6 Things to Know About Using Muscle Relaxers

by AZ Pain Doctors, on Aug 11, 2022 10:58:00 AM

Did you know that almost 59% of Americans struggle with pain? Muscle pain is one of the biggest complaints doctors hear, often in the neck, back, or legs. To combat this pain, doctors often prescribe muscle relaxers, a medication used to treat muscle tightness and spasms.

If you're living with daily discomfort from your pain, it's time to ask your doctor if muscle relaxers are right for you. Keep reading to find out six things you need to know about using muscle relaxers before you go.

1. Great For Lower Back Pain

Muscle relaxers work best for acute muscle pain and are often prescribed for lower back pain. Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints among patients. If pain killers don't work, muscle relaxers provide relief.

They bring relief to many ailments ranging from minor sprains to ruptured disks and traumatic injuries. Be sure to follow your doctor's guidelines for your specific injury. To avoid harmful drug combinations don't mix medications without consulting your doctor.

2. Avoid if You Are Pregnant

If you are currently pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant, exercise caution when taking a muscle relaxant. There aren't enough studies to confirm they are safe. Talk with your doctor about potential risks.

For a natural treatment solution, reach out to your local chiropractor to see if they have any services that may help with your muscle pain.

3. More Suitable for Young Adults

Muscle relaxers might be a more suitable treatment option for younger adults versus older or elderly adults. The reasoning behind this is that muscle relaxers depress your central nervous system. This leads to drowsiness and might affect movement putting older individuals at risk for falls.

4. There Are Some Side Effects

When taking any form of medication, you should inform yourself of the possible side effects you might experience so are aware of any issues that arise. With muscle relaxers, there are several potential side effects to be aware of:

In most cases, these side effects will be minimal. If you experience any other symptoms or your current symptoms don't improve with the muscle relaxer, notify your doctor. New symptoms could indicate that you need further medical attention or different treatment.

5. They Can Be Addictive

If you have a muscle relaxer prescription, you shouldn't use them for an extended amount of time as it can be addictive for some people. Those who become addicted to muscle relaxers enjoy the increased feeling of relaxation or pain relief.

Keep your medication away from other adults and children to prevent anyone else from having access. You should also avoid combining with alcohol or other medications.

When it's time to stop taking your muscle relaxant, most individuals need to wean off of it slowly rather than stop cold turkey. If you don't do this, you're likely to experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sleep disruption. To avoid this, doctors usually decrease your dosage as you near the end of your treatment.

6. There are a Variety of Muscle Relaxers

There are several variations of muscle relaxers that work best for different treatments. Some are more commonly prescribed by doctors to treat symptoms of pain and muscle spasms. Some of the most common muscle relaxers are:


Diazepam is more like a sedative, but it's often used to treat muscle pain as well. It's available to take orally, injections, nasal spray, or anally.


Carisoprodol is classified as a Schedule IV drug due to its addictive qualities. It only works as a treatment plan for around three weeks and can be taken in tablet form. Carisoprodol is banned as a prescription option in the UK but is still prescribed by doctors in the US. 


This muscle relaxant option provides the greatest muscle relief for muscle pain and strains. There are lower side effect risks associated with Metaxalone, but the elderly are more at risk of experiencing them.


Methocarbamol blocks pain receptors from reaching the brain with a lower amount of sedative effects. This is another muscle relaxant that puts users at a higher risk of developing a dependency.

Do I Need a Muscle Relaxer?

Muscle relaxers treat muscle spasms or cramps. These spasms are involuntary contractions of a muscle group that coexist with back pain, fibromyalgia, and neck pain.

They're also used to treat muscle spasticity, a muscle tightness from prolonged muscle contractions. Muscle spasticity can impact everyday functions like walking, talking, and general movement.

Conditions like cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause spasticity. Using a muscle relaxer can reduce muscle tightness and ease symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about muscle relaxers below.

If you're experiencing acute pain, often in your neck or back, you might consider a muscle relaxer as a treatment option. Ask your doctor if this is a viable option for you to pursue the pain.

When you have chronic pain, muscle relaxants aren't the best treatment plan and you'll need to explore other options.

Learn More About Pain Management Options

When you're dealing with pain it can affect your quality of life if left unmanaged. For pain in your muscles, using muscle relaxers can ease your discomfort.

If you're living with other types of pain, the providers at AZ Pain Doctors can help develop a treatment plan to improve your pain using a multidisciplinary approach. Call our office or schedule an appointment today. 

Topics:muscle relaxers