More back-pain breakthroughs: the role of the La-Z-Boy


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- Alex Hutchinson (@sweatscience)


In the wake of last week’s article on strength training and back pain, I got an e-mail letting me know about another important aspect of back pain recovery that I’d neglected to mention:

While there’s plenty of advice out there about how to exercise correctly, there’s not much out there about how to relax – which should be part of any exercise regimen – particularly for people experiencing back pain.

Fortunately, my correspondent had the answer:

To that end, did you know – and this is something both physicians and chiropractors apparently agree on (see below) – there’s now a recent, and valid, medical argument that time spent in your La-Z-Boy, might actually be good for your lower back?

Gadzooks, what wonderful news!

Okay, okay, you’ve now figured out that my new friend is a PR guy for La-Z-Boy. But I thought the e-mail was pretty funny — and, unlike many of the unintentionally hilarious PR pitches I receive, he thought so too:

I hope you’ll receive this email in the spirit its intended, 50% in all seriousness, 50% tongue planted firmly in cheek.

I have to admit, he had my hopes up. I was looking forward to reading about clinical trials where people watched TV from La-Z-Boys versus flimsy folding chairs or something. In the end, the “medical evidence” was a survey of doctors and an endorsement from the American Chiropractic Association. Their doctor-spokesperson recommends “relaxing in reclining furniture that offers total body and lumbar support as well as varying degrees of reclining, since every person has unique support needs.”

So take it for what it’s worth (i.e. it’s common sense, but it’s not evidence). And lobby your local La-Z-Boy dealer to sponsor an actual clinical trial, so I can really write about this!