A massage chair pad is a cushioned seating system that can be placed in chairs, cars, or sofas to provide additional support and massaging options. Designs vary from small lumbar supports to whole back models. A lumbar massage chair pad provides additional support to the low back area. Whole back designs can range from the shoulders and low back to extended systems including the buttocks and back of legs.
An advantage of using a massage chair pad includes an ergonomic design usually made from memory foam to provide proper posture. Ergonomics is the science of designing a work space to fit the user. Using an ergonomic chair support can decrease the amount of strain and stress to the body so conditions such as repetitive strain injuries and pain can be alleviated.
Another benefit of a massage chair pad is the built-in massage and, often, heating options. Both heat and massage are common treatment options for things like muscle tightness or soreness. Options available on massage chair pads range from roller seats which provide a rolling massage up and down the back area, to kneading or Shiatsu massage functions. Kneading massage is a lifting and stretching technique similar to kneading bread that can relieve pain caused by muscle tightness. Shiatsu massage is a specialized massage technique utilizing acupressure or physical pressure to specific areas of tightness and pain.
Heat and massage options, such as the speed, intensity, and the type of massage provided, can usually be adjusted according to the user's preference. This can allow a massage chair pad to help manage overall stress and increase blood flow, which in turn increases things like concentration and memory. Increasing blood flow can also aid in decreasing the amount of plaque buildup in the arteries and allow the cells in the body to work more efficiently.
The best way to choose a massage chair pad is for the user to determine what benefits he or she is looking for from it. For example, chronic low back pain sufferers may consider the use of a lumbar massage pad. On the other hand, general postural pain or work stress may benefit from a full back design. People with sciatica, a pain condition which originates in the low back with radiating symptoms that can extend down the back of the leg and into the ankle and foot, may prefer the extended whole back pad to achieve pain relief.