I wasn’t one of those typical born-to-be-a-chiropractor kids. The boy who grows up in a home full of holistic medicine, getting adjusted when he is sick, seeing a family chiropractor to prevent ailments. No, I was just a regular kid from an Italian household in New Jersey- playing sports, getting hurt, and taking time off until I was ready to take the field again.

 I’ve always had a passion for being in the game. Whether it was soccer, lacrosse, hockey, football, swimming, football- you name it, I did it all. My interest in athletics soon led to an obsession with functional anatomy- What makes a shoulder optimal to throw a fastball? How does a swimmer use hip strength to propel themselves out of the water? How soon is too-soon to have a post-ACL patient running on the track? I was all set to become a physical therapist, and then things changed one night.  

My senior year of college I was sitting in my car, waiting at a red light. The last thing I remember is looking up into the rear-view mirror- just in time to pull my foot off the brakes. A truck slammed into my car from behind, sending us both through the red light, and my car off the road into a guard rail. I was lucky to be alive, and somehow walked away from the hospital with just neck pain.

After two months of physical therapy, my symptoms had all disappeared, and I was anxious to get back to working out. My first day back in the gym, I grabbed a dumbbell and immediately felt a lightning bolt of pain shoot from my neck down into my hand. I was scared, confused, depressed, all of it. Did I go back to the hospital? Back to PT? Was this something I would have to deal with for the rest of my life?

The next day, I returned home from college, and began therapy at a new PT clinic. There happened to be a chiropractor on staff. One of the PTs suggested I see them as well, and that an adjustment might help with the pain down my arm. I had no clue what they were talking about, but I was up for anything to get me back to my active lifestyle. After seeing how well my neck responded to the combination of treatments- I decided to apply to both PT & chiropractic programs. That accident literally changed the course of my life.

-Dr. Johnny