Looks at muscle relaxant drugs to treat low back pain. Includes generic and brand names such as carisoprodol (Soma) and metaxalone (Skelaxin). Covers why they are used and how well they work. Includes info on possible side effects.
How It Works
The muscle-relaxing effects of these
medicines are most likely the result of their ability to depress the
central nervous system.
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
How Well It Works
Muscle relaxants may improve acute or chronic low back pain, muscle tension, and mobility. But side effects are common.1, 2
Possible side effects of muscle relaxants
McIntosh G, Hall H (2011). Low back pain (acute), search date December 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
Chou R (2010). Low back pain (chronic), search date April 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.