A great email from a customer this last week asking about which massage chair would be best for working the area between the shoulder blades in the upper back. Great question because so many people ask about that. I hope his question and my response help you in your massage chair due diligence, too!
Hello, I’m researching massage chairs. My interest is for a chair that gives a very firm massage “deep tissue”. My pain is just to the left of my spine between my shoulder blades. I believe it is posture related and the rombus muscle. I have pain on the front of my sternum as the twisted know on my back pulls the rib. i’ve seen PT and they said I have a “slipped rib”. anyways, massage helps. I don’t really care about leg, foot , arm massage. Just interested in the best back massager that is firm and strong. I read that inada chairs are the best. however, i don’t really care about all the fluff. just want back, shoulders and maybe neck. Osaka chairs seem like a better value and probably more appropriate for me. Panasonic chairs might be an option. Do you have any suggestions for something about upper back between the shoulder blades?
Thank you so much for your email. For the upper back and between the shoulder blades, almost any chair would suffice. That is an area that most chairs do quite well with, particularly since the mid back curvature pushes right up against and into the roller mechanism. It is often harder to find a chair that has a good low back and neck massage as the rollers need to protrude further forward to hit those areas.
Yes, the Osaki chairs are quite vigorous. You will not be disappointed in a massage from the OS-7200H or the OS-7075R, two of Osaki’s most popular models. I wrote an article last year comparing the massage of these two models as they pertain to the area between the shoulder blades. Here is a link to that article:
(The OS-7075R is the same model as the old OS-7000, excepting for the foot massage in the OS-7075R, fyi.)
The Panasonic MA70
is a very well built, quality massage chair that also hits the mid back very well. It also has a unique roller system that “grasps” the top of the shoulder more than any other chair and gives the levator scapulae muscles, at the top of the shoulder blades, a great massage. More money, but the warranty and quality will make it a worthwhile chair for many, many years.
from Infinite Therapeutics also offers a good, vigorous massage of the mid back. I would say it is not as intense as the roller system of the Osaki chairs, but a very good massage with a very comfortable fit for the user.
Human Touch chairs
are also known to have massage roller systems that work the mid back quite vigorously. The HT-7450 and the HT-7120 both have intensity adjustments that can make the rollers as vigorous as you can tolerate. Human Touch chairs don’t have all the airbag “bells and whistles” of the other models, but give a good and intense spinal massage from the roller system, not to mention a great calf (and foot, in some models) massage with their patented “paddle” system (better than airbags, IMHO!).
I hope this information helps, without actually telling you what chair to buy. Please feel free to contact me again with any other questions or if you need assistance with placing your order. I am always at your disposal.
Dr. Alan Weidner