Couch causing pain? No way!
August 17, 2008 3:52 PM   Subscribe

How come my couch makes everyone's shoulders sore?

if someone sits on my couch for an extended amount of time (ie. more than an hour) they often complain of shoulder pain when they get up. Where I live with the couch and sit on it more than other people I am very aware of the problem and now try to avoid sitting in it, opting for the less comfortable but less pain inducing chair. Any idea why the couch would be giving people a pain in their shoulder? I mean, it strikes me as a fairly average couch, purchased only 3 years ago or so, with big removable cushions as the back padding. It is fairly sinky-inny on the bottom seat part though...

If you DO have a reason why this could be happening, do you have a solution? I can't afford to buy a new couch, so a way to make this one work would be best.
posted by gwenlister to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Do you sink into the couch because the bottom cushions are really squishy? Or is it the suspension underneath? If it's the latter, you could try sticking a board or something under the cushions to see if (a) that would firm things up and (b) if that would solve the shoulder ache problem.
posted by larsks at 5:04 PM on August 17, 2008

Photo might help, but--

My family tends to be on the short/small size, and couches that force us to lean back too far causes lots of discomfort. This is especially true if the seats are too deep (back of knees shouldn't be resting on the couch). Airline seats are a true pain.

If you look at well-constructed chairs and consider how people position cushions by their lower backs, the shoulder blades don't seem to experience as much pressure as the rest of the back and butt when sitting and leaning back. Maybe more small pillows?
posted by Ky at 5:18 PM on August 17, 2008

If the back cushions are too cushy, it could cause the sitter to sit with their back, shoulders, and neck curved, somewhat like what happens when lying in a hammock, but while sitting-up.

I know I've sat in cushy chairs and sofas where I definitely feel as if I'm doubled over and have to strain my neck to keep my view level.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:24 PM on August 17, 2008

arm rests? when i sit in chairs with arm rests that are too high, it jacks up my shoulders. it could be that the back cushions are too squishy, also.
posted by gnutron at 5:25 PM on August 17, 2008

I think it's the tilt. That it should tilt back just a bit (not too much, and not too little.) Try putting a harder cushion undernearth when you see if moving you back remove the problem.
posted by filmgeek at 7:13 PM on August 17, 2008

My couch does the same. It's miserable to sit on for any length of time. I'm going to cut an inch off the back legs, to make the back of the couch align more nearly to a human's sitting posture.

(This is pretty much what filmgeek is saying, I think. But rather than a harder cushion under me, I find a large pillow-like cushion at the back gives more comfort - just anything to change the angle of my back.)
posted by airplain at 8:20 PM on August 17, 2008

Is it the kind without pillows, where the cushions are all attached and the ones at the top seem to roll over it to midway down the back? Those can be hell on shoulders when they get older since the foam settles to the bottom of that cushion and crushes in everywhere else, so you're forced to sit at a slight forward angle.
posted by Kellydamnit at 6:14 AM on August 18, 2008

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