Are Muscle Relaxants Safe for Treating Back Pain?

Prolonged sitting from office hours of 9 to 5 can result in back pain from poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of physical activity. For normal veinous circulation, skeletal muscle contraction is essential to ensure blood flow and prevent venous stasis. Therefore, prolonged sitting and poor circulation can be hazardous for the muscles in our extremities resulting in back pain, joint pain, osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, bone pain, cervical radicular pain, and sciatica.

Back Pain

Back Pain

Americans are plagued with back pain as more and more people shift from jobs requiring physical labor to office jobs. Physicians are doling out muscle relaxants to an increasing number of patients complaining of joint and back pain. In addition, prescriptions for opioid painkillers are also increasing leading to serious drug addictions.

Read Also:  Big Butt: The Trend, Benefits and Lower Back Pain

Muscle relaxants such as Baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, tizanidine, and carisoprodol are being increasingly prescribed for short-term relief of back pain. However, patients are abusing muscle relaxants by chronically using them for longer than the prescribed time. In fact, the successful management of back pain is with physical therapy and maintaining a proper posture when forced to sit for prolonged durations.

Study on Long-Term Use of Muscle Relaxants

A study on the number of muscle relaxants prescribed between 2005 and 2016 increased by three-fold in just a decade. Most of the prescriptions were for patients with chief complaints of back and muscle pain.

Read Also:  Implants from Own Stem Cells May Offer Solution to Back Pain, Researchers Say

Data also indicated that more than 70% of patients with back pain were also prescribed opioid pain-relieving medications such as Oxycodone together with muscle relaxants. Combination treatment worsens the risk of side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, confusion, headache, constipation, urinary frequency, and fatigue. Chronic use can even be potentially fatal due to respiratory or cardiovascular depression, seizures, etc.

It has been hypothesized that physicians prescribe skeletal muscle relaxants in order to ward off the use of opioids for back pain. But it has been shown that people who are prescribed muscle relaxants continue to use these medications in order to get relief from their pain instead of going through physical therapy sessions.

Read Also:  A New Class of Painkillers Could Target Neurons in the Amygdala

Muscle relaxants have been found to significantly increase risk factors in older people above age 65. In spite of this, 25% of the prescriptions for muscle relaxants were for seniors complaining of muscle, joint, and back pain. Elderly people are often taking a variety of medications for hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disorders, atherosclerosis, and so on increasing the risk of cross-reaction between these drugs.

Over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen and acetaminophen in combination with physical therapy and proper posture are advised for back pain which not only has minimal adverse effects but is also more beneficial in altogether curing the pain.

References

Assessment of Physician Prescribing of Muscle Relaxants in the United States, 2005-2016

Interesting Articles:

Too Much Work and Ironically Not Enough Work Could Give You a Stroke According to Study

HGH Benefits: What to Expect From Using Human Growth Hormone

STDCheck Review: Get Tested for STDs in Confidentiality

Atherosclerosis: Unregulated Cell Growth May Be the Major Culprit in the Formation of Plaque

Alzheimer’s: Could Fat Obtained From Liposuction Treat the Disease?

Growth Factor Plus Review: Is It Possible to Grow Taller after Growth Plates Have Fused?

Liver Disease: Stool Based Test Can Diagnose Cirrhosis With a 90% Accuracy

FEEDBACK:

Conversation

Want to Stay Informed?

Join the Gilmore Health News Newsletter!

Want to live your best life?

Get the Gilmore Health Weekly newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.

By clicking "Subscribe," I agree to the Gilmore Health and . I also agree to receive emails from Gilmore Health and I understand that I may opt out of Gilmore Health subscriptions at any time.