During recovery from a back surgery it is so hard to find comfortable or at least less painful position. Am I right?
Whether you had spinal fusion, laminectomy, foraminotomy, discectomy or disk replacement, you need a good chair that will be easy on your back and provide proper support.
Here I will recommend you best office chairs after back surgery. These models won’t intensify your pain, but may help you to feel more comfortable. I picked only high-quality desk chairs that will serve you for at least few years, not only during post-surgery recovery.
Sitting on a couch after back surgery will be probably painful, especially if it’s not very firm and doesn’t give proper back support.
Besides, if the couch is low sitting on it and standing up will be quite difficult. Lots of people say that they didn’t feel comfortable on a couch for a very long time after back surgery and the only option for sitting was good office chair that gives nice lumbar support and has armrests (that can be used to lower yourself into the seat and lift yourself up).
Without further ado, I present you my buying guide how to choose the best office chairs suitable after back surgery.
|Office Star High Back ProGrid|
Best for short, average and tall people (up to 6’4”)
Best for tall people (5’10” – 6’6”)
Best for average and tall people (up to about 6’4”)
Adjustable chair height
Adjustable lumbar support
Yes – adjustable by height and firmness
No, static lumbar support
Yes – adjustable by height and depth
Adjustable seat depth
Yes, 4D (height, width, depth and angle)
Yes, 2D (height and width)
Yes, 2D (height and width)
Where to buy?
1. Adjustable Chair Height, 360-Degree Swivel and Wheels
These are rather standard features on office chairs. Probably all models allow you to move the chair up and down and adjust it to your height. And all modern office chairs swivel a full 360-degree.
However these features are very important because they make office chair better choice than a standard chair during recovery from a back surgery.
Thanks to adjustable height you can set the chair higher when you sit on it so you don’t have to go that low.
Moreover you can adjust the chair height to your height – so you knees are at 90-degree angle and your feet flat on the floor. This is the best, healthy position that doesn’t impede blood flow in legs.
If the chair doesn’t go low enough use a footstool so your feet don’t dangle! You can use for example this footstool that offers few adjustable positions for ultimate comfort.
Moreover, thanks to swivel function you don’t have to overreach or twist your body to reach for something on your desk. You can simply roll over the room and swivel on a chair.
2. High Backrest
After back surgery you will need a chair that supports your back from tailbone up to your neck. A chair with high backrest will be most comfortable because it will support not only your lumbar spine, but also thoracic spine and cervical vertebrae.
All office chairs that I recommend in this ranking: Steelcase Leap, Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair and Office Star ProGrid are equipped with high back.
Keep in mind that your desk chair should be properly chosen to your height. If you’re a short person (less than 5 feet) higher backrest may be less comfortable for you.
Therefore for short people mid-back chairs may be better solution – for example Herman Miller Aeron which has fantastic flexible fabric that gives good amount of support and improves blood flow.
You can also purchase Office Star ProGrid chair in mid-back version.
3. S-Shaped Backrest + Lumbar support
The back should be S-shaped so it could align with your spine and encourage you to maintain healthy posture.
Moreover, ideal office chair after back surgery has adjustable lumbar support which allow you to change its position and firmness.
Steelcase Leap has fantastic backrest that mimics user’s moves and adjusts its shape accordingly to his body. Lumbar support can be moved higher or lower – depending on your spine natural curves. Moreover, you can adjust its stiffness, just how you like it and need it.
What’s really great about Steelcase Leap chair is that you can set the upper back force independently – because your lower and upper back need different amount of support. Just turn the knob and choose how much resistance you get when you recline.
You can read more about Steelcase Leap in our full review.
The backrest on the Office Star chair is also slightly curved in lower part to give support to your lumbar spine. However, the lumbar support is static which means you cannot adjust its position or thickness. The backrest height is also fixed. It’s a drawback, but Office Star chair is more pocket-friendly option, so we can’t expect much.
Nevertheless, this chair offers adjustable tilt tension so you can set how easily the backrest goes back as you recline.
If the lumbar support is not sufficient, you can always add special lumbar pillow (which is generally recommended for those you have back issues or undergone a back surgery). Considering lower price of this chair (when compared to others in this ranking), adding this accessory won’t be such a huge expense.
Keep reading and you’ll find out which pillow works best.
Duramont Office Chair features adjustable lumbar support which goes up & down. You can also change its firmness which is very useful. Thanks to these feature you probably won’t need any additional pillows. Tilt tension is adjustable as well.
Lots of users praise this office chair for helping them with lumbar, sacrum and neck pain.
Chair with headrest provides the best support for neck and shoulder. It takes the pressure off the upper back.
Steelcase Leap can be purchased with a headrest (unfortunately this version costs more). Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair comes with a headrest which you can adjust by height and angle. Of course you can detach it if you don’t need it or if its position is not comfortable for your height.
Office Star chair is the only model in this ranking that doesn’t offer a headrest. But you can find on Amazon a headrest made by other brands that work with this chair too.
However according to many users the backrest is long so unless you’re very tall person, you’ll probably won’t need it.
If you decide to buy a mid-back chair (like Herman Miller Aeron) make sure to add the headrest to avoid pressure on your shoulder blades and neck.
5. Adjustable armrests
This is must-have feature. Good office chair suitable after back surgery must have at least height-adjustable armrest. This way you’ll be able to find supportive position for your elbows and wrists, whether you’re sitting at the table, watching TV or typing on your laptop. Properly adjusted armrest reduce the stress on shoulders and help you to avoid wrist fatigue.
Of course fully adjustable arms (by height, width, depth and angle) would be ideal, but the most crucial is the height adjustment.
All three computer chairs in this ranking have adjustable armrests. Steelcase Leap arms move in four directions, while Duramont and Office Star chairs arms adjust by height and width. They help to relieve the pressure on your shoulders, neck and even thoracic spine.
Moreover, armrests on all these chairs are strong and sturdy which is also very important because you’ll use them to help yourself to get on and off the chair.
6. Proper Seat Depth
Adjustable seat depth is not a must-have but it may be quite useful especially for short and tall people. It allow you to adjust the seat cushion accordingly to your legs length so your thighs get proper support (without hurting the back of your knees).
Steelcase Leap and Office Star High Back ProGrid are equipped with adjustable seat that glides forward and backward. Computer chair from Duramont lacks this feature.
It’s not a deal breaker but you should keep that in mind if you have undergone back surgery and you’re picking new office chair.
7. Breathable Backrest
Good chair after back surgery should have a backrest that allows for a proper air circulation. Your back shouldn’t get hot and sweaty when you sit on your chair, especially after surgery (it could have negative effect on your surgical wound healing).
Both Office Star and Duramont chairs have mesh backrests that are very breathable and keep your back cool and comfortable.
Steelcase Leap offers few different materials for backrest cover – you can choose few different fabrics or leather. In my opinion fabric upholstery is generally better option. It’s still not as breathable as mesh back, but it’s definitely better than leather. Lots of users agree that Steelcase Leap backrest fabric breaths well.
As you can see Steelcase Leap seems to be the best equipped chair for people after back surgery. However, it is very expensive and not everyone can afford it. If you have smaller budget you should go for Office Star or Duramont chair as they are also high-quality and offer lots of features that will make sitting more comfortable and less painful.
2 Useful Gadgets That Will Help You To More Comfortable After Surgery
Whichever office chair you choose, there are two painkiller accessories that you should definitely consider. Lots of users who had back problems, have been really satisfied with these two gadgets.
Aylio Coccyx Seat Cushion – This cushion has been used by hundreds of people after back surgery and many of them agree that it helps with tailbone, sacrum hip and lower back pain (see it for yourself for example in these reviews: review#1, review#2, review#3 and review#4).
It ensures proper weight distribution and encourage you to keep proper posture. Thanks to that it reduces the pressure on your spine and prevents soreness and numbness from prolonged sitting.
Everlasting Comfort 100% Pure Memory Foam Back Cushion – This is one of the most popular cushions for lower back support. Thanks to adjustable straps you can put it on any chair: your desk chair, dinning chair or even car seat – so your back always gets proper support. It’s highly recommended by lots of people who have undergone back surgeries and have suffered from back pain for many years. This pillow has helped with pain in lumbar spine, coccyx, sacrum and pelvis area and hips. Just check these customer reviews for example to see how much people love this pillow: review#1, review#2, review#3, review#4, review#5.