You see these everywhere:
- spasms are a major mechanism of pain, especially in the back and neck
- spasm is often “protective” (muscle guarding or splinting)
- there is a pain-spasm-pain vicious cycle
These ideas are repeated uncritically ad nauseum by clinicians and amateurs. Among the experts, there’s a long, erratic history of debate over almost zero data, fighting over scraps.
For many years I have declared these ideas to be myths or misleading half truths on PainScience.com. My contrarianism has been novel and interesting, but overconfident: it’s based only on my distrust of vague claims. They smell like myths … but I can’t actually refute them with good evidence. I can only point to warning signs that the claims are probably bogus.
Look for more updates on this topic in the near future, as I reboot what I have to say on the topic in this article: Cramps, Spasms, Tremors & Twitches.