It started with an over-eager right jab at the end of my boxing class. After 50 minutes I was absolutely spent. I’m talking about a soaked t-shirt, red-faced, huffing, and puffing kind of spent but the combinations kept coming and the instructor was doing too good of a job keeping me motivated.
I tossed out my right jab, retracted, and went for another strong punch to the punching mitt when a shooting pain electrified my shoulder and continued down my arm. I’m no Muhammad Ali so I figured, in my inexperience, I’ve tweaked my shoulder but some ice and a night’s sleep would set me right.
The next morning, I was proven very wrong. I resorted to washing my hair entirely one-handed and couldn’t get a shirt over my head. I didn’t know what to do so I called in my roommate for help with the shirt when he suggested visiting a chiropractor. He had a slight curve in his spine and hadn’t gone more than a month without seeing one.
To be honest, I was hesitant to consider getting adjusted but after a dozen YouTube videos of satisfying pops and the looks of relief in the patients’ faces (not to mention the feeling of a hot knife in my back) I was sold.
I let my manager know I wouldn’t be coming in that day and after explaining the situation, his first question was, “Are you going to the chiropractor?” Was I the only adult who didn’t know about the wonders to behold from this magical knuckle popper? How had I survived this long without them?
After I miraculously got an appointment that morning, I lowered myself into the driver’s seat of my car and winced as I reached behind me to grab my seatbelt. The pain in my shoulder and neck had only increased and my mobility was getting even more restricted. I cautiously navigated to my local chiropractic while my right arm laid limp on the center console.
After a brief wait, I was taken back to the specialist’s office where I began to be evaluated. The doctor identified the rhomboid muscle (a ligament that attached to my scapula and spine) as the culprit. The next few minutes were a blur of head turns and raised arms interspersed by the most satisfying pops I’ve ever felt in my body. The chiropractor played me like an instrument, using his body weight to further my flexibility and get sounds from places I didn’t know could even be adjusted.
After about 20 minutes of various positions, the chiropractor asked that I lay face up on my back and to try and let my head and neck be heavy and relaxed. I inhaled deeply and on that exhale my day was instantly changed. A quick movement brought my chin over my left shoulder and then back to center and with it, relief. My body felt warm as I high-fived the specialist on the way out, right-handed.