Partial view of a woman sitting on a massage chair

How to Take Care of Your Back When Using a Massage Chair

Massage chairs are designed to give you a relaxing massage. They work by applying pressure and force on your body in different ways, which helps stimulate blood flow and improves the flexibility of your muscles.

Are Massage Chairs Bad for Your Back?

It depends on a lot of factors, including the state of your back, the type of chair, and how you use it. For example, if your back is already in bad condition, then no doubt sitting in one for hours at a time will just make things worse. If this is you, it might be time to start treating yourself with a more regular massage instead!

Do Massage Chairs Work Like Human Therapists?

Massage chairs usually operate off of the same principles as human massage therapists. The chair will use a combination of kneading, rolling, and vibration to stimulate your muscles to relieve pain and tension.

There are two main types of massage chairs. Some use air pressure or airbags, and those use direct pressure from rollers or vibrating cylinders. Massage chairs with airbags are designed to stretch and relax muscles. These are common in spas and chiropractors' offices. Massage chairs without airbags tend to focus more on targeting specific areas for muscle relief, like the lower back or glutes.

How Human Therapists Adjust the Massage 

If you experience pain during a massage, your massage therapist will usually stop the session and adjust the pressure. They also have a variety of options for adjusting the type of massage that they're performing, including:

  • The type of oil or lotion is used
  • The speed at which they're moving their hands or other parts of their body (like their elbows) on you
  • How hard they're pressing into your skin

How Do Massage Chairs Adjust the Massage? 

It's important to note that a massage chair can only be as good as its programming. With these machines, no person is controlling the pressure or force being applied by the machine. 

Instead, they are controlled by a computer and will apply the same amount of pressure regardless of how you react or move. Massage chairs also don't take into account many factors like your age or weight. 

The distance between where you sit and where your back rests against the chair is fixed for all users. This is so that everyone gets roughly the same amount of contact on their backs.

How Do Massage Chairs Avoid Excessive Pressure on Your Back?

Some mechanisms are designed to avoid applying too much pressure on any given area. For example, some massaging chairs will stop if you move around too much during the massage, as this might cause injury or discomfort. 

Likewise, some mechanisms can detect whether a person is lying down and adjust their movements accordingly. If you're not lying down properly, it could be dangerous for your back!

Can People With Degenerative Disc Disease Use a Massage Chair? 

People with degenerative disc disease should consult their doctor before using a massage chair. People with herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or other back pain may find that using a massage chair exacerbates their condition. They should speak to their doctor before using one of these devices.

Massage chairs are a great way to relax after a long day at work or school. They can also be helpful for people with back pain, as they provide relief from sore muscles and tension. But massage chairs aren't right for everyone. If you have a bad back, it's important to consult with your doctor before using one of these devices so that you don't aggravate an existing injury or develop new ones in the future.

Although some people might think otherwise, massage chairs aren't necessarily bad for your back. They just require careful consideration if you want to use them without any problems down the line.

What Warnings Do Massage Chairs Come With for Bad Backs? 

The warnings on the chairs are there for a reason. Massage chairs can be bad for your back if you have a hernia or other medical condition that requires special treatment and can't be treated by a massage chair. If you're pregnant, it's best to avoid using any type of massager, including massage chairs, because of the risk of uterine perforation.

If you have any questions or concerns about whether or not massage chairs are safe for your body type and situation, please consult with your doctor before trying one out yourself!

The best way for people with back problems to get a massage is to consult with their doctor about how to use a massage chair safely or to find an in-person therapist who can help them explore what kind of massage might be best for them.

If you do decide you want to try using a chair at home, watch out for these signs that indicate it's time for you to stop:

  • A burning sensation under your skin
  • Tingling sensations in the area where you're receiving the massage

Exercise Caution if You Have Back Problems

Massage chairs can be good for some people but bad for others. This depends on a lot of factors, such as their back condition and the type of chair they use. If you have a hernia or other medical condition that affects your back and makes it difficult to sit up straight, then you should not get a massage chair because it may aggravate your condition.

In addition, if you suffer from chronic pain in your lower back or legs that limits mobility and puts a strain on muscles in these areas, using this device is not recommended, especially if you've just had surgery on those parts of your body.