What gives with these back spasms?
June 23, 2007 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Why does my back spasm when someone talks behind my back (in the literal sense)?

My back does this spasm thing that makes me fidget whenever someone talks or whispers directly behind me (anywhere from being in physical contact to up to 2 feet away). It also occurs when my hairdresser sprays water behind me that is directed at my head. This is especially uncomfortable when I get my hair cut or go to the chiropractor.

Does anyone else experience this?
posted by thehmmhmm to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
My back went out when my ex-girlfriend finally moved out after a 2 month procrastination fit. When she was actually going out the front door, I gave her a final hug, and my back just flat went bad. A very strange mental pain somehow focusing on the tail of my spine.
posted by doctorschlock at 12:03 PM on June 23, 2007

I get this too. Nervousness?
posted by greytape at 12:07 PM on June 23, 2007

I have this; it feels like part of a protective reflex to me. When the big muscles of your back tense up, they're like a suit of armor for your spine.

Yours is on a pretty sensitive trigger, thehmmhmm, do you have a history of scoliosis or other back problems, or are you hypervigilant, perchance?
posted by jamjam at 1:55 PM on June 23, 2007

Is it consistently reproducible or intermittent?
posted by parallax7d at 4:08 PM on June 23, 2007

Does it happen when you're outside and a fly zooms by behind you? I get that. I absolutely hate it, especially the lack of control.
posted by Hey, Cupcake! at 4:30 PM on June 23, 2007

Your superior colliculus is in charge of integrating various senses and in humans effects turning to face unexpected sounds. It has a descending nerve tract to the orientation muscles of your back and neck. It sounds like this reflex is slightly overactive. I have no idea what you would do about it, but there's a plausible source.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:35 AM on June 24, 2007

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