Why I Have Lower Back Pain After Using a Massage Chair?

(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

Are you one of the many individuals who have invested in a massage chair with the hope of relieving stress, tension, and muscle pain, but instead found yourself experiencing lower back pain after each use?

If so, you are not alone.

Many people have found themselves in the same predicament, wondering why they are experiencing pain after using a product that was supposed to provide relief. In this article, we will delve into the potential causes of lower back pain after using a massage chair, and more importantly, provide you with practical tips on how to prevent and alleviate this discomfort. We will also discuss when it’s time to seek medical attention.

Causes of post-massage chair lower back pain

Below are some causes of lower back pain after massage chair use:

  1. Poor positioning in the chair: Sitting in the wrong posture or not properly modifying your chair to fit your body shape can cause avoidable tension in the lower back muscles, leading to pain and discomfort.
  2. Overuse of certain muscle groups: If a massage chair is used for long periods of time or on a regular basis, it can lead to overuse of certain muscle groups in the lower back, leading to pain and stiffness.
  3. Certain massage techniques or intensities: If a massage chair is not set up correctly or the technique used is too intense for your body, it can lead to an unpleasant experience in the lower back area. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you have adjusted any settings and are using techniques suitable for your needs before proceeding with a massage session.
  4. Pre-existing lower back pain or injury: If you have a pre-existing lower back condition or injury, using a massage chair may aggravate your symptoms and cause pain.
  5. Dehydration or poor circulation: Massage chairs can dehydrate the body and reduce blood flow to certain areas, leading to pain and discomfort in the lower back.
  6. Ill-fitted massage chair: For some, an ill-fitting chair may cause discomfort – such as inadequate lumbar support or the rollers not aligning with the spine in a supportive way.

It’s essential to note that the above-mentioned causes might not be the only reason for lower back pain, and it could be due to other underlying conditions that need medical attention.

Several studies have found that massage chairs can be effective in reducing pain[1][2], improving sleep quality[3], reducing stress levels in mentally ill individuals[4], and enhancing measurable brain activity.

How to prevent post-massage chair lower back pain

Here are some steps to prevent massage chair back pain:

  • Properly adjust the chair to fit your body: Taking the time to customize your chair for a comfortable, supportive fit is essential. Adjust it so that your lower back prospers and ensure the rollers are in line with the natural curvature of your spine.
  • Communicate with the manufacturer or salesperson: If you’re experiencing pain after using a massage chair, it may be helpful to reach out to the manufacturer or salesperson for advice on how to properly use the chair and avoid discomfort.
  • Gradually increase the time or intensity of use: To prevent overexertion of any particular muscle group, take it slow with your massage chair. Gradually increase both the duration and intensity of your use to give your body time to adjust.
  • Incorporate stretching and strengthening exercises into your daily routine: Strengthening and stretching your lower back muscles through regular exercises can prevent discomfort and pain in the long run.
  • Hydrate before and after using the massage chair: Proper hydration can help to prevent dehydration and reduce muscle soreness.
  • Take breaks between massage sessions: Taking breaks between massage sessions can help prevent overuse and give your body a chance to rest and recover.
  • Use the chair in consultation with a medical professional: For those who suffer from lower back pain or have an existing injury, it is always advisable to speak with a medical professional before using a massage chair. They can ensure the device will remain safe for use and provide guidance on how to utilize it.

By adhering to these precautionary steps, you can securely enjoy massage chair benefits without the fear of lower back pain. Lower your risk and relax with a therapeutic massage chair experience!

When to seek medical attention

It is vital to receive medical advice if you start feeling any of these concerning signs after utilizing a massage chair:

  • Persistent pain or discomfort: If the discomfort in your lower back persists even after you’ve taken precautionary measures, it is wise to seek medical assistance.
  • Injuries or underlying health conditions: If you have a prolonged lower back issue or condition, it’s always useful to consult with your doctor before using a massage chair. Utilizing one despite an existing injury can worsen the symptoms; thus, if any pain or discomfort arises after use, it is essential to seek medical attention right away.
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs: If you experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in your legs in addition to lower back pain, it’s important to seek medical attention as it could be a sign of a more serious condition such as a herniated disc.
  • Fevers, redness, or inflammation in the affected area: If you experience any symptoms of inflammation, redness, or fever in the affected area, it’s wise to seek medical advice since this may signal a more severe infection.
  • Unexpected pain or pain that gets worse: If you experience pain or discomfort that you didn’t expect, or if your pain gets worse over time, it’s important to seek medical attention.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Whenever you have doubts about your health, it is in your interest to consult with a doctor or medical professional. They can evaluate the cause of your pain and provide effective treatment so that conditions don’t worsen over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Massage Increase Lower Back Pain?

While massage therapy is often utilized as a means of relieving lower back pain, there are instances where it may lead to temporary discomfort or exacerbation of symptoms.

Massage techniques, when applied correctly and tailored to individual needs, can potentially alleviate lower back pain. Studies have shown that massage therapy can help reduce muscle tension, improve blood flow, and promote relaxation, which may contribute to pain relief in the lower back region.

However, it’s important to recognize that not all individuals respond to massage therapy in the same way. Factors such as the underlying cause of lower back pain, individual pain thresholds, and the specific massage techniques used can influence the outcome. In some cases, deep tissue massage or excessive pressure on sensitive areas of the lower back can potentially cause temporary soreness or discomfort.

Moreover, individuals with certain conditions, such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or acute inflammation, may need to exercise caution when receiving massage therapy. In these situations, it is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional who can assess the appropriateness of massage and recommend suitable approaches for pain management.

Ultimately, the effects of massage on lower back pain can vary among individuals. While massage therapy has the potential to provide relief and improve overall well-being, it is essential to approach it with careful consideration, individual assessment, and expert guidance to ensure the best possible outcomes and minimize any risks or temporary discomfort.

How Do You Stretch Your Lower Back After a Massage?

After a massage, it can be beneficial to incorporate gentle stretching exercises to further enhance the relaxation and relieve tension in the lower back. Here are a few recommended stretches:

Knee-to-Chest Stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Slowly bring one knee toward your chest, using your hands to gently pull it closer. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat with the other leg. This stretch helps to release tightness in the lower back and stretches the gluteal muscles.

Cat-Camel Stretch: Begin on your hands and knees, ensuring your wrists are aligned with your shoulders and your knees are aligned with your hips. Arch your back upward like a cat, rounding your spine and tucking your chin toward your chest. Then, reverse the movement by dropping your belly towards the ground, lifting your chin, and arching your back. Repeat this fluid motion for several repetitions to increase flexibility and mobility in the lower back.

Child’s Pose: Start by kneeling on the floor and then sit back on your heels. Slowly lower your upper body forward, reaching your arms out in front of you while keeping your buttocks in contact with your heels. Allow your forehead to rest on the floor and hold this position for 20-30 seconds. This stretch gently elongates and relaxes the muscles of the lower back.

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt Suddenly After Massage?

Sudden lower back pain following a massage may stem from various factors, intertwining the complexities of individual physiology, massage technique, and pre-existing conditions. Understanding the potential causes can shed light on this unexpected discomfort.

Firstly, muscle soreness is a common post-massage phenomenon, especially if the massage was particularly intense or targeted specific muscle groups. The manipulation of muscles during a massage can lead to microscopic damage to muscle fibers, causing inflammation and soreness. This temporary discomfort, known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is a natural response to the physical manipulation of tissues. In the context of a lower back massage, if the muscles were worked more vigorously than they are accustomed to, it could result in soreness in the hours or days following the massage.

Additionally, underlying musculoskeletal issues may contribute to post-massage lower back pain. If the massage therapist unknowingly targeted an area with an existing injury or inflammation, the manipulation could exacerbate discomfort. This underscores the importance of communication between the individual and the massage therapist to ensure a tailored and safe massage experience.

Poor posture during the massage can also play a role in sudden lower back pain. If the positioning on the massage table or chair is not optimal, it can strain the lower back muscles. Similarly, an improper massage technique, such as excessive pressure or improper manipulation of the lumbar region, can contribute to post-massage discomfort.

Dehydration is another factor to consider. Massage can release toxins from tissues, and adequate hydration is essential for flushing these substances out of the body. Insufficient water intake before and after a massage may result in the accumulation of toxins, potentially contributing to muscle soreness and discomfort.

In conclusion, sudden lower back pain after a massage may be attributed to a combination of factors, including muscle soreness, underlying musculoskeletal issues, poor posture during the massage, and dehydration. Communicating with the massage therapist about specific concerns and maintaining proper hydration can help mitigate the risk of post-massage discomfort.

Why is My Lower Back Sore After a Massage?

Experiencing soreness in your lower back after a massage is a common occurrence, and it can be attributed to several physiological and mechanical factors. Understanding these reasons can help you determine whether your discomfort is a normal part of the healing process or if it signals a need for adjustments in your massage routine.

Muscle Response to Massage:
One of the primary reasons for lower back soreness after a massage is the body’s natural response to muscle manipulation. During a massage, muscles that may not have been used or stretched extensively are activated. This activation can cause micro-tears in the muscle fibers, similar to what happens after an intense workout. These micro-tears are part of the process of muscle strengthening and healing, but they can lead to soreness and discomfort in the short term.

Release of Toxins:
Massages can stimulate the release of toxins stored in the muscles. When muscles are massaged, toxins such as lactic acid, which accumulate due to muscle fatigue and strain, are released into the bloodstream. The body then needs to process and eliminate these toxins, which can result in temporary inflammation and soreness. Drinking plenty of water post-massage can help flush these toxins out of your system more effectively.

Increased Blood Flow:
The massage process increases blood circulation to the affected areas, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. While this is beneficial for muscle repair and recovery, the increased blood flow can also lead to temporary swelling and inflammation, contributing to post-massage soreness. This reaction is usually short-lived and should subside as your body adjusts.

Deep Tissue Massage Effects:
If you received a deep tissue massage, the intensity of the pressure applied can be a significant factor in post-massage soreness. Deep tissue massage targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, which can be more susceptible to soreness due to the greater intensity of the massage techniques used. The pressure applied can cause significant muscle stress, leading to a natural inflammatory response and resulting in soreness.

Pre-existing Conditions:
Pre-existing conditions such as lower back pain, muscle imbalances, or chronic tension can also contribute to soreness after a massage. If you have underlying issues, a massage might exacerbate the discomfort temporarily as the muscles and connective tissues are manipulated. It’s important to communicate any existing conditions to your massage therapist so they can adjust their techniques accordingly.

Improper Technique or Inexperienced Therapist:
Sometimes, soreness can be the result of improper technique or an inexperienced massage therapist. If the therapist applies too much pressure or uses incorrect techniques, it can cause undue strain on the muscles and lead to soreness. Ensuring that your massage therapist is well-trained and experienced can minimize the risk of post-massage discomfort.

Body’s Healing Process:
Finally, it’s important to recognize that soreness is often a sign that your body is healing and adapting. Just like exercise, massage can be a form of stress that ultimately strengthens the body. The temporary discomfort is part of the body’s process of repairing and reinforcing the affected tissues.

In conclusion, while lower back soreness after a massage can be uncomfortable, it is usually a normal and temporary response to the treatment. The soreness typically subsides within a day or two as your muscles recover and adapt. Staying hydrated, resting, and applying heat or cold packs can help alleviate the discomfort. However, if the soreness persists or is severe, it may be wise to consult with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying issues.


To put it simply, there are numerous potential triggers of lower back pain, such as inadequate positioning in the massage chair, excessive use of some muscle groups, particular massage methods or intensities used by the therapist, pre-existing injury to the lower back area, dehydration or poor circulation during treatment, and an ill-fitting massage chair. Also, try to use the top-rated massage chair models to alleviate back pain.

To safeguard yourself from lower back aches and discomfort, it is essential to adjust the chair according to your body type, consult with the seller or manufacturer of the massage chair before use, build up the time spent in a massage session gradually, and pair stretch activities with strengthening exercises as part of daily routine practices.

Furthermore, you should also ensure that you stay hydrated during and after using a massage chair; take pauses between sessions on this equipment; finally, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions associated with your lower back make sure to speak with an experienced professional first.

If you ever experience recurring pain, damage, or an underlying medical problem, prickling, numbness, or weakness in your legs, fevers, redness, and inflammation at the affected area, or sudden pain that worsens over time then it is prudent to look for professional medical help.

To truly reap the advantages of a massage chair and minimize any lower back pain, it is essential to take proper care of yourself, communicate your needs effectively, and be mindful of how you position yourself. With these simple preventive measures along with seeking medical attention when needed, you can ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises while enjoying all the benefits of a massage chair.