Pain When Relaxing? It Might Be Your Couch!

Feb 27, 2023 | Chairs/Sitting

After a long day at work, many people look forward to finally getting home and relaxing on the couch. However, you might notice that after an extended period of time lounging, you have stiffness and pressure in your low back and soreness in the neck. If you get up from your sofa feeling stiff and achy, this is never a good sign!

The truth is that many modern couches don’t support good posture. In fact, they might be hindering it entirely. So, what’s going on here? Below, we dig into how many couches cause pain and postural issues, as well as what you can do about it.

Is Your Couch the Problem?

Most of us watch TV to relax and unwind. Yet, it can be anything but relaxing when no matter how you sit, you have increasing aches and pains. Or you might stand up after watching a few episodes of your favourite show, only to be met with soreness in your low back. So, what’s the problem here?

Well, many modern couches cause misalignments as you sit in them. They cause your knees to rest higher than your hips, leading you to slump forward. In turn, this causes spinal misalignments and has a negative impact on your discs and other structures.

In an ideal world, you always want to sit with your hips higher than your knees. This allows your body to assume a proper posture (without leaning forward) and prevents stress or compression on the low back.

A good way to assess whether your couch is the culprit of your low back pain is by looking at its height and firmness. Many couches, unfortunately, are soft and low in-depth, meaning when you sit in them, you sink in, and your knees come up higher than your hips. So, what can we do to fix this?

How To Relax Without Pain

If you’re on the hunt for a new couch, consider purchasing one that is shallow in depth and high in height, as well as firm. This will support your body much better than a low and soft couch.

If this isn’t an option, you can also fix the problem by lying on your side on the couch or sitting on the floor (using a cushion or seat wedge can help with sitting on the ground). This will lead to less pain, less compression, and a less slumped posture. 

A few more tips here:

  • Try to avoid sitting in the same position for over 30 minutes. Instead, get up and stretch or walk a bit.
  • Adjust the height of your TV if needed. You shouldn’t have to strain your neck upward or lean forward to look down. If you are doing this, you may want to invest in a new TV stand or adjust where the TV is on the wall.
  • Consider sitting on the floor or using a chair instead of a couch. If you decide to sit on the floor, make sure you use cushions or seat wedges accordingly to support your body.

What you decide may ultimately come down to you and your body and what feels best. Generally, you want a firm couch over a soft one. So, if you’re in the process of purchasing a new one, keep this in mind!

Are you experiencing back or neck pain that just won’t quit? Book your FREE discovery call with your local Finsbury Park chiropractor. BOOK NOW.