I fractured T8 - L2 vertebrae in 2015 with L1 and L2 being the worst at 15-20% compressed. Ever since, I have frequent issues with my back tightening up and restricting my breathing. When this occurs, the same effort (say 200 watts) requires 10-15 higher bpm heart rate. So I go to my local chiropractor and he cracks a few things (seems the issue is more centered around the lower thoracic spine than L1 and L2. 10 minutes later I walk out of there and I can breathe again and my power vs heartrate issue is immediately fixed... for about a week or two before my spine seems to revert to it's old dysfunctional ways again.
Question 1: What quick fix can I do at home to resolve the issue? I'm thinking I may be traveling for a race and I won't have my chiro that understands my issue nearby. I have yet to find any stretches, foam rolling, or other exercises that crack my spine in the same way my chiro can.
Question 2: What can I do to see long term change???
Personal experience and no medical advice:
If "cracking" your back alleviates the problem for a while and it comes back, you likely have some structural deficits in that area.
That may be permanent (bone) or you may be able to compensate some of it by strengthening and aligning/balancing your muscle system in the area.
The latter is no quick fix either, and you need to start on a long term program to specifically challenge the muscles in that area.
One way to get there is swimming (haha...) plus a core focused program (a custom yoga routine will do) that you stick to religiously.
I am no PT, but most people seem to think going to a PT for a while "fixes" you for good. That's not true.
And if the PT doesn't tell you the truth about what he can do and what you have to do, then he/she is no good either.
We are talking Life-long commitment to what a good PT will tell you with this kind of deficit/injury.
I got set straight by my PT and if I stop my core routine or swimming for longer than 2 weeks, I am back in pain...
Just the opinion of a permanently bent person.