Do you suffer from back pain? If so, you’ve likely researched various methods to find some relief. Even the mildest discomfort can be enough to ruin your day or stop you from indulging in your favorite activities.
Fortunately, there’s a pain-free, safe, and non-medical way to eradicate back pain from the comfort of your home: using a massage chair. These are specifically designed to target those hard-to-reach areas on your back that’s stopping you from living your life to the fullest.
What is a Massage Chair for Back Pain?
Back pain is usually caused by incorrect posture or sitting for prolonged periods of time. But in some cases, it can be more severe and require professional help. Instead of forking out hundreds of dollars a month on massage therapy or opting for medicinal practices, a massage chair can offer similar, if not more, benefits to eradicate back pain.
Not all massage chairs are the same: some are designed to relieve tension and anxiety while the higher end of the spectrum are engineered to stop muscular pain and even prevent it from forming. In particular, they’re equipped with professional massage programs, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and more to provide some relief. They also have a design and shape that focuses on the lower to the upper back rather than the legs.
And the best massage chairs for back pain feature rollers and nodes that press against the various acupressure points on your body to release tight muscle knots and leave you feeling more relaxed. So you won’t just experience a relaxing sensation, but have comfortable, yet intense rollers, that relieve muscle and joint pain for good.
How Does a Massage Chair for Back Pain Work?
Massage chairs are a great go-to if you experience back pain as well as general aches and pains. But how exactly do these chairs work? They operate by stimulating blood flow to areas of the back that lack oxygen and nutrients. This happens in the form of massage, vibrations, and heat therapy. As a result, your back muscles begin to loosen, which can reduce muscle spasms and ease any back pain you’re experiencing.
It goes without saying that a back massage chair makes you feel relaxed and reduces anxiety. This works by increasing your endorphin levels, the body’s natural painkiller. But this feel-good chemical also helps to reduce pain and anxiety while offering quick recovery, which is necessary if you’re experiencing back pain and aches.
The best back massage chair will also use heat therapy, which has many benefits for back pain. Applying dry heat to the targeted pain boosts circulation, which can help to repair damaged muscles, improve back stiffness, and relieve muscle inflammation. And the sensation of heat on your body provides ample comfort and a sense of security like drinking a hot drink on a cold evening.
In addition, massage chairs that are specifically designed for back pain help to improve the skeletal system. Specifically, they reduce any muscle strain, which could be a contributing factor to your discomfort and pain.
Benefits of Back Pain Massage Chairs
The great news about a massage chair is that you don’t have to resort to medication or costly professional massage sessions to soothe your back pain, instead these effective pieces of furniture provide a relaxing place to unwind and experience pain relief. With various massage techniques, they’ll reduce the level of pain in your muscles and joints by releasing endorphins. Not only will this help to make you feel happier and stress-free but it’s an effective way of eradicating pain.
But massage chairs can offer even more benefits than this. In addition, they reduce muscle tension to leave you more flexible and provide you with a greater range of motion. This means that you can bend down farther with ease.
Regularly using a massage chair can prevent muscle imbalances from developing, so you don’t have to wait until you already have back pain to use one.
Best of all, massage chairs for back pain can relieve pressure on your body throughout the day and help you to unwind and destress when you’re feeling overwhelmed. And when you’re feeling more relaxed, you’ll have a better night’s sleep and awake feeling more refreshed.
What to Look for in a Massage Chair for Back Pain
When buying a back massage chair, there are several factors to consider. Check out our list below to discover what you should be looking for throughout the buying process.
A back massage chair should come with various massage programs that are each tailored to relieving back pain and discomfort. Below are some of the most common massage techniques your chosen chair should offer.
This is one of the most popular massage techniques and is ideal for moderate pain. Swedish massage therapy creates a calming effect on the nervous system by working on the soft tissues and back muscles to restore health.
The common massage techniques used are: kneading, rubbing, pounding, vibrating, tapping, gliding, and stroking.
Swedish massage improves your circulation and soothes muscles, helping you to feel more relaxed, which is great if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. Compared to other massage techniques, it adopts a lighter pressure with softer strokes on bonier parts of the back and stronger strokes on thick muscles. This helps you to feel more relaxed and tension-free.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage uses firmer pressure on your back to target deeper layers of the muscle. This massage style is ideal for chronic aches and pains. So if you experience sore shoulders and upper and lower back pain that sometimes makes it difficult to walk or stand up, opt for a massage chair with a deep tissue massage function.
Shiatsu is a therapeutic type of massage that can treat musculoskeletal pain, such as lower back, neck and joint pain. Shiatsu massage has also been found to treat headaches, fatigue, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and more. This therapeutic massage uses kneading, soothing, tapping, stretching, and pressing techniques to eradicate pain and discomfort. Most massage chairs feature this massage technique.
There are two massage tracks: S-Track and L-Track. Some of the best massage chairs combined both, but you may need to prioritize one over the other for some models.
The S-Track is shaped to the curvature of the spine and focuses on different areas of your back. The chair then uses that same path to follow your back’s natural outline and take your massage experience to a whole new level. Most follow up to your neck, too, which is ideal if you carry tension around this area. If you solely want a massage chair to focus on your back, we recommend an S-Track.
Alternatively, the L-Track is designed to reach your glutes and hamstrings as well as your neck. Covering a wider surface area, the L-Track is ideal if you experience a lot of anxiety or require a full body massage. With that in mind, an L-Track massage chair is typically more expensive but provides a total body relief. But it might not come with rollers that move in as many directions since it doesn’t focus on targeting specific areas on the back. Consider the positions that the back massage chair covers to suit your body.
Furthemore, you should bear in mind the type of massage rollers the chair features. These are three dimensionals available: 2D, 3D, and 4D. You’ll find that some massage chairs feature rollers that move in the vertical and lateral direction and typically include backward and forward movements along with the typical kneading and tapping.
3D rollers move up, down, left, right, and out. This means that the massage chair targets a larger surface area than a traditional 2D model. Ultimately, 4D massage chairs are your best choice, because they feature rollers that move up, down, left, right, in, and out. Plus, you can adjust the speed of the rollers when they’re going in and out. Using the latest technology on the market, 4D massage rollers provide the most relief for back pain, because they feature the most diversity and can be customized.
Ideally, your chosen massage chair will have various intensity levels that you can adapt to suit your comfort or level of pain. In particular, the strength of the massage depends on the strength of the motor that’s installed in the massage chair. Most feature varying strength levels via a remove control or an app. And some of the best chairs come with removable padding, so that you can further customize the massage strength.
Review of the Best Massage Chairs for Back Pain
Based on the above criterias to search for when looking for a back massage chair, we’ve devised a list of the top six models on the market that offer an array of massage programs, comfortable, durable materials, and additional features, such as a vibration mode or heat therapy.
The Tenker back massager is equipped with three intensity levels, so you can tailor it to your pain levels and adjust the settings as you prefer. For example, the powerful vibrating massage motors help to relieve muscle pain and tension in the back area, along with your legs.
In fact, this back massager features three massage zone options: full back, upper back, and lower back. Therefore, you can tailor the back massager to the areas of your body that are painful. Furthermore, the Shiatsu spot massager allows you to concentrate the kneading motion on one area of your back, which is ideal if there’s a specific section that’s causing you discomfort. And the ‘target’ button provides a deep massage on these target points, offering long-lasting muscular relief.
The chair also features an infrared heat function to deliver gentle warmth for your entire back. This helps to ease muscle tension and stress while promoting blood circulation to decrease back pain.
This folding chair relives and revives muscle knots and reduces back pain. Featuring eight Shiatsu deep-kneading rollers, this chair stimulates your neck and back muscles to deliver an acupressure massage. As a result, it soothes tired muscles and calms any back inflammation, which is usually one of the first stages in back pain. In particular, this massage healing method is deeply relaxing, and when regularly used, can improve your posture.
It also features a vibrating setting that pays particular attention to your lower back: a common area where office workers experience aches and pains. The vibration relief melts away any swelling, pain, discomfort, and tension from a long day. And it’s also an ideal setting for an all-over back massage to relieve stress.
In addition, apply the heat function to improve the overall blood circulation in your body and treat muscle fatigue. The one heat setting can help to relieve pain caused by muscle spasms and tightness in the lower back, which is common for mild to moderate back discomfort.
This back massage conveniently attaches to your chair for an affordable and easy solution to back pain. It focuses on the Shiatsu massage technique that can cover the entire back and offer a form of acupressure that relieves back and neck pain, along with tension caused by a build-up of daily stress.
This Aront back massager offers three vibration levels, so you can pick the exact desired massage setting. The vibration mode is ideal for an all-over back massage if you’re experiencing general aches and pains. Alternatively, it offers three massage modes that target the upper, full, and lower back. So if you want to focus on one particular section of your back more than others, it’s possible.
But for more serious back pain, apply the soothing heat therapy setting to improve blood circulation, repair damaged muscles, and reduce inflammation. Regular massage sessions along with heat therapy can improve back stiffness and relax tense muscles across your entire back, lumbar, and shoulders.
For a luxury back massager, this OSIM product makes a great choice. Designed with V-Grip technology, it kneads with precise movement to replicate the sensation of human hands. And for a more intense experience, the press grip function provides deep tissue massage for the neck, shoulders, and back to relieve tension. And the chair’s shape is contoured to target the shoulders and natural curvature of the spine.
The OSMI massager is equipped with four specialized massage modes: energize, lumbar, relax, and neck and shoulders. This makes it easy to use and ideal for beginners. Plus, this variety allows you to select a mode that’s best-suited for your pain level. For example, the lumbar mode eases tension and soreness on the back, which is ideal after sitting all day. Alternatively, the relax mode provides a gentle kneading, rolling, and tapping motion that alleviates backache.
Moreover, OSIM designed this massager with a heat function. This heat encourages you to relax while it loosens the muscles around your spine. By combining the massage and heat mode, this massager is perfect for relieving lower back pain caused by muscle spasms and tension.
Experience relief for your back with the Perfect Touch Heated Massage Cushion. This portable, convenient product has a heating feature that penetrates deep to reach tired muscles in your back, neck, and shoulders. In fact, using this feature alone is enough to reduce back pain after the first few uses.
It features four massage styles, including deep-kneading Shiatsu, which focuses on alleviating pain and tension on pressure points. In addition, the gentle rolling mode soothes away aches and discomfort. For deep back pain, opt for the deep tissue mode that aggressively works on strengthening muscles to provide you with some relief. Alternatively, the alternating massage experience is perfect for a combination of all massage styles.
Best of all, the Perfect Touch Massage Cushion features a customizable mode. Therefore, you can adjust the neck and shoulder height to suit your body, allowing you to share this product with different users. Also, the massage features a reverse direction. This feature lets you pinpoint a specific area on your back where you carry tension.
The Hueplus massage helps to ease away any backache and back pain while leaving you feeling relaxed and refreshed. This item features multiple functions that you can adjust on the included remote control. And it offers three massage controls. These include: neck kneading, neck massage, and back kneading. The kneading technique helps to treat tight muscles and decrease pain.
In addition, this chair is ideal to use after a long, hard day. Equipped with eight deep-kneading Shiatsu massage nodes, it mimics the hand motions of a massage therapist. These nodes use 3D tension technology that work to target hard-to-reach muscles and provide relief from deep tension that may have been contributing to back pain.
Finally, this massage chair uses heat to pleasantly warm and caress sore muscles. This feature works in combination with the leather and mesh fabrics that provide plenty of comfort and relief for prolonged use.
The Winning Massage Chair
Ultimately, if we could only choose one massage chair from this list, we’d recommend the Perfect Touch Masseuse Heated Massage Cushion. This particular massager works from your lower back to your neck and features rollers that can be adjusted to your height. And the rollers operate in various directions, enabling you to pinpoint a target area on your back that you need relaxing, so no area goes untouched.
Furthemore, with four massage styles available, this massage cushion can concentrate on light massage therapy or provide deep-kneading Shiatsu to target your pressure points, working away aches and back pain.