Can a Massage Chair Hurt Your Back?

A research paper published by American Scientific Publishers analyzed and proved that massage could improve blood circulation and, in turn, reduce insomnia & stress-related problems. But, does a massage chair have any downsides and can it hurt your back?

A good massage chair will hardly hurt your back, but the bad or old ones can do the opposite. Moreover, you need to be aware of the procedure of taking a massage on the massage chair. Taking a massage in a massage chair for a longer period can also invite physical problems. 

After a hectic day, we all want to relax, and when you have a massage chair nearby, it becomes easier to release the mental and muscular stress. 

In this article, I will provide you with various proven facts on the massage chair and guide you through having the best massage on your massage chair.

Why Does My Back Hurt After Using a Massage Chair?

A massage chair can hurt your back if you are using the chair for the first time, making your back muscle a bit sore from a full-body massage or spot massage.

These massage chairs offer massages to your muscle which increases blood flow and releases toxins from the muscle. After using it your back might feel sore, it’s completely normal.

After getting used to the massages, you will feel comfortable and relaxed as your back muscle will be much stronger after last time. However, carefully read the manual of the massage chair to avoid any injury.

Negative Effect of Massage Chairs

Other than the benefits, massage chairs carry a few drawbacks, which need to be noticed & minimized. Any type of massage is considered to have minimum risks, although a few specific risks can be linked with the use of massage chairs. These include,

  • If you take a massage on a massage chair immediately after surgery, it can cause problems.
  • Infectious skin disease and rash can occur due to the massage.
  • When you are suffering from Osteoporosis, you should skip massaging on the massage chair.
  • If you take trigger point massage, physio massage, or deep tissue massage, you might end up having a few bruises. 
  • Due to inflammation, you can suffer from lower back pain. 
  • Extensive massage on a massage chair can invite pain on specific body parts. 

How to Mitigate The Negative Effects Of Massage Chair?

In spite of having a plethora of advantages, a massage chair can backfire on you and cause severe problems to your health. No, don’t be afraid. Let me explain to you why you can have a bad experience with your massage chair.  

1. First Timer Or Not Used To The Massage Chair

Massage chairs always have pre-programmed massage sessions, or you can also have the option to select a particular massage on a certain body part.

If you are taking a massage for the first time in a massage chair, then it is customary to feel uncomfortable and experience pain afterwards. 

Whether it be a full body massage or spot massage, it might get a bit sore. You need to adjust yourself to the process of the massage on a massage chair.

I highly recommend you to read out the manual of the massage chair before taking your first massage. Additionally, don’t go for a full body massage at the beginning. Try the spot massages for a few days and make your adjustments with it.  

2. Skipped The Warm Up Session

As you know, warm-up or stretching is highly essential when it comes to workouts. Similarly, warm-up is required before taking a massage. 

It is normal to feel pain, especially when you are taking a massage for the first time or taking it after a long time. The pain you experience occurs because your muscles have been tied up and tensed. 

This is why you should warm your muscles. Warmth will soothe your tensed muscles and lose up and enhance muscles flexibility. You can also use heating functions on your massage chair to warm up your muscles for a bit. 

3. Extensive Level Of Massage

Massage on a massage chair should be strictly stuck between 15 – 20 minutes. You might think a massage chair can reduce muscle pain and help you to relax so that more massage will give a better result. But let me tell you, it’s nothing like that. 

Overuse of a massage chair can cause bruises on your muscles, muscle damage, and inflammation in the body’s soft tissues. 

You should always follow the manual instructions or consult a doctor before taking a massage for an extensive period. 

Most of the massage chairs come with their own timer. If your massage chair does not have one, then you can use a clock or phone to set a timer. 

4. Not Drinking Enough Water

You should be hydrated before taking a massage. Massages, no matter where & how you receive them, helps to flush out the toxins from your body. 

If you are hydrated enough, the water will help to release those toxic substances out of your body. 

If you stay dehydrated and don’t let the toxins out of your body, then it will build upon your body and initiate pain all over the body. So, before taking a massage, drink a lot of water.

5. Not Reading The Instructions On The Massage Chair Manual 

Every massage chair works differently, and the instructions for using the massage chair perfectly can be different. If you have your own massage chair, I recommend you read the manual carefully and do exactly the instructed procedures. 

If you lack proper knowledge of using the chair, you might malfunction the massage chair, which can further affect your body.

Is Massage by Massage Chair Worth It?

Massage can reduce sleep problems and reduce anxiety & stress. By stimulating Endorphins (the ‘feel-good hormone’), the massage can help stabilize your mood swings.

Studies have proven that regular massage can improve blood circulation, reduce hypertension and heart rate, and constrict arteries. The massage can reduce the level of lactic acid and diminish sore muscles pain

Massage not only develops your natural immunity system but also adds vitality to your sex life. If you are suffering from mental problems, I would recommend you to take a massage regularly. 

Furthermore, Massage chairs can help a person with aggressive nature. In this journal, Aggressive adolescents benefit from massage therapy, which proved that 20-minutes therapy sessions twice a week can be practical in reducing the aggressive nature of adolescents. 

Although by now, you might be aware that massage chair carries a lot of health benefits. Even if you don’t know about the advantages of massage chairs, check out the article on Do Massage Chairs Work?. You will get to know about it in detail. 

Can I Use a Massage Chair Every day?

As stated earlier, sitting in a massage chair for longer will not give you extra benefit but will harm your body. If you want a perfect relaxing massage session, you should take a 15 – 20 minutes massage every week three to four times a week. 

I would recommend taking a massage every alternate day, if possible. Remember, in this case, the less you take, the more effective result. Having said that, don’t take below the adequate level. 

Take massages for 15 – 20 minutes every consecutive day for proper relaxation and reduction of muscle pain.

Can a Massage Chair Make Inflammation worse?

Massage chairs can give you the massage to release the tension of your muscles and eliminate the extensive pain. It also forces the blood towards your muscles to release nutrients and toxins. 

Massage chairs can increase inflammation in some parts of the body. You might feel discomfort and might feel the same for the next few hours. 

I would suggest you point out those areas you feel inflammation and skip those areas while taking massages. If necessary, consult a professional therapist. 

Final Thoughts

Now you know, it is not mandatory that you will suffer from back pain after taking a massage in a massage chair. Although sometimes a first-time massage chair user might suffer from pain, you need just to get habituated to the process. 

Follow the instructions on the massage chair’s user manual and never overdo massage. Strictly maintain the instructions.

I assure you will get your desired massage and make yourself free from all those stress. 

Meraj Jahan

Hey, I am a co-author at Office Chair Trends. Not only have I experience working for extended hours behind the desks at my workstation, but I also have seen people in my surroundings suffer from body aches. Being a reader by day and writer by night, I have researched this matter and gathered knowledge along the way. I am sharing all my experiences on this site.