Anyone with joint or back pain knows how difficult it is to stand on hard surfaces for extended periods of time. Hard surfaces, including carpet laid over concrete, can aggravate the feet, ankles, knees, hips or spine. But the right flooring options can provide relief, whether you suffer from osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, herniated discs, sciatica, or other ailments. The following flooring options help protect the body and keep you comfortable as you work and live in your home.
Cork is a flooring option that most people don’t immediately consider, yet it has some amazing properties. A softer wood, it’s easy on the joints yet still durable and resilient. Cork feels soft and cushiony under the feet because it compresses to 40% of its size under pressure thanks to its sponge-like texture. When it compresses, it absorbs shock, and then spring back to shape. Not only does it cushion the feet and spine, it also protects from falls.
In addition to being easy on the body, cork is also an eco-friendly product with antimicrobial properties. Cork contains suberin, which is a naturally-occurring, hydrophobic substance that repels water and bacteria, which creates a healthier flooring environment all the way around.
Bamboo is also soft like cork, so it’s more shock-absorbent than hardwood. Shock absorption plays a critical role in decreasing back and joint pain, which it has become a popular residential flooring alternative. And, like cork, bamboo flooring is one of the most eco-friendly flooring options for homeowners because it reaches maturity every three to five years. Compared to trees needing up to twenty years to fully mature, bamboo is more sustainable for the environment.
People sometimes confuse linoleum with vinyl, but they’re not the same. With a close inspection, you can tell them apart because linoleum requires a cloth underlay. Vinyl uses an adhesive to stick directly onto the concrete base of a house. The cloth underlay and lighter, renewable materials that create today’s linoleum (which is much different than the linoleum in your grandparents’ kitchen) give people the joint and back support they need to reduce pain.
Area and Throw Rugs
Installing new floors in every room of your home may be a future project, but you can find relief now with rugs. Rugs come in all sizes so they can easily fit in a doorway or span the size of an entire room. Consider a custom area rug with memory foam and plush materials to make walking and standing easier. Just remember super-plush rugs are not recommended for homeowners using walkers or other assistive devices as they could increase your risk of tripping.
Find Your New Back-Friendly Flooring
These flooring options provide joint and back pain relief for people of all ages. No matter your health needs, the Crystal Carpet & Flooring team can help you choose from a wide array of flooring options that look great — and feel great, too.