Solving the Mystery – Why Do My Legs Ache in a Recliner

Being a physiotherapist for almost a decade has taught me tons of dexterity when it comes to the intricacies of human anatomy.

Every day, I get tons of queries. However, one such phenomenon that has baffled me the most that I usually hear from people is, “Why do my legs ache when I sit in a recliner?”

Considering the fact that a recliner or a Chesterfield is made solely for comfort, unless and until you either got the measurements wrong or simply aren’t using it the right way.

Nevertheless, to address the issue, in this article, we are going to explore the possible root cause of this household predicament and even shed some light on it so you can prevent your leg ache in the recliner from happening again.

Why Do My Legs Ache When I Sit In A Recliner?

There are a couple of underlying issues that might be causing your leg to ache.

1. Obesity

Obesity is basically the mother of all cramps you may be having in your body, especially if you don’t exercise a lot, which renders your body prone to pain and convulsions.

Being overweight makes your joints and muscles fragile and prone to wear and tear, even if you are resting on a recliner. Since your lower torso or legs are dangling while sitting on a recliner, the pressure drastically increases, causing inevitable aches.

Henceforth, losing weight can ensure a drastic change in your mental and physical well-being  as it relieves pressure on your muscles and joints. You can also try bariatric recliners as they offer a good soution to your problem.

2. Horrible Posture 

Regardless of your body weight, if you have horrendous posture or slouch while sitting on a recliner or a couch, you are likely prone to having aches in not just your legs but all across your body.

Moreover, your spine also suffers the most while sitting in a position that isn’t healthy, which indirectly causes congestion in the lower body.

Avoid crossing your legs and stretch as much as possible to further enhance your sitting posture. You can also try using an ottoman for your legs, as it has been deemed quite beneficial for relieving leg aches.

3. Lack Of Exercise

Skipping on core strengthening exercises and daily jogging virtually corrodes your muscles and renders your body fragile. Make sure you exercise every other day and perform as many cardio sessions as possible.

Failing to do so makes the joints incredibly stiff and drastically exacerbates pain and aches worse, which paves a path to more diseases and disorders, which is the last thing you would want.

4. Dehydration

Hydrate as much as possible, especially if you are living in extreme ambient temperatures, as muscles tend to become cramped and sore, causing convulsions while sitting or reclining for a longer duration of time.

Keep an eye out for your electrolyte levels, as it plays a major role in ensuring your vessel doesn’t clog up and muscles remain in an ideal state.

5. Thrombophlebitis

Thrombophlebitis or deep vein thrombosis is a condition when a vein gets pinched in regions that are bent due to improper sitting or posture. 

Stretching your lower limbs beyond their limit for longer periods can result in DVT, which may feel like tingling or numbness, but once aggravated, they tend to become a nightmare to deal with.

6. Restless Leg Syndrome

RLS, Or Willis Ekbom syndrome, is a form of neurological disorder that causes your legs to move uncontrollably, which provokes leg aches due to fatigue. This syndrome might be hereditary or due to a lack of iron and is usually harder to control, especially if the person is taking a nap.

Nonetheless, the pain is often mild to severe and can only be countered by fulfilling an iron deficiency or taking over-the-counter painkillers to numb the pain.

7. Incorrect Recliner Dimensions

After safely determining that your body isn’t going through these ordeals, chances are, the issue underlies the physical dimension of the recliner itself.

Since there is no such thing as “one size that fits all” when it comes to recliners, the general rule of thumb is to choose the one that is not too big for your body but not too small or tight to congest you while you change position, especially while sleeping.

Since recliners are designed to correct posture as well as provide lumbar support, if you feel discomfort or congestion, try opting out for bigger variants as incorrect dimensions can clog or obstruct blood circulation to your knees and thighs causing immense agony.

8. Poor Orientation

Sometimes, whenever you are sitting on a recliner, you are doing more harm than good due to improper posture or positioning, which can exacerbate existing lower thigh or leg pain.

Recliners are supposed to be oriented with the backrest slightly reclined and the footrest elevated to encourage blood circulation and reduce pressure on the lower back.

The best orientation to keep your leg circulation in the ideal state is with your feet elevated slightly above the level of your heart. This position helps reduce swelling and promotes blood flow back to the heart, preventing blood from pooling in the legs.

You also need to avoid crossing your legs, as this can compress blood vessels and hinder circulation. On the flip side, periodically change your position, even slightly, to encourage muscle movement and prevent blood from stagnating.

Bottom Line

Cardio and core strengthening exercises and opting out for healthy lifestyle choices can enhance your physical well-being and even help you get rid of many problems you may face in your life, such as obesity and muscle cramping.

Make sure to routinely rehydrate as much as possible and build a habit of taking your daily dose of vitamins to keep those unwanted deficiencies from developing into disease or disorder.

That being said, bookmark this article in case anyone in your family or your loved ones ever asks you, “Why do my legs ache when I sit in a recliner?” so you can spread this esoteric knowledge to them.

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