Can Massage Chairs help with Lower Back Pain?

Can Massage Chairs help with Lower Back Pain?

According to the World Health Organisation, An estimated 619 million people live with lower back pain and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Lower back pain is a major public health issue and is often associated with loss of work productivity. This produces an economic burden on individuals and societies.

  • In 2020, lower back pain affected 619 million people globally and it is estimated that the number of cases will increase to 843 million cases by 2050, driven largely by population expansion and ageing (1).
  • Lower back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide and the condition for which the greatest number of people may benefit from rehabilitation.
  • The highest number of lower back pain cases occurs at the age of 50–55 years and is more common in women (2).

lower back pain

Massage therapy has been proven to be successful for lower back pain, but what about massage chairs?

The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AACP) published a study of the effectiveness of massage therapy on patients with lower back pain. 

Patients received 10 sessions with practiced massage therapists and the results were measured after 12 weeks and again at 24 weeks. Of those with clinically improved disability at 12 weeks, 75% were still clinically improved at 24 weeks.

Why massage therapy works for lower back pain

In the lower back, massage stimulates the blood vessels, collagen fibres, muscle and tendon tissue, and nerve cells and may result in one or more of the following changes (3):

  • Reduce stiffness in the muscles and tendons
  • Improve tissue elasticity and increase the range of motion of joints
  • Decrease inflammation and swelling in the soft tissues
  • Reduce scar tissue formation
  • Influence blood flow in the muscles, which in turn promotes nutrient exchange and removal of toxins, decreasing pain

Massage also increases the levels of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine: hormones that help decrease pain, regulate sleep and mood, and promote relaxation.

massage for lower back pain

So, will a massage chair help relieve my back pain?

The National Library of Medicine published a study that compared the effectiveness of physiotherapy versus massage chairs. The results? Both groups experienced reduced lower back pain and quality of life.

Even though physiotherapy did see better results, massage chairs are much more cost-effective at only 60% of the cost of physiotherapy.

‘’Our results showed that the massage chair is a promising treatment for pain control and quality of life modification’’

In the AACP study, patients received a Swedish massage which involved rubbing, kneading, stroking and tapping. This is similar to the functions of our 10 Series Royal King 6D AI Heart Rate Detection Medical Massage Chair: kneading, tapping, knocking, shiatsu, or a combination in addition to carbon fibre heating pads on the back, buttocks, and calves for fatigue relief.

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  1. GBD 2021 Low Back Pain Collaborators. Global, regional, and national burden of low back pain, 1990-2020, its attributable risk factors, and projections to 2050: a systematic analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2021. Lancet Rheumatol 2023: 5: e316-29.
  2. GBD 2019: Global burden of 369 diseases and injuries in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019.
  1. Salvo SG. Massage Therapy: Principles and Practice. Fifth edition. Elsevier; 2016.
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