Your Nervous system is composed of a prodigious system of nerves. These nerves (form the peripheral nervous system) are like live wires carrying information between your brain spinal cord (central nervous system), and the rest of the body. These electrical cords innervate every physical structure of the body. Ranging from heart muscle to your molar, everything has its own nerve supply.
Damage to any one or more of the nerves that carry information from/or to the brain can lead to a condition called neuropathy. Today we shall discuss how massage chairs for neuropathy can be beneficial.
What Is Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where there is disruption of the peripheral nervous system. In this disease, the peripheral nerves are damaged and unable to carry nerve impulses between the CNS and the rest of the body.
As per the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, more than 20 million people have been estimated to be suffering from neuropathy in the United States alone. The number of cases is expected to be greater because the complex malady is often misdiagnosed due to the confusing symptoms.
Types Of Neuropathies
Mononeuropathy refers to the condition where only one nerve is involved (damaged). This is usually the result of prolonged pressure on the nerve.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common example of peripheral mononeuropathy. The condition arises in the wrist due to overuse or sprain of the nerve in the wrist.
Also known as multiple mononeuropathies, this condition is characterized by damage to two more nerves present in different areas of the body.
When many or most of the nerves are affected the condition is called polyneuropathy. Polyneuropathies are more common than multi and mononeuropathies. It can occur in diabetic patients.
The most common type of polyneuropathy is diabetic neuropathy. It is a complication of long-standing diabetes in patients with poorly controlled blood sugar levels. The condition arises as a result of compromised blood supply.
Disruption of the intricate network of peripheral nerves manifests itself in the following ways:
Tingling And Burning
This is a typical neurological presentation. A lot of patients complain of having sensations of pins and needles type of tingling in the affected area i.e. arms and legs. The presence of burning and tingling can point towards neuropathy, especially in diabetic patients.
Neuropathy especially diabetic neuropathy can be associated with or without pain. When present, the pain is throbbing in nature. Some sufferers explain the pain to be sharp, stabbing-like while others find the pain to be lightening-like.
When a motor nerve is involved (damaged) you shall experience muscle weakness on that side. In addition to weakness, you might also notice muscle shrinking (wasting) and muscle fasciculations i.e. uncontrolled muscle twitchings.
If the nerves to the organs are disrupted as in Guillain-Barre syndrome, the symptoms depend on the organ affected. Chronic polyneuropathy can present as:
- Loss of bowel/bladder
- Sexual dysfunction
- Arrhythmia of the heart
- Blood pressure undulations
Causes Of Neuropathy
In most cases (1/3rd of all cases) neuropathies are idiopathic and no one knows the underlying cause. Some neuropathic disorders are inherited from parents, however, peripheral neuropathy can be acquired too.
There are different causes and risk factors that can land you into this nerve issue:
Diabetes, kidney disease, or thyroid disease (hypothyroidism) can lead to nerve damage. Auto-immune diseases may also lead to aggressive destruction of nerve cells by the body’s own defense system.
Diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, Sjorgen’s syndrome are linked to neuropathies.
Infections such as Lyme diseases, AIDS, and shingles can be the cause.
Cancer can also damage nerves.
Trauma to the nerves in falls, car accidents, etc can also lead to nerve compression and eventually neuropathy.
Having vitamin deficiency due to a poor diet or being an alcoholic is also recognized as a risk factor for neuropathy.
The use of certain medicines (anti-seizure drugs) and chemotherapy can also act as precipitating factors for nerve damage and neuropathies.
The most common inherited polyneuropathy disorder is the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT disease) which causes weakness of foot/lower leg muscles and hand muscles.
Management of neuropathy is based on identifying and treating the underlying condition leading to this particular problem. If it’s due to diabetes, then diabetic control is primary to remove the perpetuating factor, or if the cause is an infection then the infection is treated.
Symptomatic management of nerve symptoms include:
Medicines such as antidepressants (duloxetine), antiseizure drugs (pregabalin, gabapentin) can be used to provide relief. Narcotic drugs might also be added to the regimen in cases of extreme pain.
In cases of neuropathy following injury, surgery can help relieve symptoms. The surgical option is frequently selected in cases of nerve compression due to herniated disk, or in carpal tunnel syndrome.
Most neuropathic problems do not respond to medicinal therapy and surgery is not intended for the majority of neuropathies. Therefore, you can take help from other therapies including:
- Massage therapy and physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
Adopting a healthy lifestyle/ diet and shunning alcohol can also be very helpful.
Massage Therapy For Neuropathy
Whatever the cause may be, neuropathy has seemed to be managed the best by massage. Neuropathy patients who have acquired the diseases due to cancer, chemotherapy treatment, or diabetes are all in praise for the massage therapy for neuropathy.
As per a randomized controlled study, aromatherapy massage is effective in relieving neuropathic fatigue and pain. This symptomatic relief greatly improves the quality of life of the patients.
Foot massage intervention in patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy due to Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has shown promising results. As per a 2020 study, foot massage reduces patient’s pain levels and augments sleep.
Another detailed study published in the American Society of Clinical Oncology concluded that a 6 weeks session of massage therapy is highly efficacious in providing relief from chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
On the other hand, symptoms of neuropathy induced by diabetes can also be alleviated using self-massage. A study shows that Self-Thai foot massage and Thai foot massage by a massage therapist can efficaciously improve the condition by enhancing the blood flow to the foot and the ankle.
As per a meta-analysis and systematic review, traditional Chinese medicine foot bath can be paired up with massage therapy can get superior results. Acupuncture/acupressure may also be done along with massage therapy.
Massage Chairs For Neuropathy
Studies reveal that self-massage and foot massage therapy can mean a great deal of relief for the patients. It was concluded in a study that self-foot reflexology massage ameliorates neuropathic conditions by improving blood circulation in diabetes-induced polyneuropathy patients.
Similarly, gynecologic patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy can experience a reduction in depression/anxiety and pain following a self-foot reflexology massage for 6 weeks.
The advancement in science has made life easier for patients. Nowadays, an effective and convenient way of getting a self-massage is via a massage chair.
Yes! Massage chairs can be your partner in relief and a replacement to the hands of a massage therapist.
A 2019 study has advocated the use of massage chairs as an alternative therapy for managing pain, stress, and anxiety. As per the findings of the study, partner chair massage is a completely safe and effective complementary therapy to manage pain, fatigue, and stress.
Foot massage (from a massage chair or a professional physical therapist) is proven to be highly effective in improving balance performance in diabetic neuropathy patients.
Most modern massage chairs are laced with highly effective and precise airbags that mimic the effect of kneading hands of a professional. The highly efficient foot rollers built inside the machine ensure pain relief from neuropathies (especially diabetic neuropathy).
Best massage chairs for neuropathy
Massage chairs have different benefits and are used to treat different issues, one of which is neuropathy. If you are in search of a massage chair for neuropathy, we assure you you’re at the right place. We have collected some of the best chairs for neuropathy along with a guide that will be useful in helping you find the best massage chair for use.
Z-Smart Massage Chair Plus
This Z-smart massage chair is a perfect massage chair that covers a great range of luxury features that one can think of. With an AI voice control for easy handling and multiple other features like a perfect body massage, you can get the best massage for treating neuropathy. With a 3D access controller, you can use your voice to control your massage. With hand massage technology and multiple position massage, say bye to body aches. The companion app allows easy control and access with the touch screen menu.
- Full body massage
- Advanced rollers
- Extended massage range
- Back width adjustment
- O2 ionizer
- LED lights accent
Z-Smart Massage Chair
Z-smart massage chair offers a perfect way to relax your tense muscles. Offering a full body massage, this massage chair gets tho the difficult areas where normal massage cannot reach. With a 3D and 4D massage program, this Z-smart massage chair covers the entire body at the speed of your choice. Get a massage like the ones offered by a massage therapist. The infrared heating system offers complete comfort during your massage and the LED accent lighting creates a perfectly relaxing environment. The airbags of this massage chair offer kneading massage like real hands.
- Easy controls
- Infrared heating system
- Foot coverage
- Whole-body massage
- Back width adjustment
- O2 ionizer
- Adjustable motor pivots
- 3D and 4D massages
Z-Dream Massage Chair
The Z-dream massage chair supports perfect hand controls with massage airbag targeting and heat support that offer a perfect, customized body massage. With eight different massage programs, this massage chair recognizes the person’s body to ensure a perfect customized massage. The Bluetooth surround sound system creates a comfortable environment with music to experience the ultimate comfort massage.
- Adjustable spine width
- Heating system
- Multiple massage positions
- Whole-body massage
- Zero gravity
- Bluetooth surround sound
- Quick and easy access
Z-Cloud Massage Chair
This Z-cloud massage chair supports superior ergonomics with a perfect L+S track massage with adjustable massage rollers. Z-clouds massage chair offers complete customization of size and a world-class design suited for all individuals. This massage chair also has a full 3D surround sound that gives a perfect environment for relaxation. The companion app allows easy access to the intuitive touch screen and adjustable massage features give a perfect massaging experience. Take massage to a whole new experience with zero gravity and a full body massage.
- Full-body massage
- Adjustable motor pivots
- Back-width adjustment
- Extended massage range
- Zero gravity
- 3D digital speakers
- Convenient storage pouch
- Adjustable leg base
Features to consider before buying a massage chair for neuropathy
There are multiple things that you need to consider when buying a massage chair for neuropathy. Here are a few factors to keep in mind.
- Massage functions
Massage chairs offer different functions from simple vibration to rolling and other massages. Some low-end massage chairs offer only simple features like rolling and vibration, but high-end massage chairs offer multiple features including Shiatsu, tapping, heat therapy, vibration, sound therapy, etc. When choosing a massage chair, consider the functions that are offered by them.
- The size of the chair
Most massage chairs have a size between 5 to 7 inches and take a weight of up to 280lbs. Nervehtless, if you want a chair of a specific weight or size, be sure to check the measurements of size, weight, and height. For the best fit, consider the size of the chair before buying one.
- The price
All things apart, the thing that matters the most is the price of the massage chair. The prices of massage chairs are often very high, but definitely worth it. Based on the functions offered, the prices of massage chairs will vary. So set a price range, and then search for your massage chair.
How Do You Calm Down Your Neuropathy?
There are some simple ways that can help you with neuropathic symptoms:
- Carry out massage of your hands and feet to improve circulation and get instant pain relief.
- Give up cigarette smoking.
- Avoid alcohol usage.
- Adopt a healthy diet.
- Avoid prolonged pressure to your elbows and knees.
Why Is My Neuropathy Getting Worse
You might experience an aggravation of symptoms due to the short-circuiting of nerves in the neuropathic region. Over time, the nerve fibers can undergo degeneration and die leading to increased symptoms (numbness and pain, etc.).
Is Massage Chair Really Good For Neuropathy?
Yes! Massage chairs are equally good as professional massage therapy. Self-massage is clearly indicated to be fruitful for neuropathy patients. Therefore, massage chairs are really good for neuropathy.
Can Vibration Massage Be Good For Neuropathy?
Yes! Research shows that whole-body vibration massage therapy is an effective adjunctive treatment for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
Neuropathy is the result of the disintegration of nerves due to some underlying pathology (diabetes, infection, chemotherapy). Diabetic neuropathy and Gillian barre syndrome are common examples of neuropathies. Pain, burning/tingling are experienced by patients that can be managed using medicines, surgery, occupational and physical therapy. Massage therapy is the best and most convenient way of relieving pain, fatigue, and other neurological symptoms. A massage chair can precisely mimic the hands of a massage therapist.