Hi, Dr. Ray Drury here with the Upper Cervical Spine Center, andI want to talk to you about neck spasms or back spasms. Where domuscle spasms come from? What causes a muscle to spasm? First ofall, what a spasm is, is when a muscle contracts continuously anddoesn't want to let go. Now, what would cause that? Well, a musclespasms to protect itself. It's literally a protective mechanism totry to protect the muscle from tearing.
It has a fear that it's going to stretch to the point that it'sgoing to rip or tear apart. So what it does is it contracts, and itstays contracted. And if it stays contracted long enough, then wecall that a muscle spasm. Now your muscles have a reflex in themuscle itself to protect it. It's just to keep something fromripping or tearing. So the reason that you have spasms is becausesomewhere in that particular area, there's a fear that the musclecould tear.
So it's stretched beyond what it should be stretched. Now whatwould cause that? What happens is, you can have structural shiftsin your neck, your upper back, your lower back, and when thathappens you lose symmetry. When you lose symmetry, that means oneside has to get longer while the other side gets shorter, whichmeans one side's ultimately going to contract. The other side'sgoing to stretch.
Now when it stretches, if it stretches to a certain point, thenthe body, to protect itself, the muscles will start to spasm, andthey won't let go until you can re-approximate. You can make thatmuscle shorter again. How do you do that? Well, the only way to dothat is to restore symmetry. So, what would cause your body to losesymmetry? Well, what happens is 99% of the time from my experience,is that one of the bones in the upper part of the neck can get outof align. When it does, it will actually take the head with it oneway or another.
When it does, the brain then has a reflex called the RightingReflex that says hey, our brain's not straight. We have to get thebrain straight. Well, when this bone goes out of position andcauses that head to tilt, it can't put it back. It's stuck. So whatyour body will do is, it will compensate for that head being out ofbalance. How will it do that? Well, let's say it went this way. Nowas a result it might cause it to drop one shoulder trying to levelthe head.
Now, the muscles on this side get shorter. The muscles on thisside obviously get longer. If they get stretched enough, the bodywill spasm, and it will start to cause shoulder muscle spasms, neckmuscles contract in the spine. So you'll have spasms as a responseto that muscle contracting. Now you can work on the muscles, and itmight relax a little bit. But it keep coming back because it'sstill stretched. You didn't fix the underlying cause. The only wayto stop the muscles from spasming on a regular basis is tore-approximate the muscle.
How do you do that? Well you have to go up here, and you have tocorrect what created the original imbalance, which ended up causinga change in symmetry or loss of symmetry in your body by correctingthis bone. So if the bone went this way, what you have to do is nowyou have to bring the head back this way, and now the brain says,hey wait a minute. We're not level again, now it brings thatshoulder back up. Now you have symmetry. Your body, the muscles arethe same on each side at the neck. That could be in the back. Itcould be anywhere in your whole body.
So the best thing to do if you have muscle spasms in your neck,muscle spasms in your back, is try to find an upper cervicalchiropractor to check to see if there's a loss of symmetry. I tellyou what. You can do a test at home. This is the best way to do it.So get in front of mirror and close your eyes. Then turn your headeach direction real slow, to the right, to the left. Then bringyour head back to center, and now before you open your eyes, I wantyou to immediately look at your shoulders and look at your earlobes, okay.
And I want you to look and see now, is one shoulder a littlelower? Is one ear a little higher? Now if you want to take it tothe next step, if you have a partner or somebody at home that cancheck you, go lay on the bed on your stomach with your feet hangingoff. Put your feet together and see if your feet are the same ...if they're lined up. If your heels are lined up the same or ifone's a little shorter or a little longer than the other, thatmeans you've lost some symmetry in your body. Now that only happensin the case of a misalignment at the top of the neck.
So if I had an upper cervical doctor, if you go through thislittle home test and you see yeah, definitely a problem, or if youdon't even want to go through the home test ... If you have neckspasms, muscle spasms, you need to get some help anyway. Find anupper cervical doctor near you. If you live in the Charlotte area,that includes Matthews, Mint Hill, Valentine, Rock Hill, Fort Mill,Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, Hunters, Davidson, give our office a call.Our office number is 704-588-5560. We never charge for the initialconsultation to see what could be causing your health problem. Ifthere's something we can help you with, we'll tell you exactly whatwe need to do. If it's not something we think we can help, then wewill certainly find another specialist that we believe can helpyou.
If you don't live in the Charlotte area, Google it. Try to findupper cervical chiropractor near me, and if you can't find one,give our office a call. We'll do our best to try to help you out.Hope you have a great afternoon. Get those spasms taken care of.We'll talk to you soon.