Back Spasms — The Inside Story | Stress Muscularly Expressed | back spasm

the moment before a back spasm - daVinci

Outside View of Back

Back spasms catch us “unawares”,

so to speak.

But here’s the odd thing:  when a back spasm happens, it’s most often been coming for a long time.

The Back Story of Most Back Pain

Back during a period of prolonged high stress — maybe during an employment crisis or facing deadline after deadline after deadline — you got yourself used to driving yourself hard or used to being in a state of urgency.  Maybe you listen to too much news or talk radio and get “wound up”.  Maybe you stayed too long in a situation you really wanted to get out of, or maybe you put and kept yourself in uncomfortable positions, by sense of necessity, that you would rather have gotten out of, and got part-way used to that, while keeping going.  Or maybe you just “trained” badly or trained on top of old injuries.  You’re musclebound, whatever the story, and ended up having a back spasm.

It’s been coming for a long time, your back spasm — you’ve been getting closer to the edge of cramp or spasm for a long time.  You got so used to being tense and stiff that, one day, you pulled on that tenseness and stiffness and it pulled you right back, something like an internally generated whiplash action.

What If It Was a Whiplash Incident?

Maybe you were involved in an accident that yanked or jerked or jolted you a bit too much.

Then, you tightened up suddenly, experienced a sudden yank-back, and you knew you were caught.  What started as a protective stiffening became a back spasm.

Back Spasms Come from and Are Maintained by Muscle/Movement Memory

“Caught in your own conditioning”– thinking about that — your back spasms come from your conditioning — how you remember your back muscles’ “normal” (habituated) condition.

We all caught in our conditioning, our memories of how things are, to varying degrees and in different ways.  Had you noticed?

However, sometimes, it’s just too much, and with just one more challenge we suddenly go hard-line, uptight, tense, caught in the grip of our own conditioning, in spasm, body and mind (two aspects of the same thing).  Think about it:  didn’t your back spasm stop you in your tracks? mid-step?  It wasn’t just “a back spasm“; it was a “you spasm“.

The Problem with a “You Spasm”

Not enough capacity, not enough tolerance for additional demand.  On edge, trying to be nice, perhaps.  Not much more capacity for stress, however.  Used up, or close to it, in the grip.

The solution?

Recover much of that reserve capacity by dispeling obsolete tension patterns.  Lose the excess tension.  Get back to normal.  Recover your reserve capacity.  Feel like a human being.  You may have forgotten what that feels like and you may not have known that you can do it, yourself.

Common Back Spasms are Simple

“Simple When You Know How”

Common Back Pain is a fairly simple condition to master.  It’s just a primitive “go” reaction (“Landau Reaction“) turned on too hard and too long.  You’re overheated; you’re idling too high.  You can learn to turn this reflex (Landau Reaction) down and up again, temper it, recover a bunch of reserve capacity, flexibility and freedom of movement.  No more spasm, no more back pain, more reserve capacity, more movability.

Back Spasms from Injury are More Complex, Take More Doing to Clear Up

Back pain from injury may consist of a number of overlying contraction patterns.  However, bending over or twisting and getting a spasm isn’t an injury; it’s a malfunction that falls under “Common Back Pain”.  Recovering from a complicated injury isn’t more difficult, particularly; it just takes more steps, some sorting out, and more doing, of course.

The same principle applies, either way.

Recover voluntary (deliberate) control of the muscular grip and let it relax, then deliberately use it freely and so reclaim it.  Strength, reserve capacity, free control.  Security.

One Right Reason

That’s one very good purpose of somatic education — to get people out of pain.  It’s effective, it’s faster than more well-known or popularized methods, and it brings durable benefits under all life conditions.

Different — and More Like Yourself

A larger effect of somatic education is to train people to free themselves from the excessive grip of their conditioning; to re-acquaint people with what it feels like to feel fine;  so people feel different and more like themselves.

Relief comes primarily from what the person does, secondarily from what someone else did with the person.  If you do sessions of this process, you contribute at least 50% to the change, moving between effort and non-effort (in clinical sessions), or more like 90% if you’re working at a distance from me (Lawrence Gold) following recorded instructional material and taking distance-coaching, as needed.

Because the person is contributing energy, intention, and intelligence to the process, and because they’re changing from within (if guided from out), the change is theirs — theirs to maintain or theirs to re-create, if necessary.  More than that, it’s faster than by externally operating methods, whether scalpel, laser, or stretching device (“spinal decompression”), longer-lasting than manipulations or interventions of many kinds.  It’s longer-lasting because it covers more of the bases and from the internal control center, the self, oneself, and faster because it works from the inside, out.




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14 Responses to Back Spasms — The Inside Story | Stress Muscularly Expressed | back spasm

  1. Chadwick says:

    Found your blog post through Digg. You already know I will be subscribing to your rss feed.

  2. Christine says:

    Dear Lawrence

    I wholeheartedly agree that the ‘patient’ has to actively participate in the process, unlearn the bad habits and create new, ‘good’ ones while tuning into and listening to the body all the time: learning to ‘love’ his body and work with it rather than hate it for all it’s failings and subsequent restrictions in life. It’s all very well for the practitioner to put Humpty together again (I hope you’re familiar with the nursery rhyme ;-); however, if Humpty keeps throwing himself off the wall, it’s going to cost him a lot of time and money to keep putting him back together again – no pun intended! However, from personal experience, the patient has to find the right trigger/incentive to want to go through the process of learning to listen to his body and move in a different way. My trigger was wanting to start to run again in middle age, doing so but having knee issues (which I have subsequently learnt have little or nothing to do with the knee!).

    I hope this helps and keep up the good work.

    Best wishes – Christine

  3. Great! thanks for the share!

  4. Keshawn says:

    I’m impressed by your writing. Are you a professional or just very knowlegedable?

  5. here says:

    Yes, I agree with you. Very good post.

  6. Learn More says:

    This actually answered the problem, thanks!

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  8. Thanks for the informative post! I am looking for endoscopic spine surgery around Chicago after persistent back pain. Can discectomy and fusion both be used for a pinched nerve?

    • Why in the world would you look first toward a surgical solution?

      Most back pain, including nerve impingement, comes from habitually tight spinal extensor (back) muscles. Clinical somatic education restores those muscles to their normal tension to relieve “pinched nerve” conditions.

      The procedure is usually rapidly effective.

      Lawrence Gold

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