Those who have chronic pain, defined as pain that persists for more than three months, often feel trapped in an endless cycle of medication and discomfort. People with chronic pain may experience fatigue, depression or lethargy. As pain persists, a common tendency is to limit movement and activity. This causes muscles to weaken, which puts more strain on joints and ligaments. The pain cycle continues.
Some people find massage helpful to alleviate pain. A trained massage therapist uses specialized techniques to reduce tension and loosen tight muscles. Although massage can help, it is not always possible to have access to a massage therapist. Massage chairs provide a convenient alternative, and a zero gravity massage chair model can be of particular use since it allows you to find a pose that offers you maximum comfort while you use the massage functions.
Much more than just vibrating recliners, massage chairs are embedded with special rollers, heaters and sensors that emulate the movements of a therapist. Massage chairs help to loosen and soothe muscles. The manipulation of muscles stimulates production of endorphins, which help to reduce pain and generate a feeling of well-being. Heat and movement promote circulation.
The back and neck are the most common sites of pain. Back pain affects 80 percent of Americans at some point during their lives and is the leading cause of disability for those under 45 years old. Back and neck pain can be acute, as from an injury, or can be chronic from conditions like arthritis or degenerated vertebral discs. Alleviating pain is important to both physical and mental well-being.
Arthritis is a common cause of back pain. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in joints deteriorates over time. Bones rub against one another, which results in pain. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the neck, back, hips and knees. Joints feel stiff and may be difficult to move.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease; the body attacks itself, resulting in swelling, redness and pain in joints. It can occur in any joint and often occurs in the same joints on each side of the body.
Massage chairs can help alleviate the stiffness, pain and muscle tension associated with back pain and arthritis. When selecting a chair, it is helpful to know which massage techniques are more appealing to the user. Some effective massage therapies include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, Shiatsu and pressure point therapy. Each uses specific physiological interactions that alleviate tension and tightness in muscles, ligaments and joints.
Specialized massage chairs are designed to replicate the strokes and motions of a particular massage modality. Some chairs have large rollers and nodes to give the feeling of the long, deep strokes common in Swedish-style massage. Rollers massage the spine, reducing pressure on the discs. Smaller rollers and nodes are more point-specific, emulating pressure point, deep tissue and Shiatsu massage.
Some chairs incorporate body scan technology, which locates pressure points and the top of the shoulders. The massage is personalized according to the curvature of your spine and shape of your body. Some chairs are equipped to massage the calves and feet. Compression and airbags squeeze and rub at different pressures and tempos. Most chairs have remote control, allowing adjustment of the intensity and type of massage and chair position.
A zero gravity massage chair is of particular use to arthritis sufferers because they sometimes find that certain body positions can help to relieve their pain. With a zero gravity massage chair, you can position the back rest and foot rest at almost any angle and altitude for heightened comfort. The combination of a relaxing position and the strokes of the massage components can be very therapeutic!
If you have chronic pain, numbness or tingling, you should consult a doctor. A doctor can determine the reason for the pain and prescribe appropriate medications and treatment therapies. A massage chair used as part of a treatment program helps to dissipate pain. You become relaxed, able to enjoy life again.