5 Reasons How Can Massage Chairs Hurt Your Back (2020)

Nothing is more ironic than this; you get a massage chair to get relief from pain, and you end up hurting yourself with it! While people look at a massage chair as a cozy recliner, they might also get hurt getting a massage on it. The pain is not always a minor soreness on the muscles; it may even lead you to a physician. If you get a pinch sensation on nerves or a herniated disk, you’ll end up hospitalizing yourself for a massage.

There are a bunch of reasons why you may end up hurting yourself instead of getting relief. For the beginners, it’s important to understand the reasons and know how to avoid them. Stick to the article to understand how can massage chairs hurt your back. I’ll also instruct you on avoiding such a catastrophe while using a massage chair next time. 

Can Massage Chairs Hurt Your Back?

Massaging your full body after a long day of stress can help you recover faster. However, doing it the wrong way will have negative consequences. How can massage chairs hurt your back and the reasons that can trigger pain on your body while using a massage chair: 


Lack of warmup:

Imagine you’ve started a spring run without doing some warmup stretching; how would be the running experience? You’ll surely end up getting a kink in your muscles or affecting a vein on your lower body. The same applies to a massage chair; it massages the muscles of your body, including the veins. A lack of warmup stretching might hurt your back after using it for a few moments. It will put immense pressure on the muscles and suddenly change the body condition only to put you in an uncomfortable situation. You can stretch a little before you sit on the chair or use a light stretch massage to warm up and increase the blood flow before starting the main course. 

Your Body Isn’T Used To It:

Most new massage chair users complain about hurting themselves after the massage because their bodies were new to it. If you’re a new user, it’s okay to feel uncomfortable after a massage session for the first time in your life. As you’re new to experience it, it’s massively important to take it slow and adapt your body to the stress. For the first time, use the massager only for a minute or two after setting the lowest mark’s intensity level. After you get used to the intensity level, you can level up a little and increase the speed, time, then intensity. Don’t use the deep tissue massage mode at the beginning; rather, you should go for a lighter stretch and squeeze massage setting. 

Over Massage:

Massaging for a prolonged period may lead your body to a highly stressed situation, and you may end up with sore muscles. Your muscles have a breaking point, which you should never push if not intentionally when you’re building muscles. When you do a new exercise, you take it slow and increase the tension at a slow pace; that’s true for massage chairs, too. A massage session of only 5 to 10 minutes may seem a decade for the first time, while the experienced people use it for up to 30 minutes. So, make a wish every day and push the massage time slightly every few days to help your muscles adapt to the new pressure. Once you get used to it, don’t exceed a 15-minutes session, or 20 minutes at max even if you can. 

Neurological Sensitivity:

Neurological sensitivity, aka sensitization, can also cause a pain sensation, soreness, or numbness after a massage. Your brain works with a nervous system that contains the inputs you put on your body, whether it’s a muscle group or your lymphatic system. When you put unusual pressure that your brain isn’t used to, it may tangle up the overflown inputs. It will result in a painful sensation or soreness on the spot you’re putting excessive pressure on. When you massage your body with a new massage method that you’re not used to, you should take it slow to help your neurological system to adapt it. After a while of massaging, your body will automatically understand the process, and you won’t face any problem. 

You’Re Dehydrated:

Whenever you appoint a professional massage therapist, he’ll advise you to drink plenty of fluid before starting the session. The reason behind this is really simple; you flush out a lot of toxic fluid out of the body, which you may know as lymphatic drainage. You must drink a lot of water before the massage to help your lymphatic drainage system, or there could be issues. The water will help the drainage system move out of your body, or it will clog inside and subsequently cause pain, discomfort, soreness, and aches all over your body. Drink plenty of fluid before you start a massage session and between two massage sessions for a better experience. 

Why Does My Back Hurt After Using a Massage Chair? 

When you put unusual pressure on your body muscles and your body system doesn’t recognize it, it doesn’t work properly. One of the most common aftermaths of excessive pressure on your muscles is rhabdomyolysis. It’s a minor muscle crush injury that can come with an intense soreness or discomfort. When you put immense pressure, it releases excessive protein into your bloodstream to get you a sudden pressure. 

Why does my back hurt after using a massage chair

Inflammation on the muscles is common if you use deep tissue massage method as well, especially if it’s the first time. The deep tissue massage method puts deep pressure on your muscle tissues and makes them sore and possibly injure you if you have an internal or external injury prior and use a massage chair, which also can trigger a deep pain and soreness.

How to Safely Use Your New Massage Chair? 

Using a massage chair without knowing how to keep it and yourself safe and sound can get you a catastrophic output. If you keep using a massager for a long time in the wrong way, it could be harmful to both the chair and yourself. Here are the best tips for the safe use of your massage chair: 

How to Safely Use Your New Massage Chair

  • Never fall for a cheap brand and excessively advertised features; rather, you should go for a reputed massage chair brand. Reputed brands ensure the quality of the chair, massage methods, and safety in the design. 
  • Register the new chair on the manufacturer’s user database to get the official support whenever you fall short on the user manual. Good massage chairs aren’t cheap; getting the official support also important for a longer lifespan. 
  • Use the right electric plug to run the massager, it’s highly important to use the right voltage current that the manufacturer recommends using the right plug. 
  • Keep the chair on regular check-ups and make sure there are no faults or irregularities in the motor functionality or the hardware, especially electric connections.
  • Unplug the chair immediately after you’re done using it, any fault in the current system might get you a catastrophic result. Most importantly, unplug and reassure before you start cleaning it. 
  • Never leave your massager chair unattended when it’s plugged in and switched on. The massager may start working in a wrong way when you’re not inside the airbags and massaging knots and rollers.
  • Ensure the chair is not covered with anything, especially blanket or anything warm when it’s turned on; it might overheat and catch on fire. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the safe use of massage chairs you might want to know: 

Can I use a massage chair everyday?

There are no prescribed limitations on the frequent use of a massage chair. However, you must avoid overuse of the chair, or you may hurt the body tissues and get a decrement in bone density.

How often should you use a massage chair?

The best practice for using a massage chair is to use it in 15-20 minutes sessions 4-5 times a week. If you have a good fitness level, you can double up the session for 30 minutes. 

Is it Bad to Sit in a Massage Chair for a Long Time? 

Massaging for a prolonged period in a massage chair can hurt body tissues and affect your lymphatic flow. You shouldn’t use a massage chair for more than 15-20 minutes in a session. 

Final Thought

If you’ve ever got a good stretch on a massage chair but came back with sore muscles, you might be afraid of using it again. Massage chairs are not torture machines; rather they are the tools for relaxation after a stressful working day. You must know why a relaxing tool can do the opposite of what it’s there for and how you can avoid it.

Knowing can massage chairs hurt your back will help you massage yourself the right way and avoid any injury or discomfort. Keeping yourself and the massage chair safe requires knowing the functions and the right usage of them. 

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