Finding the right sofa to support your back and relieve back pain is important. With all of us living longer – and therefore working longer too – it’s now estimated that more than 80% of people are expected to have back pain at some point during their lives.

But what can we do about back pain? How can we minimise the areas where we experience back pain?

The home is one area where we can definitely minimise the risk of back pain, particularly when it comes to the most relaxing area of the home – the living room.

Have you ever stopped to think that your sofa may be a big cause of your back pain? And what can you do to help relieve any potential back pain that may arise from the wrong kind of sofa?

What causes back pain?

A lot of modern furniture doesn’t consider the ergonomics of the human body when it is being designed, and a lot of people don’t consider how the furniture will affect their body when they are purchasing it.

Modern sofas are more geared towards slumping. With huge cushions and big recesses, there’s no way we couldn’t slouch in them.

But is this really what’s good for us?

As it turns out, not really. All that slumping and slouching helps twist your spine out of shape, which then develops into back pain for most of us.

As we sink into the cushions of a sofa, it actually pulls down on the spine and pelvis, resulting in strain. This strain is only exacerbated by the effort required to get into and out of the sofa. It might not seem like much, but a few times a day every day, and it can develop into something much worse.

However, a change to an ergonomic sofa can really help. By choosing a sofa to relieve back pain with more support in the areas you are currently struggling with, you can change how you relax.

What should you be looking for from the best sofas for bad backs?

If you’re looking for sofas that will alleviate your back pain, you should first think about how you use your sofa.

Thinking about how you use your sofa can help pinpoint exactly why you get back pain.

Remember that when you’re sitting on your sofa, you should be held upright, with your ears vertically aligned over your shoulders, which will be over your hips.

When you have your back against the back support, you should have your legs at a 90-degree angle, with your feet flat on the floor.

It’s also wise to keep in mind the distance between the back of your knee and the edge of the sofa or chair. There should be some distance between the two. If not, the edge of the seat can cause pressure to be placed on the veins and arteries in the back of your leg – ultimately resulting in discomfort.

Our furniture showroom is open seven days a week, so if you do feel like testing out a sofa, feel free to come in and try it out! We can help you find the best sofa for everyday use, including the versatile designs in our Comfort collection.

We would typically recommend sitting on a sofa for at least 20 minutes when trying it out, so you can really get a feel of whether the pressure on your back has been relieved. What do you use your sofas for the most?

When you are looking to purchase a new sofa to help relieve your back pain and better support your back, consider what you will use it for the most. Working out how you use your sofa is the key to working out which parts of your body need support while you relax.

Bella fabric sofa

Reclining sofa to relieve back pain for TV junkies

Frequent TV watchers may choose to have a more supportive chair that is able to recline, in order to take the pressure off of their lower back and neck. A recliner sofa from our Parker Knoll range would work well here, as it has a tall, supportive back, whilst also being able to recline.

Parker Knoll hampton recliner sofa

There are also,  firm sofas that give you the option of a full extension of your body the Parker Knoll Boston Fabric range provides this. However, you need to ensure that your television isn’t in a position where you must turn or crane your neck to watch it.

Corner sofa to relieve back pain for entertainers

If you’re a person who regularly hosts friends and family, consider that you will need chairs that swivel, or arranged in a circle to that guests don’t have to twist around to face each other.

This is where corner sofas really come into their own, especially when paired with an occasional chair in order to form a circle.

Corner sofas like the New Cesare and Isabelle are high back sofas and are not very deep, which both help when you have back pain – especially lower back pain. You get full back support from high back sofas, helping to reduce pressure on the lower back.

Upright sofa to relieve back pain for bookworms

For those of us that prefer a literary tale to a visual one, you might find that not only does your lower back hurt, but also neck and shoulders hurt too. This is due to the stress that is placed on your arms, as well as the strain from looking down has resulted in poor back support, affecting your neck and shoulders.

When you focus your eyes downwards, your body will follow and contort your spine – resulting in back and neck pain.

If this is the case, you should look at getting an upright chair or sofa to relive back pain, as these will support the lower back. Something like the Stressless Windsor sofa will work well, as it provides a lot of lumbar support, especially to the lower spine. As the Tess is lower towards the back of the sofa, it will also ensure that your legs are at the optimum 110-degree angle, to prevent any pressure on the back of the legs.

Stressless windsor sofa

Also keep in mind that you might want a surface, such as a large pillow, to rest your book on. This helps relieve the tension in your arms and prevent any further strain on your neck.

Bear in mind that this advice also works for those of us that spend a lot of time using mobile devices on the sofa.

Whether you’re an avid Instagrammer, top tweeter, or you love watching Netflix on your laptop, chances are you’ll be straining your neck to look downwards. The consequences of this neck straining? That’s right, more back pain.

But just follow the same rules as bookworms – it’s best to have lower back support for your sofa, and a surface to rest on – to help alleviate the symptoms.

Sofa with armrests to relieve back pain for knitters

Those who are active knitters may struggle a lot with fatigue, especially when lounging in the incorrect kind of sofa.

Rather than looking for back support though, you might want to try and purchase a chair or sofa that supports your arms with armrests. These armrests will support your elbows whilst knitting, preventing you from slouching or shrugging your shoulders.

Sofas like the Tivoli both come with extra padded armrests so that there is less chance of fatigue when knitting.

Tivoli power recliner sofa

Shop our range of sofas that offer the best back support

It’s important to remember that whatever style of sofa you end up choosing, you should choose one that doesn’t leave you with back pain. The right kind of sofa, like one from our comfort collection, could go a long way towards reducing the amount of back pain that you experience. Choosing a sofa with great back support is crucial for your comfort and posture, here at Fishpools we stock some of the best sofas for people with bad backs that need additional back support.