Why Do Massage Chairs Hurt?  Help from Experts

Why Do Massage Chairs Hurt? Help from Experts

Why Do Massage Chairs Hurt? Tips from Experts

We all dream about the ultimate massage to sooth our sore muscles. Yet sometimes after we release that muscle tension our body hurts. There are a few little known causes that could be making this happen.

We'll share with you tips from over 10,000 massage chairs sold in this article. 

Key Insights

  • Soreness can just be an adjustment period

  • Ease into deep tissue massage just like you would an exercise routine

  • Distinguish between muscle soreness and an injury

Diagnosing Why The Massage Session Hurts

Even if you use the best massage chairs on the market or luxury massage chairs, you may feel some pain (especially if you aren't used to frequent massages)

If you are feeling discomfort when using a massage chair, this could be perfectly normal OR it could be the sign of an underlying issue. We can categorize pain from massage into 3 categories: massage acclimation period, pain from deeper pressure, and underlying health issues. We'll go over each one and give you some tips on how to deal with issues.

Massage Acclimation Period

When you start a new exercise routine, it's common to be a little more sore for the first two weeks. Massage chair sessions are no different!

A massage is much like a workout in the sense you are working your muscles in ways you haven't in awhile. The great news is your body will absolutely adapt.

One of the keys here is to go slow - you don't want to jump in and run a marathon without any training. If you do that you're going to have the inevitable and unwanted pain. Adjusting to your full body massage chair is no different.

Even though massage chairs have numerous benefits using the massage too much doesn't help.

Pain From Deep Pressure

A deep tissue massage is great at stress relief. The down side is if can definitely cause some pain or even muscle damage without enough warm up. One truth that most people won't share is pain tolerance and massage intensity preference is purely based on the individual.

Interesting part about massage chairs is the amount of pressure is the #1 reason a massage chair is returned (too deep pressure or not enough).

Deep pressure is designed to release muscular tension and is usually safe. But going deep, especially in your first massage session can cause intense soreness. If you do decide to do deep tissue to relieve tense muscles, you should take a few days of rest in between sessions until the body adjusts.

Underlying Health Issues

The third reason a massage is painful is due to underlying health issues. This can range from dehydration to a herniated disk in your back. While most conditions are safe for a massage chair, you should consult with your physician if you have any health concerns.

Relieving underlying issues are the primary purpose of most people who frequently use massage chairs. Good news as well, is you can avoid issues if you follow some basics.


Massage Chair Use Basics

Most stories we hear of people having issues with a massage chair session could be eliminated. The key to eliminating issues is to follow the basics of a good strenuous activity routine.

Stay Hydrated

If you are using your massage chair often, you should drink lots of water. Water helps cells stay hydrated and remove inflammation (that sore feeling you have in your muscles). At least 8 glasses of water are recommended by the NHS. It's a great idea to drink a glass of water before and after your massage session.

Ease Into Deep Tissue Massage

It's tempting to drop $8000 or more on a massage chair and then want to use it for hours. With all the pre programmed massage sessions who wouldn't, right?

Don't do it unless you really want to feel sore for days.

Much like a new workout routine, give your body 2 or 3 weeks to adjust. If you feel temporary pain or soreness after a massage, wait a few days after your first session to recover. Massage has tremendous benefits like improving circulation and overall body health. Pushing too fast can diminish those benefits.

These is especially true if you have a chronic injury. It's common to be sore the first few times you use your massage chair. You don't want to be in pain.

Warm Up Those Muscles

Just like a workout routine, it's good to do a little stretching to help muscle flexibility. You can also do more of a relaxation massage to warm up the muscles. This is similar to what great massage therapists will do: They do light massage or stretching to help relieve pain and loosen up muscles before they do deeper tissue techniques.

Use Heat Therapy

One of the wonderful things about modern massage chairs is the heat therapy. It's recommended to use heat therapy for 5 minutes before you start to relax the body's tense muscles. Heat therapy is excellent for pain relief and relaxation.

Avoid Excessive Massage Chair Use

The research is clear that a massage chair helps a variety of conditions and is great at soothing tense muscles. That said, using a massage chair straight for a long period or using excessively can cause more harm than good. This is especially true for people who have been lying dormant before use.

It's important to honor the body's process for repair.

If we don't honor this process, we can experience discomfort and damage muscles or hurt our back. Excessive use of a massage chairs may cause back pain.

Conclusion -

There isn't anything much better for happiness than a wonderfully executed massage session. Feeling the endorphins as the chair soothes tensed muscles is incredible. There's a reason why you likely see massage chairs at your favorite spa.

That said, you can have too much of a good thing. Several aspects of massages can cause soreness if used incorrectly. The good news is you should be OK if you follow the basics.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Do My Muscles Become Sore After Massage Therapy?

When you are getting a massage, the pressure and stretch cause small tears in your muscles and connective tissue. This is similar to what happens when you exercise or lift heavy objects. They body is getting a workout!

This workout creates a build-up of lactic acid that can leave you feeling sore.

Why Should I do With A First Time Massage Session?

If it's your first massage session, it's great to warm-up for 5-10 minutes with heat and and a light massage to see how your body's pain receptors handle the intensity. Test out intensity until you start to feel pain and discomfort then back off.

Wait a day or two to see how your body responds to the massage before trying again.