Do Legs Feel Sore After Using a Massage Chair?

Massage therapies, whether it's deep tissue or Swedish massage, generally makes the body work well. It is something that has become my solace for a long time now.

Around three years ago, I purchased a massage chair for my home.

Although it was pretty expensive that I had to think many times before actually buying it, but over time it has saved me a considerable amount of money and time.

I don't get to spend on spas and massages anymore.

My massage chair has various features and it provides me with a variety of massages. Thus, it has become one of my best investments so far.

However, using a massage chair has side effects as well. There have been times when I don't feel as comfortable after a massage session as I should. 

Why? Well, I have yet to find an appropriate answer to that.

I often have sore legs after taking a massage session, but that still doesn't change the fact that I am irrevocably in love with chair massage.

sore legs after massage
Credit: ShutterStock

Massage therapies, in general, have a few side effects. 

Although it is a topic not studied by many, mostly ‘time’ is the real culprit behind the side effects of a massage chair. 

How? Come and find out!

When taking a massage via massage chair, people often get so relaxed that they neglect the massage time.

Even though chair massage is incredibly good for health, it should be taken for short intervals. It is common knowledge that excess of everything is unhealthy, and the same goes for massage sessions.

I have been an advocate of chair massage for as long as I can recall; yet, there are a few side effects that I have experienced myself.

Needless to say, it isn't something to be scared of; it can be easily managed by controlling the time and settings of a massage chair.

So, here I have prepared a rundown of a few potential side effects of massage chairs that you may want to know.

Sore Limbs

sore limbs

Our limbs are one of the most stressed parts of the body. 

Why? Because they're subject to pressure while performing everyday life activities.

It goes without saying that chair massage relieves the pressure on our limbs, especially legs and upper arms; still, it can sometimes leave them hurting for a while afterwards.

Most of the time, it happens in deep tissue and shiatsu massage therapies that mild residual pain is left behind.

These pains are usually a result of irritated muscles and nerves because of improper setting of massage chair at home.

I happen to have sore and painful legs as well, but the pain is mild and goes away in a few hours on its own.



My parents are regular users of a massage chair as well, and they sometimes complain about fatigue after taking a massage session. Though it is rare and it doesn't last for more than a few hours.

I remember reading a research report by National University of Health Sciences, Chicago, IL that said around 1% of their experimental group complained about having fatigue for a day after taking chair massage therapy.

Blood Circulation

it improves blood circulation

As a matter of fact, chair massage significantly improves blood flow in the body. It stimulates the veins and arteries while regulating blood circulation. 

If you have previously experienced issues related to blood clotting, it would be safe to consult a physician first before taking chair massage therapies at home.

A large number of people go through hematologic diseases like deep vein thrombosis, regular massage chair therapies may aggravate the problem, let alone help cure it.



Massage therapies, especially chair massage, is popularly known to release toxins as well as enzymes accumulated in the muscles and tissues of the body. 

It is primarily the reason why experts recommend drinking lots of water after a massage session so you can successfully flush the toxins.

On the contrary, the toxins and enzymes released during the massage therapy session can cause inflammation in the body. 

Therefore, please consult a massage expert before bringing a massage chair home as it may cause complications in case of an inactive immune system.

Low Blood Sugar

low blood sugar

One of the rare but potentially severe side effects of a massage chair is low blood sugar level.

It isn’t life threatening in case of a healthy human being, but it can be of great trouble if you have diabetes.

Make sure to check your blood sugar level on a regular basis if you're seeking massage therapies at home.

It is good to be safe than sorry. Isn't that right?



Allergies are quite common these days; every other person I meet is allergic to one thing or the other.

I have my tale of woe here too; I bought a leather massage chair for myself a few years ago. 

Back then, I had no idea I was allergic to leather. As hilarious as it may sound, I used to have a stuffy nose and mild cough after every massage chair therapy.

It took me some time to figure out that it was actually the leather material causing the allergic reaction. 

Thankfully, I switched my massage chair with my mother's, and now I have a fabric massage chair. 

And, my allergy? Well, it doesn't exist anymore!

If you're aware of any pre-existing allergies, please do not repeat the mistake I made.

For me, my allergy was merely flu and mild cough, but it could be a lot worse.

If you're allergic to leather or any other fabric, go with the clothes that cover your body well.

The best part of the story is, appropriate clothing can help keep the allergic reaction at bay.

Bruises & Hives

bruises and hives

It may seem insignificant, but can be pretty annoying at times. In case of hard pressure massage settings, you may get your skin bruised.

Apart from the massage settings, be sure of the time. When I bought my massage chair initially, I wasn't aware of the time it should be used for.

I was so excited to get a massage chair, and as you know, chair massage is so relaxing that I began taking hours of massage.

I know it sounds insane, but it was after I started getting hives and bruises that I realised I was using it excessively.

The best time to use a massage chair is for a small interval of 15-20 minutes, anything more than that can eventually cause skin issues.



Lastly, headache is an infrequent side effect of using a massage chair. According to UHS, Chicago, IL, you may experience a mild headache within 12 hours of taking a chair massage.

In addition to that, the post-massage headache doesn't last for long; it will vanish within 24 hours without any treatment.

In case the headache persists, it is better to consult healthcare experts since it indicates a severe issue.

Just to sum it up, I would repeat it again, you need not worry.

All these side effects are unusual and most likely, you wouldn't have to experience them.

All you need to do is to make sure you remain in the safety time limit to use a massage chair, and you'll be good to go.

Other than all these rare side effects, the National University of Health Sciences highlighted a huge number of benefits that subjects experienced from taking regular chair massage.  For instance, 

  • It improves digestion.
  • It increases the blood flow. 
  • It makes the respiratory system smooth.
  • It relieves pressure from your limbs and muscles.
  • It helps heal the muscle injuries.
  • It makes the immune system strong. 
  • It can help ease the body aches.
  • It provides a comfortable sleep.
  • It improves the mood.
  • It helps cure anxiety and depression, and the list goes on.

Hence, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the list of advantages that massage chairs bring along is longer than the rundown of side effects, clearly making it a great choice. 

Wondering if you should get a massage chair as well? 

If it is worth the investment? 

Well, if you prefer self-care just like I do, investing in a massage chair is indeed a wise decision. So, let’s bring a massage chair home and get the nirvana feel every day, all day!

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