Effect of a massage chair (BFM-M8040) on neck and shoulder pain in office workers: A randomized controlled clinical trial

Heliyon. 2023 Sep 22;9(10):e20287. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e20287. eCollection 2023 Oct.


Background: With the increasing work-related musculoskeletal disorders, neck and shoulder pain among office workers has also increased. That said, this randomized controlled trial aimed to seek the potential effects of a massage chair (BFR-M8040) on neck and shoulder pain among office workers.

Methods: This was conducted at the Wonkwang University Gwangju Medical Center from April 2022 to December 2022. Sixty adult participants were randomly allocated. The mean age of male participants was 39.63 ± 8.09 years while female participants was 43.52 ± 8.27; women participated the most (86.67%). The control group received basic physical treatments, including a 10-min heat treatment for deep regions and a 10-min hot pack for the areas on the neck and shoulder of the complained discomfort. The experimental group received the same treatment as the control group and added 20 min of the electric massage chair's PEMF Neck Mode (XD module 3) (BFR-M8040, Bodyfriend Co., Ltd.). The participants received treatments twice per week. The primary outcome was measured using the numerical rating scale and the Korean version of the neck disability index. And the secondary outcome was measured using pressure pain threshold, range of motion, the Korean occupational stress scale, the Korean version of the Euro-quality of life-5 dimension, and safety evaluation.

Results: Fifty-eight participants completed a 6-week follow-up and analyzed (29 in the control group and 29 in the experimental group). There was a significant decrease in the experiment group in both scales for primary outcome measures. For secondary outcome measures, statistically significant increases were observed in pressure pain threshold. The experimental group only showed a slight increase in the quality-of-life measures. There were no reported adverse events.

Conclusion: The benefit of using a massage chair (BFR-M8040) was verified to alleviate neck and shoulder pain among office workers; future studies could involve participants from other countries for further investigation.

Keywords: Clinical trials; Massage; Massage chair; Neck and shoulder pain; Office workers.