Why are muscle relaxants used?


Our body consist of the skeletal system and the muscular system. While the skeletal system  gives the support and shape to the  body, muscles give it strength and defines the shape. Muscles give the strength which help us in  carrying or lifting heavy weights. But these muscles too are prone to strains, sprains, spasms and wear and tear owing to injury, overuse or accident. There are different types of muscles in our body,depending on  their function. With the daliy activities that we perform there is wear and tear on the muscular tissue. It is at these times that a good muscle relaxant comes in handy.  Muscle relaxant is the medication recommended by the orthopedics when any of these muscles have pain or spasm.


Why are muscle relaxants used?

Muscle relaxants are advised by the doctor when you are suffering from acute pain in the muscles or chronic spasms. These can be due to exposure to high strain, fall, accident, exertion, physical weakness. The main function of these muscle relaxants is to de-stress  the suffering muscle, make it relaxed and soothe down the pain. These muscle relaxants act on different muscles placed in the body while some of them directly affect the muscle fibers and some cases both the muscles and the nerves.


Although, muscle relaxants are particularly save, they are known to have mild side effects like drowsiness, loss of vision (in prolonged use) and addiction. Since they are known to cause sleepiness, these should not be taken with anti depressants or sleeping pills and if you are at all on to another medication as well, the combination of doses should be arranged only on his recommendation.  


When are  muscle relaxants  used?

Muscle strain or spasms can be due to different reasons and at different parts of the body. Depending upon the type of problem medication is advised. Some of the different problems are:

Fibromyalgia : 

It is a chronic pain disorder and can be treated with muscle relaxant cyclobenzaprine.

Infections : 

Tetanus infections can cause chronic muscle pains and for this muscle relaxant -methocarbonnel is usually prescribed.

Injuries : 

Strains and sprains of muscles is caused due to injury which is treated by muscle relaxant.

Muscle spasms : 

During the muscle spasms nerves are constantly sending pain signals to the muscles. These are blocked by using muscle relaxant -methocarbannol.

Pain : 

Muscle pain due to accident can be treated with muscle relaxant along with other You do not have access to view this node.

Stiffness : 

Apart from physical therapy, stiffness in muscles also need muscle relaxants to release the tension and tightness in muscles.


Which muscle relaxants are used for treating Spasticity?

Spinal cord is the backbone of our whole body and it is this bone which keeps us standing tall and erect. But accident can cause damage to any part and if spinal cord is damaged it can cause spasticity. Along with the other treatments special muscle relaxants are used to ease out the stressed muscles in the spinal cord and release stiffness. Baclofen, an antispasmodic medicine actively works near the spinal cord and treats the muscle injury near the spinal cord and give relief in spasticity. It works wonders in multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy. 


  • Valium, a type of Benzodiazepine muscle relaxant relieves the spasms in the spinal cord from the point of trigger. But its prolonged used in chronic pain is known to cause sleepiness. Dependence and withdrawal.  
  • Spasticity due to spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis is treated from the point of pain by using  muscle relaxants - Tizanidine or Zanaflex which can also be useful in reducing the chronic muscle pain to some extent.
  • Some other muscle relaxants  which can be beneficial during spinal cord injury are Soma, Flexeril, Robaxin, Skelaxin, and Norflex.

Since many muscle relaxants cause sedative action, they should be only taken at night before going to bed



External References
Related Videos: 
See video