Muscle Relaxants and PAIN!

When it comes to back pain, use of muscle relaxants is often recommended to alleviate the discomfort. This type of physical distress is often the result of muscle strains and spasms. Muscle spasm is a phenomenon in which there is sudden abnormal contraction of muscles. In this condition, the muscles tighten and do not relax temporarily causing moderate to excruciating pain. In such circumstances, taking these oral medications allow the muscles to relax, thereby providing back pain relief.


Muscle Relaxants

The main purpose of taking these tablets is to stop repeated involuntary contraction of muscles. As we all know, the brain through its complex network of nerves sends electrical signals to promote movement of muscles. In simple words, the electrical activity in the brain controls muscle action. The task of conducting this electrical activity is assigned to neurons, which are nerve cells that fire and receive signals from the brain to coordinate muscle movement. These neurons and the nerves that act as brain signal carriers are collectively known as the nervous system. The nerve has to forward the electrical signal to the desired muscle group, without which movement of muscles cannot be achieved. These drugs that reduce muscle spasms either completely block or partially restrict the nerves from reaching the muscles. This helps to reduce episodes of muscle spasm. Basically, these muscle relaxants try to suppress the nervous system in order to prevent occurrence of muscle spasms.



muscle relaxants Muscle Relaxants and PAIN!

Many different types of chemical medications



The medications that stop the nerve signals from making a contact with muscles are known as neuromuscular relaxants. These are usually administered before a surgery so that the person is not subjected to muscle spasms when the surgery is in progress. Muscle relaxants that are normally prescribed for back pain are spasmolytics that only inhibit the transmission of nerve signals to a certain extent.


Whether it is acute or chronic back pain, doctor often recommends the following drugs to relieve the discomfort. Keep in mind that these are prescription medications and so should not be taken without the consent of the doctor.


Metaxalone (Skelaxin)

Carisoprodol (Soma)

Diazepam (Valium)

Methocarbamol (Robaxin)

Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)


Although muscle relaxers over the counter such as tramaden and lioresal are available without a doctor’s prescription, it is advised to seek medical advice before using these medications. Usually these medications are taken before going to bed at night. These medicines do not provide immediately relief and it may take a while (20-25 minutes) before one experiences its relaxing effects. One will definitely experience improvement in pain, but don’t expect it to happen instantly after the drug is taken. Studies show that these drugs can contribute immensely to ease the muscle tension when taken as instructed by the doctor.


Side Effects

It is a known fact that any synthetically prepared medication is not free from side effects and the same holds true for muscle relaxants. These oral drugs that come in muscle relaxers list no doubt act as excellent pain relievers but have few side effects. However, this undesired effect is not worrisome and usually manifests in the form of drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, constipation, diarrhea and trembling. Reducing the dosage may help to manage these side effects effectively.



herbal pills Muscle Relaxants and PAIN!

Medication the herbal, natural way



Herbal Muscle Relaxants

Herbs too can contribute to combat back pain arising from muscle sprains and spasms. These pain relieving herbs act as natural nervous system depressants. Natural muscle relaxants have a long history of use in healing muscle injuries and strains. These herbs display sedative properties and help to calm the muscles. Like synthetically prepared medicines, the herbs also restrict the nerve signals from reaching the muscles, thus contributing to control muscle spasms. These herbal relaxants are extremely effective to improve pain and stiffness associated with back muscle spasms. Some of the popular herbal remedies for back pain are given below:






Kava root

St. John’s Wort


These herbs are available in the form of pills but many prefer to have herbal tea to mitigate back pain. Chamomile or vervain tea is a proven home remedy for reliving back pain. Some herbs like Kava Root are sold in powdered form and have to diluted with water before consuming orally. On the other hand, application of rosemary oil on the painful site is beneficial to reduce muscle tension.


Be it synthetically prepared or herbal muscle relaxants, one needs to talk to a doctor before ingesting these medications. Knowing pros and cons of these medicines, is extremely important, which is not possible without contacting a qualified health care professional.


What do you do when you need help?  Chemical, herbal, other?  Let me know…

This article was contributed by Simply-Living-Simply and can be viewed here.  Like them on Facebook while you are there!

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