If you ask any doctor for the standard treatment for the pain, stiffness and occasional spasms associated with lower back injuries, the automatic answer will always be the use of a muscle relaxant. But it was unclear whether the results were achieved by some quality in these drugs or merely because they have a sedative effect and the enforced rest speeds healing. To test out the reason for the effectiveness, a group of injured Mexican workers, all of whom had an acute lumbar strain, were divided into groups and given either a muscle relaxant, a sedative or a placebo. The dosage of the sedative was adjusted so that the degree of drowsiness would match that of the muscle relaxant. The participants were evaluated after two and four days, looking for a subjective assessment of the level of pain, an objective measure of the limitation to movement by using the finger to floor test, and whether there was any anxiety.
The results showed a significant improvement from the group taking the muscle relaxant, particularly when it came to the objective measure of mobility. In the test of forward flexibility requiring the participants to reach down to the floor, they showed the greatest improvement. At the end of four days, the muscle relaxant outperformed the other two comparators by the proverbial country mile. Even though, by accident, the group taking the muscle relaxant also had the more severe initial symptoms, there was clear superiority. This confirms muscle relaxants as an active medication. The benefit is not achieved passively by sedating the patients, but rather by relaxing the muscles and so relieving pain and reducing the risk of spasms.
Based on this evidence, muscle relaxants are the standard first response to all acute musculoskeletal injuries. Hence, whenever you are injured but expect to make a relatively quick recovery, you will be given a drug like Carisoprodol almost immediately after the injury and during the short period you will be instructed to rest. The idea is to encourage all the musculature in and around the affected area to relax and begin the healing process. Experience shows that if muscles remain tense, there’s a real risk of spasms where further damage may be caused. The best results are obtained if you alternate cold and hot packs on the affected area. This reduces swelling. An anti-inflammatory will also help. However, you must not be tempted to remain at rest. Even though movement may threaten pain, all the best practice guides show the best results if you begin the process of restoring mobility as soon as possible. The longer you are “at rest”, the more likely it is your injury will stiffen. Although Carisoprodol will help stiff muscles relax into mobility again, it’s better not to let them stiffen in the first place. Physical therapy and you going through routine exercises will speed the healing process, strengthen damaged muscles and improve mobility. The aim should be to restore quality of life as quickly as possible. With a muscle relaxant on your side, you should do this in the minimum time.
Amanda Patterson has shared his vision on numerous subjects throughout the years working with http://www.effectiveremedy.net/articles/lower-back-pain.html on a frequent basis. You can see most of his professional contributions there.