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Best Massage Chair for Shoulder and Neck Pain

Sitting leaned over, scrolling, or texting on our phones has awkwardly become the postural norm. It is no wonder many people suffer from upper body pain due to things like “tech neck” or medical conditions such as arthritis, tendinitis, or bursitis of the shoulders.

Shoulder and neck pain is so widespread in the United States that it ranks as the second reason for seeing a chiropractor. About one in five people will experience neck pain at any given time, and about 26% will have recurring pain in the next year or less. With recurring pain affecting one of the most complex areas in our bodies, about 30% of sufferers will develop chronic issues.

Even though our social tendencies seem to be taking a turn, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: At-home massage therapy is a way to conveniently relax away muscle tension, ease your mind, and soothe neck and shoulder pain. Therapeutic massages not only help stimulate your body’s naturally vital functions, but they also help prepare you for successful nights of deep, rejuvenating sleep.

Basic Anatomy of the Neck and Shoulders

Our upper body consists of the arms, neck, and shoulders and includes some of the most complex and flexible joints within our entire body. The shoulders have a ball and socket joint near the top of the humerus (upper arm) bone, surrounded by muscles and connected by tendons that form a "capsule." Within the capsule is synovial fluid, imperative for keeping our cartilage healthy and hydrated. The moderate ball and socket joint will work in conjunction with another smaller joint close to the shoulder blades and collarbone. This group is the basis that forms the system of our shoulders and neck. The intricate pair of joints allows us a wide range of motion but is more susceptible to injury due to the complexity. Undoubtedly, our upper body assists us frequently in engaging our shoulders and neck to perform tasks like lifting, pulling, or pushing.

Common Neck and Shoulder Conditions

Issues within our upper bodies, like our shoulders, can stem from inflammation, an injury, overworking, or instability from weakened tissue. Commonly experienced neck and shoulder issues include:

  • Tendonitis (Calcific): Calcium crystals that have formed inside tendons. The crystals may shed from the original formation area and reform surrounding a joint, such as a shoulder, causing pain, swelling, and lack of flexibility.
  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis): Under or overuse of the joint is commonly linked to shoulder injuries. This condition involves increased muscle tension and dehydration surrounding the shoulder. Inflexible muscles, tendons, and cartilage cause the “capsule” surrounding the ball and socket joint to “freeze” and cause little-to-no mobility with moderate-to-severe pain.
  • Osteoarthritis: Cartilage can start to thin out and deteriorate over time. Extra pieces of bone, called osteophytes, can form around the joint and change the overall shape of the ball and socket joint. This results in severe shoulder pain that can make it extremely painful to move.
  • Referred Pain: Soreness experienced in the shoulders often stems from another area of the body, like the neck or arms. This is called “referred” pain, which can arise from inflammation, aggravated nerves, tense muscles, and restricted fascia.
  • Tech Neck: Strain on your neck and shoulders from using devices and computers more than doubles for every 15 degrees of your neck bend. This causes tightness, poor posture, discomfort, and sometimes severe pain from overuse.

Woman reaching back to her neck in pain

Massage Therapy for Painful Shoulders

If you are one of the many people suffering from lack of sleep and mental or physical distress from shoulder or neck pain, look no further than a therapeutic massage to calm your aggravated muscles and joints. Massage treatment is more convenient than ever with a professionally designed and capable massage chair in the comfort and warmth of your home. Advanced massage chairs, like the impressive selection available at Mattress World Northwest showrooms, can help target the source of your neck and shoulder pain. A neck and shoulder massage chair can help your body render holistic wellness, improve your mood, and provide shoulder pain relief and better sleep.

Massage Chair Features Beneficial for Targeting Neck and Shoulder Pain

Massages are proven to boost circulation and help the body stimulate the healing process from natural pain-relieving endorphins.

A release of “feel-good hormones” can assist in suppressing stress hormones like cortisol, which can amplify shoulder pain, inflammation, and unwanted stress. Relax with gentle stretching motions and therapeutic muscle compression that warm your muscles and boost circulation. A massage chair offers a natural combination of ways to relieve neck and shoulder pain without ever leaving home.

Expertly designed massage chairs are built to perform a massage comparable to those of a professional massage therapist. There are several available special features for an unbeatable shoulder massage that can even address pain between your shoulder blades that will take your massage experience to the next level.

Heat Therapy

Most massage chairs come standard with some form of heat. Options range from a heated seat back to a total body care with heating elements in the arm and leg portion of the massage chair.

Also available are infrared therapeutic heated rollers. Infrared heat is exceptional at penetrating deep into the shoulder and neck muscles. Some, like the Panasonic MA73 massage chair, use infrared heated massage rollers to emulate life-like hands that gently loosen tense muscles, help you unwind, and release aches and pains.

Body Scanning Technology

Modern massage chairs use advanced technologies like 3D and 4D massage varieties. Body scanning allows the massage chair to generate a total scan of your unique shape before each massage session. Recognizing your curves, including forward and backward areas, the length and width of your back, and pin-pointing pressure points can make your massage feel more luxurious and human-like than ever before. Advanced chairs like this can even target pain between your shoulder blades and the curves of your neck.

A 3D massage chair will perform up and down, side to side, and in and out massage motions using an S-shaped track along your back, neck, and shoulders. The S-track is shaped like the curve of the spine and is ideal for a neck and shoulder massage because it targets the body from the hips up. A 4D massage chair, like the Positive Posture Brio Sport, offers all 3D capabilities but with variable speeds to deepen the human-like massage quality, giving you a professional-level massage that emulates human hands.

Massaging Headrest

A less common but one of the most beneficial massage chair options is a built-in headrest that massages the tops of your neck and shoulders. The OHCO M.8 massage chair has massage rollers that will reach the curves of your neck and shoulders to relieve tight and sore muscles better than most other massage chairs. The M.8 massage chair also includes an aromatherapy diffuser inside the headrest. Aromatize your massage with your favorite relaxing scents like lavender or chamomile for a truly rejuvenating and spa-like experience.

Shoulder Compression Airbags

Compression is an excellent therapy for neck and shoulder pain relief. Massage chairs of this kind have airbags to squeeze areas of the body, like the shoulders and hips. Squeezing will gently coax away stale blood from the muscles or areas of soreness. Fresh blood flow after compression invigorates painful or compromised muscles and tendons to encourage recovery. Your best choices in massage chairs allow you to easily customize the amount of pressure suited to your personal needs. Therapeutic compression is a natural therapy to boost the revival of healing nutrients and endorphins that alleviate discomfort in the neck and shoulders.

Ideal Massage Techniques for Neck and Shoulder Pain

  • Deep tissue (loosens muscles, tendons, and fascia)
  • Swedish (long swirling motions stimulate relaxation)
  • Shiatsu (pressure point massage releases tension and renders holistic healing)
  • Compression therapy (boosts endorphins and nutrient distribution)

How to Manage Symptoms of Neck and Shoulder Pain

  • Daily massage
  • Avoid long periods of sitting or inactivity
  • Be aware of your posture (sit upright)
  • Utilize a lumbar pillow or seat cushion
  • Be active, exercise, stretch

Imagine less pain, quality sleep, and more time with friends and family without discomfort distracting or slowing you down!

All this is possible with soothing, at-home massage treatments for your neck, back, and shoulders with a massage chair from Mattress World Northwest.

A massage chair that allows you to customize your massage therapy could be your ticket to managing unwanted neck and shoulder issues. If you struggle with built-up discomfort, tension, and stress from an injury or just hard work, daily, convenient massages can jumpstart a new you.

Massage chairs of the highest standards are available to try and buy in all Mattress World Northwest showrooms or shop our online shop. The Mattress World Furniture for Life galleries also display the best massage chair selection but feel free to visit any showroom location to demo a massage chair today.


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