I received a good question from a client today and I thought it was good enough to put his question and my answer on this blog for your information:
I’m currently considering buying a massage chair. I have chronic muscle pain in my lower neck and shoulders. This is the ONLY reason I am thinking about buying one so this is the most important feature. What would you recommend for this?
Thanks for your email. You will love having a massage chair! As far as the neck and shoulders go, I wonder if, when you say shoulders, you mean the top of the shoulders, i.e. the trapezius muscles, or the back of the shoulders where the shoulder blades are.
Regarding the top of the shoulders, 2 chairs come to mind: the Panasonic 30007 massage chair and the Inada Sogno Dreamwave Plus massage chair. The panasonic has a roller system that rolls somewhat forward over the top of the shoulders (trapezius muscles) before rolling up the neck. This little forward roll is appealing to folks looking for a good upper shoulder massage. The Sogno, on the other hand, has a separate cervical traction unit that uses air bags to knead the neck and 2 other airbags to compress onto the shoulders. As a chiropractor, I must say that the Sogno has the best therapeutic neck and shoulder massage. It is quite unique, not using rollers on the neck and shoulders, but airbags.
For the upper back and shoulder blades, the Human Touch chairs, i.e. the HT-1650 and HT-7120, have a very good roller mechanism that can get the neck massaged quite vigorously, but they do not roll over the shoulders at all. These chairs are great for upper back and shoulder blade areas. You can adjust the intensity of the roller massage so that you can get vigorous massage to the neck and shoulders if that is what you are looking for.
As you have chronic muscle pain, I would recommend using the chair more than once a day, once you are accustomed to the massage and over the initial soreness that often comes with massage therapy. It may take some time, but you will begin to notice a decline in muscle pain the more you use the chair. It is a wonderful therapy for musculo-skeletal problems. As a practicing chiropractor, I saw many of my patients who purchased massage chairs not return for therapy from me because their pain had lessened considerably.
I hope this helps in your decision making process. Feel free to call me on my personal number at 801-651-2026 if you have any further questions.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Hope this helps you in your shopping journey!