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Specialist Seating for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain, whether from conditions like arthritis, back pain, or fibromyalgia, can significantly impact daily life. For those suffering from persistent pain, selecting the right chair is crucial as it can provide comfort, support, and even therapeutic benefits. Here’s a guide on the best care chairs and seating features designed to alleviate chronic pain.

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What is Chronic Pain?

Pain signals may be triggered by a range of different physical or neurological problems.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are long-term health conditions that can flare up from time to time, causing pain in the joints and producing chemicals within the body that can irritate the nerve endings.

Nerve damage can sometimes cause pain signals to be sent to the brain without a physical cause, knows as complex regional pain syndrome.

Nociplastic pain like chronic back pain or fibromyalgia can result from damage to the immune system.

Alongside physical treatments for chronic pain such as TENS, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy, having the right seating with as much comfort as possible can help minimise pain levels.

Innova hydrotherapy pool

Innova hydrotherapy pool

The next section looks at how the right orthopaedic chair can relieve joint pain, backache, arthritic conditions, or even headaches that might be triggered by poor posture.

 

Best Seating Features for Back Pain

To choose a chair that encourages good posture and reduces back pain, the following features are important to consider:

Neck Support

This can help keep the head in a neutral position. The shape of headrest is important to support the neck properly, and will help reduce muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.

Back Support

The best chairs for back pain provide continuous support from the top of your spine to the lumbar region. The backrest profile should support the natural S-shaped curve of the back and provide lumbar support, like our high back chairs.

Spine diagram

Hip Support

Correct seat measurements are crucial to provide correct pelvic positioning, so the bottom is to the back of the chair and the lower back is against the back of the seat.

90 degree sitting angle

90 degree sitting angle

Adjustability

Having an adjustable backrest helps redistribute and reduce pressure on the spine, and allows the user to change their position frequently, reducing tension and stiffness.

 

Best Chairs for Chronic Pain

Riser Recliner Chairs

Rise and recline chairs are particularly beneficial for those with chronic pain because they provide support in various positions. Key features include:

  1. Zero Gravity Position: This feature elevates the legs and reduces pressure on the spine, simulating a weightless environment and promoting better circulation. It’s especially beneficial for lower back pain.
  2. Range of Adjustability: The range of adjustability in riser recliners such as the Lento Mobile allows different backrests and headrests to be added to enhance comfort, and different backrest and legrest angles to relieve strain on the spine and find the most comfortable posture.
  3. Padded Armrests and Headrests: Enhanced padding in these areas offers additional support and comfort, crucial for relieving pain in the neck and shoulders.
Diagram pointing to the Lento Mobile rise and recline patient treatment chair for complex conditions.

Lento Mobile Riser Recliner chair

Office Chairs

For those who spend long hours working at a desk, choosing the right office chair is essential. Our VELA range includes the VELA Tango or heavy-duty Bariatric version which can help considerably with managing conditions like CRPS or fibromyalgia, which can cause pain, breathing difficulties, palpitations, decreased concentration and headaches.

  1. Dynamic Seat and Backrest: Office chairs with dynamic movement capabilities allow the seat and backrest to move with the user’s body, promoting active sitting and reducing fatigue. The VELA Tango can be configured to provide optimal back and lumbar support.
  2. Breathable Materials: Chairs made from breathable materials, such as mesh, prevent overheating and sweating, which can exacerbate discomfort during prolonged sitting.
  3. Adjustable height. The VELA chairs can be raised and lowered, to help access the right chair at the right height and stand up out of the chair easily.
  4. Adjustable armrests: Properly positioned armrests reduce strain on the shoulders and upper arms. They should be adjustable to allow the arms to rest comfortably and at the right height relative to the desk.
  5. Glide wheels: The large castors allow the chair to be ‘walked’ around smoothly, with minimum effort, and the central brake activated to stay in one position.
Lifestyle shot of an elderly man and woman in their kitchen cooking. The man is sat on the Vela Tango 700 activity chair.

VELA Tango chair

 

Conclusion

When selecting a chair for chronic pain, it’s essential to consider individual needs and preferences. Testing different models and consulting with a healthcare professional can ensure that the chosen chair provides optimal support and relief. With the right chair, managing chronic pain can become a more comfortable and manageable part of daily life.

Date Published

4 July 2024

Reading Time

3 minutes

Author avatar

Author

Ralph Hulbert

Ralph has many years' experience in the healthcare sector. In a previous life he worked in finance, and his spreadsheet skills come in handy for all the analysis and research he does as he investigates topics and solutions for some of the world's most complex healthcare conditions and challenges. Aside from writing in-depth articles and organising webinars and interviews with top healthcare professionals, Ralph also administrates Vivid's "Healthcare Pioneers Board", a large group of healthcare specialists with multiple disciplines, who are working together to improve care for years to come.

woman at desk in pain

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