I have reached the point of WFH life that I am willing to do just about anything to fix my effed up posture. Fifteen minutes of daily upper-body stretches? Check. An adult-sized harness? Sure! A device that beeps every time I slump over? Why not. But when I came across The Chirp—a back massage device that’s earned more than 2,500 five star reviews on Amazon—I had to find out from a chiropractor if I needed to invest in yet another tool to help perk up my posture.
Chirp was brought to my attention during a Shark Tank rerun (FWIW: The founders got a deal), and the ring-shaped tool is designed to give you a deep, targeted stretch all the way down your back. Because it has less surface area than a foam roller, it allows you to really press into muscle knots and relieve tension. And according to Matthew Cooper, DC, CCSP, a chiropractor and the founder and CEO of USA Sports Therapy, it really does live up to the hype.
“For people experiencing muscle spasms, this device can help relax muscles in the spine,” he says. “It places your lumbar spine in extension, which could be excellent for people who suffer from herniated discs in their low back.”
The wheel comes in three different sizes, each of which can be used to relieve different levels of tension. The large wheel, which clocks in at 12 inches, is the gentlest option, The mid-size, 10-inch wheel delivers medium pressure, and the small 6-inch wheel is best for deep-tissue massage. No matter what size you choose to try (you can also scoop up a bundle that includes all three), the wheel fits snugly between your shoulder blades and is easy to roll down your spine to deliver a strain-reducing massage. It works to loosen up any knots that may have formed during difficult workouts or hours spent hunched over your desk, delivering all-over relief. And what’s more? The wheel helps to restore the natural curvature of your spine, resulting in better posture, balance, and flexibility.
Shop now: Plexus Chirp Wheel for Back Pain, $44
“The best way to integrate this device into your wellness or stretching routine would be to start on your feet, placing the device behind your back and against the wall,” says Dr. Cooper. “From there, progress to the floor, rolling the device along your back.” He suggests exercising caution (or avoiding the device altogether) if you’ve ever been diagnosed with spinal stenosis or facet joint problems, because the extension that it brings about in your upper body can cause more pain. And as a general rule: “If it hurts, I would suggest discontinuing use,” says Dr. Cooper. “But if it doesn’t hurt, it’s relatively safe.”
With that glowing, pro-grade Chirp Wheel review in mind, it’s no wonder it’s earned five-star review status.
Want to stretch your back without a fancy tool? Follow along with the series below.
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