What are the Side Effects of Massage Chairs – Things you Should Know

What are the Side Effects of Massage Chairs

Studies have shown that a chair massage is beneficial in pain management. But it cannot replace physical therapy in terms of pain relief. 

A massage chair provides relaxation through massage therapy. While they have many advantages, they also have some potential side effects. However, the drawbacks do not reflect the popularity and growing market for these chairs.

It’s all up to you whether you use it for good or bad! We will discuss the side effects of massage chairs. 

Is Massage Harmful to your Health

Too much of anything is bad!

A study showed that out of 100 massage clients about 10 people complained about minor discomfort due to massage. Another research found that massage therapy does have adverse effects although the occurrence is low.

Some common side effects include:

  • spine disc slip
  • tissue injury
  • nerve damage
  • vessel blockage or trauma

Side Effects of Massage Chairs

Side Effects of Massage Chairs

Some people may have concerns about the health effects of massage chairs. While there are some risks, they are very minimal and easily avoided. 

The following side effects are not considered serious unless there is a lot of pain or discomfort. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using the chair and seek medical attention immediately.

Soft Tissue Damage

This includes muscle and joint damage. This can occur if the massage chair is used incorrectly, or for an extended period. It can also be caused by repetitive stress injuries.

If you’re someone who suffers from arthritis, an improper massage can aggravate pain. It can make it difficult to sleep, work, and even sit. 

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage may occur if the massage chair is used on nerve endings in the body, such as the neck, lower back, knees, or feet. If this occurs, you may notice numbness or tingling in the affected area.

Inflammation and Soreness

This can occur if the massage chair is used on a sore muscle. If you have an injury, you should not use the chair for several days.

Skin Irritation 

People with skin allergies, infections, and autoimmune conditions like psoriasis may experience irritation in their skin. But this only happens with high-intensity massages for longer periods. 

Heated massage is one reason why people become sensitive to these chairs. You should try to set the temperature on your massage chair to an optimum level. 

Blood Vessel Damage

This is more common in people who have circulatory problems. They should be very careful when using the massage chair. 

If the arteries or veins in the spine and legs get ruptured due to excessively high-pressure massage then it might lead to clot formation. 

But you should keep in mind that all these adverse effects are due to over usage of massage chairs. 

Disc Herniation

Spinal manipulation therapy, using shiatsu or deep tissue massage should be done with care. If you sit for too long and put your back under vibration or kneading massage, it can increase the chances of an injury.

Other side effects include danger for people with hypotension or low blood pressure. Massage may dilate the vessels and this may decrease the blood pressure further which is not ideal for hypotensive people. 

What makes Massage Chairs Harmful

A cheap chair or mishandling may be the reason for the side effects of a massage chair. The following factors make it harmful:

Over Use and Abuse

It is very important to use it only as recommended. Do not use a massage chair for more than half an hour at a time, or use it for more than three days in a row. The improper use of a massage chair causes your bones and muscles to become sore at first and stiff afterward.

Ergonomic Hazards – Faulty Chair and Poor Handling

Ergonomic hazards refers to any musculoskeletal injuries due to physical factors in the build of a massage chair or the way you handle it.

A poorly maintained massage chair can be harmful, you may fall off the chair or it might malfunction and hurt you.

The ergonomic hazards are manageable if you’re proactive in fixing and troubleshooting your chair.

How Long should you Sit in a Massage Chair?

two massage chairs in a room

The average recommended time for sitting in a massage chair is 30 minutes. But it depends on the kind of massage you’re taking.

If it’s purely for relaxation and unwinding after a long day then 20 to 30 minutes are enough. But if it’s medical or therapeutic then the therapist will decide the duration. 

If you’re using it at home it’s better to set a timer before you start.

Can a Massage Chair cause Blood Clots or Stroke?

The chances of stroke because of a massage chair are minuscule. 

If the chair is used for extended periods at high intensity and pressure then it may cause the blood vessels to rupture.

A dissected artery or vein will cause the blood to flow out. And this is how a clot forms. If this clot flows to the brain there is a chance of a stroke. But you don’t need to worry as long as you follow the instructions.

Why do People Feel Dizzy after a Massage?

Some people complain that they feel lightheaded after using a massage chair. The reasons behind this may be anemia and low blood pressure. 

A common cause of dizziness after the massage is postural hypotension, it is also low blood pressure but it happens when you stand up after sitting or lying. Another reason may be dehydration.

Whatever the cause is, there’s usually nothing to worry about. You can get it checked anytime!

Are Massage Chairs Good for your Spine?

Yes, they are good for your backbone and posture. A massage chair has a reclining function which gives you a zero-gravity feel. 

This chair supports a neutral position because of its lumbar support. The natural S-shaped curve of your spine maintains as you sit in and relax.

Are Massage Chairs Worth Buying?

Yes, they are. The many benefits of massage at home, at an office, or at a medical facility overrule its side effects. A massage chair can:

  • improve sleep quality
  • relieves stress
  • manages pain
  • boosts circulation and immunity
  • help metabolism
  • boosts your mood
  • relaxes still muscles after working out
  • speed up healing
  • lowering blood pressure

So you can get a massage chair from Amazon or any local store. Their price ranges from 300 USD to 2000 USD.

The Verdict

The side effects of massage chairs are mainly due to overuse, poor maintenance, and mishandling. 

In conclusion, the health benefits of a massage chair are numerous when compared to the dangers. When you buy a massage chair, you’re investing in your health. It will help you relax, sleep better, and improve your overall health.

You’ll also enjoy the therapeutic benefits of a massage chair. You’ll have the opportunity to relax and unwind. It will help you de-stress and feel more relaxed and comfortable.


1. What are the disadvantages of a massage chair?

The disadvantages of overusing a massage chair are soft tissue damage, nerve injury, muscle soreness, and inflammation. 

2. Can I use my massage chair every day?

It’s recommended to use the massage chair as per the instructions from the company. Or it’s better to ask a healthcare professional before starting a massage at home.

3. Why does my back hurt after a massage chair?

If you are a new user of this chair chances are that you might feel sore for a few days. But if your backache is persistent, stop using the chair and get medical help.

4. Can you overdo massage?

Yes, there’s a chance that you might overuse the chair. Try to set the timer before starting the massage function of your chair.

5. Are vibrating chairs good for you?

Yes. they’re good when used in moderation. These chairs have electric motors that produce vibration and give you a massage mimicking a human feel. 

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I am Karen writing this story for you. My specialization is in the principles of biomechanics meant to improve the quality of life in humans. I’ve more than 10 years of experience in the field of workplace productivity. My passion for yoga has influenced me to teach everyone how to sit and select the best chairs for work and recreation. I try to add value to help this project grow services day by day.



Joshua is the founder and an ergonomist by profession. With over 10 years of working as a furniture designer and consultant, his depth of knowledge is invaluable for our project. He also manages content editing and product reviews.



Carl is a web developer and a tech enthusiast. He likes working at night and has been doing so for the past 9 years. His sense of color selection and understanding of user-friendly interface continues to amaze us. Besides that, Carl is a food lover and a pro at video gaming.