What Are The Most Effective Muscle Relaxers For Back Pain?

Muscle Relaxants

Mai Delacruz

Mai Delacruz
Personal Fitness Trainer & Health Coach

Updated on 11/29/2022

Muscle relaxers for back pain, It is possible that stiffness and soreness in the neck and back throughout the night, whether caused by a new injury or an existing injury that has been worsened, can lead to interrupted sleep and increased discomfort in the morning. It has been shown that muscle relaxants may assist in alleviating this discomfort and get you through these trying times. When taken before bed, these medicines can potentially relieve severe neck and back pain.

Pain medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen, which are available without a prescription and over the counter, will continue to be your primary method of therapy (Aleve). They alleviate pain in the neck and back more effectively than muscle relaxants, but it may be advantageous to take both medications together, particularly before bedtime. According to research, combining a muscle relaxant with either acetaminophen or an NSAID is more effective than using either drug alone.

Now, let's compare nine joint muscle relaxants. How effective are they, and what problems might be caused by using them? Oh, and are they within my price range?

1) Methocarbamol


Regarding back pain treatment, it is generally accepted that methocarbamol, sold under the brand name Robaxin, is an effective medication. In comparison to other possibilities, it induces significantly less drowsiness and costs much less money. Recent studies where it was used for up to 8 days found that 44 percent of people who took methocarbamol had complete pain relief (compared to 18 percent who took nothing at all), and this occurred without any serious adverse effects occurring.

An inexpensive and well-tolerated alternative for the patient suffering from acute neck and back pain is to take 1500 milligrams of the medication every six to eight hours as required. Consider giving this one a go first since, compared to other alternatives like cyclobenzaprine and carisoprodol, it causes less sedation.

2) Cyclobenzaprine


You should expect to feel tired after taking the typical dosage of cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), which ranges from 10 mg to 30 mg daily. If you use it during the day, you should cut a tablet of 10 milligrams in half and take 5 milligrams to reduce the sleepiness it causes. Study after study has shown that a dose of 5 mg three times a day is just as effective as a dosage of 10 mg given three times a day with no difference in the effectiveness of the medicine.

Cyclobenzaprine is an excellent first option due to its low cost and the fact that it is available as a generic; however, because it is sedating, it cannot be used all day long due to its sedative effect. Additionally, it could make your mouth feel drier, particularly in older adults. If you are concerned about this, you should consider other non-sedative treatment options.

3) Carisoprodol


In addition to being classified as a Schedule IV substance, the drug carisoprodol, which is sold under the brand name Soma, is also classified as a Schedule IV drug because it comes with the potential for abuse, very similar to other benzodiazepines, such as Ativan, Valium, and Xanax. Because of this, those with a history of abusing drugs or alcohol should avoid using it at all costs.

There is a widespread consensus that carisoprodol, as a muscle relaxant, should be phased out in favor of far more effective alternatives. The evidence is not sufficient to suggest that the use of this medication is effective after prolonged use. Therefore, you should only take prescriptions for a short period, usually between two to three weeks, if you can. It is not recommended for usage in those over the age of 65 due to the risk of sleepiness and vertigo that it may produce.

4) Metaxalone


Taken as 800 mg tablets According to clinical research, the muscle relaxant metaxalone (Skelaxin), when used three to four times per day, has the fewest reported adverse effects and the lowest propensity for drowsiness among the other muscle relaxants. As commonly known, the muscle relaxant has the lowest risk of side effects of all muscle relaxants.

Even though it is the generic version of Skelaxin, the price of metaxolone is comparable to that of the brand-name medicine. Insurance companies would instead not cover it since there are other options available that are less expensive. It works just as well as cyclobenzaprine and carisoprodol but has fewer side effects and drowsiness; hence, paying cash may be more beneficial than using the other two medications.

5) Tizanidine


Tizanidine, sold under the brand name Zanaflex, is a medication often prescribed to individuals suffering from spasticity due to multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy. Spasticity is a condition in which the muscles constantly contract, which results in tightness and stiffness. Studies comparing Tizanidine to Baclofen for treating those conditions have shown that Tizanidine tends to have fewer adverse effects, but both medications are equally effective. However, this is not the primary treatment for acute muscular discomfort in the back or neck. 

6) Baclofen


Baclofen is a medication that, like Tizanidine, is often used by people with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries to treat spasticity. It causes sleepiness in up to twenty percent of people who take it, and other treatments for muscular discomfort in the back and neck are more effective. Neither of them is my top pick.

7) Oxazepam And diazepam

Oxazepam and diazepam

Medication derived from the benzodiazepine family, such as oxazepam and diazepam (Valium), might be provided to patients to relax their muscles. Despite their use being beneficial in some instances, they can be harmful if used for an extended period due to their inefficacy, sedation, and habit-forming properties. These factors make them dangerous if used frequently over an extended period. If you're experiencing muscular discomfort in your neck or back, many more, more effective treatments are available.

8) Chlorzoxazone


In adults with acute low back and neck pain, chlorzoxazone (brand name: Lorzone) has not been subjected to extensive research. In addition, it was shown to be ineffective in relieving pain after spinal surgery when spinal cord was examined for this purpose. There have also been reports of chlorzoxazone being responsible for uncommon cases of severe liver damage. You shouldn't choose this route until you've considered your other choices.

9) Orphenadrine


Orphenadrine (Norflex) is less effective than the other drugs on this list for treating neck and back pain in adults; thus, you should only use it as a backup plan if none of the other treatments are successful. This aspect of it has not been given much attention in relevant research.

What are the best muscle relaxers for back pain now that you know what they are? 

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