to use one that isn’t adjustable, despite not suiting your height, your hips can undergo lots of pressure as they will press against the backrest and cause pain.

Wrong Footrest Measurement

You can’t talk about a good recliner without mentioning the footrest and its efficiency. The footrest allows your lower parts to relax thereby reducing pain and discomfort in areas like the hips and legs.

Your recliner’s footrest requirement is relative to your height requirement. The footrest should extend and raise well enough so that your legs hang just over it. This way, there will be a great elimination of pressure on the spine and heels, which will affect how much pressure the hip bone and muscles undergo.

Wrong Sitting Position

When you sit wrongly on your recliner, you put your hip muscles under too much pressure and pains/discomfort is just a heartbeat away.

You must sit with your back correctly placed on the backrest of the recliner. Also, the recline angle matters a lot and if you’re relaxing, it is better to sit at an angle of 90° with your feet slightly raised to reduce pressure on your spine.

If you’re going to be sitting for long, it is advisable to place the recliner in an upright 90° position but if you just want to relax for a while, a reclined position is advisable.

Final Thoughts

Sitting in your recliner bent for prolonged hours can be a source of hip pain. Your posture also is important in determining how comfortable you will be while using the recliner.

Finally, you should check out what your body needs and ensure that the recliner you choose to use adequately matches your expectations.

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