Muscles Relaxants for Low Back Pain
  • The pain cycle:

  • The pain cycle

Low back pain or lumbago:
Is a common musculoskeletal disorder affecting 80% of people at some point in their lives.
Low back pain can happen anywhere below the ribs and above the legs. The lower back is the connection between the upper and lower body, and it bears most of the body's weight. So it's pretty easy to hurt your back when you lift, reach, or twist.
In fact, almost everyone has low back pain at one time or another. It is the most common cause of job-related disability, a leading contributor to missed work, and the second most common neurological ailment only headache is more common. It can be either acute, sub-acute or chronic in duration. With conservative measures, the symptoms of low back pain typically show significant improvement within a few weeks from onset.

What causes low back pain?
Causes of low back pain include:
  • Overuse, strain, or injury
  • Aging
  • Herniated disc'is a medical condition affecting the spine due to trauma, lifting injuries, or idiopathic (unknown) causes, in which a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out beyond the damaged outer rings.'
  • Arthritis'Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints.'
  • Compression fractures'A compression fracture occurs when an injury to a spinal bone (vertebra) causes it to fracture and collapse (compress). A weakened vertebra may collapse because of a minor injury or without an obvious injury,often as the result of osteoporosis,which is most common in women after menopause.'
  • Illness.
  • A spine problem you were born with.

Often doctors don't really know what causes low back pain. But it is more likely to become long-lasting (chronic) if you are under stress or depressed.

What are the symptoms?
Depending on the cause, low back pain can cause a range of symptoms. The pain may be dull or sharp. It may be in one small area or over a broad area. You may have muscle spasms. Low back pain can also cause leg symptoms, such as pain, numbness, or tingling, often extending below the knee. A rare but serious problem called
Cauda Equina Syndrome '(CES) is a serious neurologic condition in which there is acute loss of function of the lumbar plexus, neurologic elements (nerve roots) of the spinal canal below the termination (conus medullaris) of the spinal cord.'
 can occur if the nerves at the end of the spinal cord are squeezed.
Seek emergency treatment if you have weakness or numbness in both legs or you lose bladder or bowel control.
Most low back pain is short-term (acute) and will go away in a few weeks. It is more likely to become long-lasting (chronic) if you are depressed or under stress.

How is low back pain diagnosed?
The doctor will ask questions about your past health, symptoms, and activities. He or she will also do a physical exam. Your answers and the exam can help the doctor rule out a serious cause for the pain. In most cases, doctors are able to recommend treatment after the first exam.
X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs don't usually help. But if you have a back pain problem that has lasted longer than 4 weeks, or if your doctor thinks you may have more than muscle pain, it might be time for one of these tests.

How is it treated?
Most low back pain will improve with basic first aid, which includes resting for a day or two, getting up and active as soon as possible, and taking over-the-counter pain medicine as needed.
Walking is the simplest and maybe the best exercise for the lower back. It gets your blood moving and helps your muscles stay strong.

Muscles Relaxants:
Why it is used:
Muscle relaxants can be helpful when severe muscle spasms follow the start of low back pain. Muscle relaxants are not recommended for use by pregnant women, older adults, or people who have depression or a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

How It Works:
For acute low back pain, muscle relaxants improve pain, muscle tension, and mobility. But side effects are common.
For chronic low back pain, muscle relaxants may relieve pain and lead to overall improvement, but side effects are common.
The muscle-relaxing effects of these medicines are most likely the result of their ability to depress the central nervous system. They are also called sedatives.

Side Effects:
  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Possible addiction or dependence
  • Dry mouth
  • Urinary retention

What To Think About:
Muscle relaxants should only be taken at bedtime and never before driving or operating machinery.
Use of muscle relaxants is restricted to short-term use to avoid addiction.
Muscle relaxants are effective in the management of low back pain. However, the side effects require that they should be used with caution.
Cyclosed (Cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride) has the most recent and largest clinical trials demonstrating its benefit, but carisoprodol, diazepam and metaxalone also appear to be effective.