Hi. Just thought I'd share some advice I had from the physio yesterday on my first visit post the 6 week mark. One of the things I am having which I think is fairly common is lots of muscle spasms around my lumbar fusion. One of the things that she said was probably exacerbating this is that I am apparently being incredibly tense in my shoulders and upper back muscles in an unconscious action to protect my lower back, particularly when I walk or am sitting is a new chair, and even more so when i start to have a lumbar muscle spasm. But this makes the other muscles more likely to tense and spasm. So it's one of the things I need to be aware of and work on on, and now I think about it I do notice how I am tensing my neck and chest all the time, and breathing deeply and consciously relaxing those areas does seem to help. The other things I had from her was a toiletting lesson, again on the basis that constipation is a normal post surgery problem but its often exacerbated by the fact that many people, particularly women, don't have the most effective posture on the toilet seat and, particularly when pain is an issue, often do not use their muscles in the most effective way. While sitting lean forward from the hips, not curving back, and put ideally elbows but hand ok if like me that's all you can do on your knees. While pushing tummy muscles should push the tummy out, not tense up while pushing and suck in the stomach which also inadvertently tenses the sphincter muscles at the same time. She even gave me a poster to stick n the toilet door - much to my daughters mirth. For me though all this has been really simple common sense advice which I am going to try and follow, so I thought I'd share.