Sometimes ‘muscle-relaxants’ (in the UK, often called diazepam or temazepam) are given by GP’s to help in the pain management of a back pain episode.
A typical cocktail would be an anti-inflammatory drug to combat inflammation along with a painkiller (often a codeine-based one) to block pain signals reaching the brain plus a third element, the muscle-relaxant.
My tip is to be a little cautious about taking muscle-relaxant medications. They belong to a class of drugs called anti-anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs).
The traditional justification for giving these drugs in back pain episodes went like this
- this patient is anxious
- anxiety raises muscle tension
- muscle tension worsens pain
- therefore let’s give diazepam
But, there are some pitfalls with this approach
- they can make you feel zonked out the next morning
- they don’t relax muscles at all, at least, not directly
- but even if they did, muscle tension, per se, is not the primary cause of painful spines