If you’re dealing with back pain, your doctor might suggest muscle relaxants. These are special kinds of medicines that usually need a doctor’s prescription to get. What they do is help loosen up and relax tense or spasming muscles that are causing discomfort, which can make you feel better.
What are muscle relaxants?
Muscle relaxants, also known as muscle relaxers, are medicines prescribed by doctors that influence how muscles function. They’re often used to manage various conditions, such as muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain related to the muscles and bones.
The term “muscle relaxant” generally encompasses two main categories of drugs: antispastice and antispasmodics. These two groups differ in their applications, modes of action, and potential side effects.
In this blog, we’ll focus on skeletal muscle relaxants, rather than smooth muscle relaxants. Skeletal muscles are those muscles that aid in movement, while smooth muscles are involuntary muscles found in places like your intestines, stomach, and blood vessels. There are medications designed to address spasms in these smooth muscles as well.
What are the different kinds of muscle relaxers?
Doctors in the United States can prescribe various types of antispasmodic skeletal muscle relaxants, including:
– Carisoprodol (brand names include Soma, Vanadom)
– Chlorzoxazone (known under brand names like Lorzone, Parafon Forte DSC, Relax-DS, Remular S)
– Cyclobenzaprine (sold under brand names Fexmid, Flexeril)
– Metaxalone (available as Metaxall, Skelaxin)
– Methocarbamol (marketed as Robaxin)
– Orphenadrine (brand name Norflex)
There are also antispastic skeletal muscle relaxants available, such as:
– Baclofen (brand name Lioresal)
– Dantrolene (known as Dantrium)
Additionally, two skeletal muscle relaxants have both antispastic and antispasmodic effects:
– Tizanidine (sold under the brand name Zanaflex)
– Diazepam (widely recognized as Valium)
Things to Know About Muscle Relaxants?
1. Muscle relaxants can help with acute back pain
For acute musculoskeletal back pain, a short-term use of muscle relaxants can be effective, particularly in the initial three weeks. These medicines can also help when back pain disrupts sleep due to their sedating effect. They work by blocking nerve signals in the brain and spinal cord, which can help break the cycle of pain causing muscle spasms, which in turn cause more pain.
2. They might be more suitable for younger adults
Muscle relaxants can slow down the functions of your central nervous system, causing what’s known as CNS depression. This could result in drowsiness and changes in walking, which may increase the risk of falls and injuries, especially in older adults.
3. There might be side effects
There are possible side effects with the use of muscle relaxants, which can include drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and changes in walking. Those with liver, kidney, or heart conditions should avoid these drugs or use them with caution.
4. There is potential for abuse and serious risks
Muscle relaxants can be addictive. It’s important to use them for as short a time as possible and to keep them out of reach of others. Overdosing on these drugs, which depress the central nervous system, can be life-threatening. Combining muscle relaxants with alcohol or other sedative drugs can be particularly dangerous.
5. They should be stopped gradually
If you’ve been taking a muscle relaxant for a long time, don’t suddenly stop. This could lead to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, and difficulty sleeping. Doctors usually reduce the dosage slowly before completely stopping the medication.
Remember, muscle relaxants are just one component of managing back pain. Your doctor might suggest other treatments, such as physical therapy and exercise, changes to your workplace setup, or epidural steroid injections to prevent the return of back pain. However if you want to buy muscle relaxants online then buy from our website.