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The Best Chairs for Neck and Back Pain

What are the best chairs for back and neck pain? Let’s review some popular desk chair options and see which ones help back pain.

best desk chair for back pain - saratoga spine - desk chair

Using a Chair with an Ergonomic Back Design

If you shop for an office chair you’ll see many newer ones called “ergonomic”. These usually have back support designed to reduce the stress on the back while sitting.

Studies have shown that these backrests can improve posture and reduce the strain on back muscles. In comparison to a chair in which only the bottom and armrests provide support, a chair with a backrest helps reduce the strain on your back and should help lower back pain caused by prolonged sitting.

Sitting on a Gym Ball (Dynamic Sitting)

Have you seen people at the gym working out or stretching with a large ball? Sometimes referred to as a yoga ball or workout ball, these have become a popular gym accessory. However, they’ve also been showing up in the office setting in place of chairs!

Sitting in one position for a long period of time can leave you feeling stiff and lead to back pain when you stand.  Using a gym ball as a chair forces the body to constantly adjust with small movements. This “dynamic sitting” can reduce the strain on your body associated with staying in a seated position for too long.

Researchers have attempted to prove this theory but, so far, most studies have been inconclusive. However, some research has shown using a gym ball as a chair helped reduce back pain and none of the studies showed any harm in the practice. So, if you have a gym ball give it a try!

The Kneeling Chair

best chairs for back pain - kneeling chair

Kneeling Chair

Another “different” kind of chair you may see around the office is a kneeling chair. With this style chair the main support areas are under your bottom and on your knees. This chair is also styled to provide a “dynamic sitting” experience for the user. You can usually adjust the angle of these chairs.

Studies have shown that, at the appropriate angle, individuals will use better posture in this chair versus a traditional desk chair.

Saddle Chair (Saddle Stool)

Another chair option, though less common, is a “saddle chair”. These chairs look almost like a stool in that there is support for your bottom but no armrests or backrest. In addition, the top of the stool is shaped like a horse saddle, giving this chair its name.

Studies have shown that, when compared to other chair styles, the saddle chair created the best posture in those sitting on it.

So What is the Best Chair for Back Pain?

We talked about 4 different chair styles that can all have a positive impact on posture, muscle strain and back pain. So, which is the best one for back pain?

Well, researchers have found that a chair that improves a man’s posture may not improve a woman’s posture, and vice versa. In addition to the differences between genders, each individual has personal habits which can affect their posture in different chairs. So, the chair that helps you may not be the same style chair that helps your coworker.

If you can, try a few different styled chairs to see which one works best for you. And, no matter which chair you decide to use, remember to sit up straight, take frequent breaks and try to exercise or get involved in a physical activity when you’re not sitting at a desk. These things will also go a long way to helping reduce your back pain.



*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
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