How Muscle Relaxants May Help Manage Chronic Pain Symptoms


Muscle relaxants refer to those medicines which are used for reducing and preventing muscle tightness and spasms. These spasms take place when there is an involuntary and uncontrolled contraction of muscles. These relaxants have proven to be quite helpful in case of severe muscle spasms which eventually lead to pain in the lower back.

How muscle relaxants work

Muscle relaxants are able to relax the muscles since they have the ability to depress the central nervous system.

Let’s see a bit more detail about how they work.

What do muscle relaxants accomplish physiologically?

The relaxants cause the muscles to become less tense. They also lower the stiffness of the muscles. Consequently, the discomfort and pain are reduced. Different muscle relaxants create such a relaxing effect in a variety of ways. Muscle relaxants like diazepam, baclofen, tizanidine, and methocarbamol work on the spinal cord and brain.

On the other hand, dantrolene functions on the muscles directly. Similarly, cannabis, a popular muscle relaxant works both on the muscles as well as the central nervous system comprising of the spinal cord and the brain.

Since dantrolene works directly on the muscles, it is believed to have comparatively lesser side-effects. It is for this reason that dantrolene is typically the first muscle relaxant that is prescribed to people that have long-term muscle spasms.

Kinds of muscle relaxants

The muscle relaxants have been divided into two categories; anti-spasmodic muscle relaxants and anti-spastic muscle relaxants. Do not take them unless prescribed by a doctor.

What is the difference between the two types of muscle relaxants?

  • Anti-spastics: The primary function of such muscle relaxants is to treat nerve-related and neurological disorders. One example of such a disorder is cerebral palsy
  • Anti-spasmodics: These muscle relaxants are used for treating various musculoskeletal conditions which also includes pain in the lower and upper back.
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