A friend is in training to be some sort of massage therapist. He needs people upon whom to practice and my back was a bit sore, so I volunteered.
The technique was a new one to me, but not unpleasant - it has something to so with muscle layers and activating muscles which aren't doing their job. Most of it was fine and actually quite interesting - until we got to my ribs. Something about moving the muscles in the ribs made my knees feel terrific and I could feel my lower back relaxing... and then he got to rib #9. OUCH!
I often go months without thinking about my ribs - but two days later, rib #9 aches and aches and aches. If ever I volunteer again, rib #9 is strictly off limits. On the other hand, my back and knees still feel terrific.
I did finally knuckle under and make the phone call to the vet. The technician with whom I spoke asked all sorts of questions about why I thought Sam might have arthritis (good) and about his daily activities. I've been keeping a casual log of his activities and limitations, which helped. At the end, the tech warned me that X-Rays and blood-work would be required, and was I prepared for the additional expense? Damn straight I am; this is Sam we're talking about.