Can Massage Chairs Cause Injury? Yes, But Avoidable

Massage chairs are a popular way to relax and unwind after a long day. They can provide relief from muscle tension, stress, and fatigue. But, can massage chairs cause injury? It is an important question to consider.

While massage chairs can be incredibly helpful in providing relief from aches and pains. Those who use them must take into account potential risks.

In this article, we’ll explore the potential dangers of using a massage chair. So if you’re wondering can massage chairs cause injury? Read on.

Can Massage Chairs Cause Injury?

The short answer is yes, a massage chair can cause injury if it’s not used properly.

Massage chairs are powerful machines that use strong pressure to relieve tension and pain in the muscles.

This can be beneficial for those suffering from chronic pain or muscle tightness, but it also carries a risk of overstimulating the muscles and causing injury. 

Can Massage Chairs Cause Injury?

The Potential Dangers of a Massage Chair

The potential dangers associated with using a massage chair come from both the mechanical and physical aspects of the device. 

1. Mechanical Aspects of a Massage Chair

The mechanical aspects of a massage chair can cause potential dangers if it is not used properly. Massage chairs use motors, rollers, and other components that can be powerful and potentially hazardous if not used correctly.

For example, the rollers on some chairs can move at high speeds, which can lead to bruising or pinched nerves if they press too hard.

Additionally, massage chairs can generate powerful vibrations that can cause injury if the settings are not adjusted properly or the user is in an uncomfortable position.

2. Physical Aspects of a Massage Chair

Physical aspects of a massage chair can also contribute to potential dangers. This includes using the chair for too long, using it with incorrect form or technique, and relying on it as a replacement for professional massage therapy.

If a person does not use the chair correctly, it can cause strains and sprains in the muscles, pinched nerves, and bruising.

Additionally, prolonged exposure to heat or vibration from a massage chair can lead to skin irritation or burns.

Understanding the Risks Of Massage Chairs

Some of the most common types of injuries include strains and sprains, pinched nerves, and bruising. Let’s explore them in detail.

Can massage chairs cause injury?

1. Strains and Sprains

One of the risks associated with using massage chairs is the possibility of experiencing strains and sprains.

A muscle strain is a stretch or tear in a muscle or tendon, while a sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament. 

2. Pinched Nerves 

A pinched nerve is a condition where a nerve in the body is compressed or constricted by surrounding tissues, such as bones, muscles, or cartilage.

Nerve damage can occur if a massage chair’s rollers press down on a nerve and pinch it.

This can cause sensations of numbness or tingling in the affected area. It is important to adjust the settings and move around in the chair periodically to reduce this risk.

3. Bruising

Bruising is another potential risk associated with massage chairs, especially for those who have sensitive skin or underlying medical conditions like arthritis.

Bruising can occur when the massage chair’s rollers or nodes apply too much pressure on the skin and underlying tissues.

It is also important to use the massage chair in moderation and not to exceed recommended usage times.

4. Damage to Tendons and Muscles

Overuse of massage chairs can also lead to damage to tendons and muscles. This is most likely to occur if the chair has to knead or tap features, which can be too intense for some users.

Kneading and tapping features on massage chairs can pull or press your muscles too hard.

This can make the muscles tired and sore, or even tear them. It is important to take breaks when using a massage chair and keep the settings low so that you don’t hurt yourself.

Also Read:

5 Tips for Safe and Effective Use of Massage Chairs

While massage chairs can offer many benefits, it’s important to use them safely and effectively to avoid potential risks and injuries.

Tips Description
Consult a Medical Professional It’s important to consult with a qualified medical professional before using a massage chair to ensure its suitability for your body type and needs.
Listen to Your Body It’s important to pay attention to any discomfort or pain you experience while using the massage chair. If it persists, stop using the chair immediately.
Set Up the Massage Chair Ensure that the massage chair is set up properly according to its instructions and adjusted for your height, weight, and body type.
Use in Moderation Massage chairs should not be used as a substitute for professional massage therapy. Use them in moderation.
Regular Maintenance Regularly service the massage chair to ensure that all its components are functioning properly and there are no potential risks associated with its use.


Massage chairs can be amazing tools for relaxation and muscle relief, but it’s important to remember they’re not magic cure-alls.

Like any good thing, overdoing or misusing it can lead to discomfort or even injury.

By following the tips in this article, listening to your body, and consulting a doctor if needed, you can enjoy the benefits of massage chairs safely and effectively.


1. Can massage chairs hurt my back?

It’s unlikely, but if you have pre-existing back problems, injuries, or osteoporosis, talk to your doctor before using a massage chair. Start slowly, listen to your body, and use gentle settings. Discomfort after a session is normal, but pain is not.

2. How long should I use a massage chair?

Most experts recommend sessions of 15-20 minutes, no more than twice a day. Start with shorter sessions and gradually increase as your body adjusts.

3. Are there any conditions where I shouldn’t use a massage chair?

Yes. If you have certain medical conditions like blood clots, heart problems, or uncontrolled diabetes, avoid massage chairs or consult your doctor first. It’s also best to skip them during pregnancy.

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About the author

I am Dr. Arjun Patel. Sharing my 20+ years of experience in Massage & Physical Therapy. I am an active member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). To learn more about me and our team, visit the about us page. Click here to contact me for questions, concerns, and consultation






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