Have you ever slipped a rib?
Yeah, apparently that's a thing. And I [unfortunately] found out the hard way...
One morning, I woke up and noticed some pain in my back (bra line area) that seemed to hurt more when I would breathe in. And considering a human breathes up to 20 times each minute, this problem became a real pain in my back (literally...?) very quickly.
Making an appointment with a chiropractor seemed to be the best option for me at the time, as I still had to get through a full day of work and move through daily life.
Long story short, I was chiropractically awakened (if that's a thing?) that day and have learned SO MUCH about personal alignment, how important chiropractic care can be for my overall health, and the true effect of sitting at a desk for upwards of 9 hours each day (hi, that's me).
As someone who works at a desk for 9+ hours each day illustrating prints and graphics for apparel and lifts weights in my basement for 30 minutes each day, I [apparently] was a recipe for chiropractic disaster without even knowing it.
That first appointment at the chiropractor not only taught me what a slipped rib was--that's actually what I was "diagnosed" with--but it also taught me some great maintenance stretches that I have continued to practice for months now.
These three stretches have been a life saver in keeping my spine as best aligned as I can on my own, while giving me a nice break from my plugged-in computer work all day.
1. Door Frame Stretch
Using a standard door frame*, place the palms of your hands on either side of the frame with you standing in the middle of the open space. Your arms should be bent at 90 degrees, making a football post-like shape. Gently lean your chest forward, keeping your knees slightly locked. You should start to feel a slight stretch in the front of your shoulders and part of your chest. Sit here for up to 45 seconds, taking breaks every few seconds as needed.
*Make sure the door in this door frame is open...or this won't really work. If you don't have a door frame available, use a stable wall and only do one arm at a time.
2. Tilted Neck Stretch
Place both hands behind your back, palms together. Clasp your fingers, allowing your knuckles to point down to the floor. Be sure both arms are straight (no bending at the elbows) and "pull" your hands as far down towards the floor as possible. Meanwhile, tilt your head to one side and then slightly backward, allowing the front of your neck to stretch. Sit here for up to 45 seconds, taking breaks every few seconds as needed.
3. Shoulder Blade Stretch
With your arms reaching out in front of you, turn your palms outward, facing away from each other. Cross your left wrist over your right wrist, allowing your palms to come together. With feet together and knees gently locked, "pull" you shoulders forward, feeling a stretch in between your shoulder blades. Sit here for up to 45 seconds, taking breaks every few seconds as needed.
Now, get off your computer (or phone) and go try these out!