Couches look comfortable but can lead to all sorts of physical ailments, including serious back pain. Does that mean your couch is evil and needs to be discarded? No, not if you use it correctly, don’t sleep on it, and consider adding a pillow for back support while watching TV or relaxing. One of the main problems with couches and sofas is that people tend to sit on them for long periods of time. That, along with cushions that are too soft to support our bodies, can mean back pain and possible long-term medical problems.

Couches are not made with back support in mind. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to serious back pain issues. Even worse, sleeping on a couch can mean severe body aches when you awaken and can irritate any back pain you already have.

It makes sense to shop carefully for couches, making sure to find one that is firm, comfortable, and offers solid support for your body while you sit. If you suffer from back pain, take the time to visit a chiropractor and shop for a couch that doesn’t continue to create physical problems.

What Causes Back Pain?

Furniture that is not supportive due to design or age can lead to all sorts of problems, not just back pain. Headaches, aching hips, immobile knees, and poor posture are just a few of the ailments that a deep, too-soft couch or chair can cause. But there are probably as many different causes of back pain as there are people. We all have our own unique ways of sitting, standing, slouching, sleeping, and working. Every small physical habit can contribute to the amount of back pain we suffer.

What are some of the most frequent causes of back pain? Here’s a short list. See how many of these situations might apply to you:

  • Lack of exercise: When the body’s musculature is under-developed or out of balance, the back usually takes the brunt of the damage. Not getting enough regular exercise leaves our muscles unable to do their job. That means a back, legs, shoulders, and abdominal muscles that can’t correctly support the body in an upright position
  • Inappropriate posture: Few humans have perfect posture. We all learn inefficient ways of standing, sitting, and resting, many of which put far too much stress on the back and can cause severe pain. A chiropractor can carefully assess your posture and give you thorough instruction in how to correct any inefficiencies
  • Tobacco use: There’s really nothing good about tobacco use. The list of physical ailments it causes is quite long and includes various types of muscle soreness. Smokers tend to have inhibited lung function. One possible result is improper use of the chest muscles during respiration and a resulting overuse of the back to compensate
  • Lifting in the wrong way: If your job includes lifting weighty objects, you’re already in a high-risk category for back pain. Additionally, if you lift in the wrong way, using your back instead of your legs, you put yourself in greater danger
  • Excess body weight: Carrying extra weight for your body’s shape and height can put undue pressure on the entire upper torso area, including the back, neck, and shoulders. People who are even 10 pounds overweight often experience back pain
  • Restrictive clothing: This category includes ill-fitting items like pants that are too tight, shirts that force the shoulders into an unnatural position, neckties, high heels, and even eyeglasses that are fitted incorrectly and cause our bodies to take on unusual postures

How Your Chiropractor Can Treat Back Pain

Chiropractors use natural, efficient methods for eliminating and reducing bodily pain, particularly discomfort in the back, shoulders, and neck area. How do they do it? In addition to the well-known spinal adjustment technique, chiropractic physicians employ many other strategies for putting the body back into top form. The following are just a few of the procedures they use to help patients who suffer from back pain:

  • Adjustment of the spine
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Rehabilitative exercises
  • Massage
  • Muscle stimulation

In addition to the above, chiropractors augment their techniques by helping to educate patients about posture, nutrition, lifestyle habits, and much more. The goal is to heal the entire body so that back pain does not become a recurring problem.

How To Find a Couch That Won’t Ruin Your Back

How can you find a couch that doesn’t contribute to back pain? Furniture experts suggest that shoppers focus on four points: design, cushions, frame, and springs. You might have to pay a bit more for a sofa that supports rather than harms your back, but the added cost is worth it.

As you shop, test out the cushions to make sure they’re constructed of firm, supportive material that does not sink under pressure. The frame is important, too. Search for pieces whose frames are constructed of solid, long-lasting material that is no prone to warping or shrinking. Inspect the springs to see if they feel flimsy or weak. High-quality couches contain strong springs that can support a lot of weight without bending from side to side or slipping out of place. The design of the couch is an equally relevant feature. When you sit down, be sure that your knees can bend naturally at about a 90-degree angle. If the design is right, you won’t feel the need to slump or slouch into the furniture.

Smart Ways to Avoid Neck and Back Pain

Back and neck pain has a tendency to creep slowly into our lives. There are dozens of culprits in everyday living habits, sleeping positions, and more. Here are a few ways that you can avoid back pain:

  • Place your computer monitor’s upper edge at eye level and tilt the screen downward at about a 15-degree angle
  • Get a firm, supportive pillow that allows you to sleep on your back or side without contorting your neck into an unnatural position
  • Don’t look down to text. Place your device even with your natural eye level
  • Never cradle your phone between your head and shoulder. Either hold it with your hand or get a headset
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day in order to keep your muscles properly hydrated

Get Help for Your Neck and Back Pain

Whether your back, neck, shoulder, or other bodily pain is the result of faulty furniture or something else, it’s important to get to the root of the problem as quickly as possible. At Spinal Health & Wellness at Pike Creek, Dr. Tim Ciolkosz can evaluate and diagnose pain and work with you to eliminate it. For more information, check out the medical practice’s website, http://www.famchirode.com/, or simply call and make an appointment at your convenience. The direct phone number is 302-993-9113 and new patients are currently being accepted.