What affordable office chair is the best for a disabled body? But
May 1, 2008 1:12 PM   Subscribe

I have an illness that caused severe arthritis and nerve damage. I would like an affordable office chair that would work the best with my challenges.

I have an illness that causes severe arthritis and nerve damage. My cervical and lumbar spines are full of arthritis and bulged disks (I’ve had surgery for ruptured disks), and I have scoliosis in my thoracic spine, so back pain is an issue. I have radial nerve palsy and cannot move my left hand or fingers so I work on the computer with a mouse and speech recognition program. I have a similar pinched nerve under my leg which could easily turn into the same kind of thing, causing foot drop so I need to elevate my left leg to take the pressure off the pinch. My hips and knees are full of arthritis, and in two months time, my big toes have moved almost one full inch, going underneath my other toes, so I can’t have pressure on any of these. I use a lumbar pillow and a chair pillow that removes pressure from my tailbone. But my chair is not good… It is not adjustable, it has arm rests which are causing problems in my right shoulder. Please let me know what type of office chair would be the best, while also being affordable. Thank you very much for your help.
posted by erleichda to Shopping (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am so sorry for your trouble. Although I know the severity of my condition is less than yours, I have had surgery for a ruptured disk and currently have another herniated disk. Sitting in a regular chair can be unbearable. I have an Aeron chair that, for me, is nothing short of miraculous. It is completely adjustable and comes in different sizes. I can sit in this thing for ten hours at a time and not feel fatigued. The front edge of the seat is curved, and the seat itself is made of some kind of bouncy nylon mesh, so I think that would help take the pressure off your left leg. Yes, it is expensive. Perhaps some other MeFites will have suggestions for affordable solutions, but if not, I would still seriously urge you to try this chair for yourself. I bought mine from Sit4Less, which lets you try the chair free for one month. I didn't try to return mine, obviously, so I can't vouch for the return policy, but I was very happy at the time with the price and service. I bought mine 7 years ago, right before my surgery.
posted by Enroute at 1:28 PM on May 1, 2008

Sorry to hear you've suffered these problems. We can make better suggestions to you if you tell us your approximate height (are you tall? short?) and if weight is an issue for you, as well as what you consider affordable. Can you spend $100 on a chair? $500?
posted by arnicae at 1:29 PM on May 1, 2008

I believe you can write off anything that mitigates the effect of a disability on your work on your taxes. I'm guessing the Aeron doesn't qualify as affordable, as there isn't a whole lot that's more expensive on the market, but it'd be a great choice if you could offset some or all of the cost.
posted by moift at 4:24 PM on May 1, 2008

I have this chair from Office Depot. It is their knock off of the Aeron chair. I love mine and would highly recommend it. The chair has many adjustable parts, it took me a few days to get it just right. But now...heaven.
posted by JujuB at 5:54 PM on May 1, 2008

Oh, and I meant to say that I bought the chair seven years ago, sit in it for 8-12 hours a day, and it's still literally as good as new. I mean I can detect zero change in the seat--it is as bouncy and supportive as the day I bought it. At this rate, I expect it will easily last another 15 years at least. So you can factor that into your decision.
posted by Enroute at 8:46 AM on May 2, 2008

Thanks for all your help. I am 5 feet 8 inches tall, and I weigh 130 pounds. I'd rather not spend more than $350.
posted by erleichda at 8:43 PM on May 4, 2008

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