After years of back spasms, PT, drugs and pain I finally broke down and went to a Chiropractor. I don't care if it's "psychosomatic", it works well for me. My problem was my spine was misaligned so that it pinched a nerve which caused the spasm which pulled my spine and pinched the nerve, which caused a spasm which ....... you get the picture. Once he got my spine adjusted it stopped the cycle and I've been much better. I'm still cautious when it comes to my back, and I can feel when things start to tightened up, but it sure worked for me. It sounds to me like you might have the same issue. I could reach for a shirt and bang, drop to the floor then crawl to the bed and be stuck there in spasm for three days. I tell my Chiropractor he gave me my life back.
Take it easy Pete and get better, don't push to hard. I guess an automatic trans is acceptable for medical reasons:flamedevi