I hear this a lot. Many folks say that they hurt after their first session on a massage chair. You know, the long and short of it is your body is not used to the therapy...it is not used to having something good like a massage chair massage done to it. I see this all the time in our clinic: a patient comes in for treatment for low back pain and, after a spinal manipulation and a brief spot massage from our massage therapist, they are sore for the next day or so.
Remember how you felt after the shoveling snow after the first snowfall? Or how you felt after working in the yard for the first time in the spring? Or how you felt after going back to playing basketball or golf or bowling, when you hadn't done it in quite some time? That is the same idea.
You are getting muscles involved by the massage chair that you aren't used to having worked over. They have been asleep for a while. Nobody likes to get woken up from a comfortable sleep! Your muscles and joints are no different. They are used to same old postural position day after day and now you want to break up the party by massaging and mobilizing them. They are rebelling!! Plain and simple.
So, don't worry if you have some soreness after a massage chair session. It may even hurt for the first 2-4 sessions, bu eventually your spine is going to get it and snap into shape. You will begin to feel better very soon. You may even notice some great benefits in the rest of your body, even though your muscles might be sore at first. For example, you might feel taller, more limber, or that you can breathe deeper, or that you are sleeping better.
As my kids say, "It's all good, Dad." Hey, "it's all good" for your spine, too. Just don't give up on your chair...it will be easier with each passing day. You are going to love your new massage chair. I guarantee it! If you have some other symptoms, besides just some sore muscles, you can always go to your doctor and get a check-up to make sure everything is up to snuff in the rest of your body. You will most likely know the difference between sore muscles and other "stuff"...you know your body.
Dr. Alan Weidner