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Do Muscle Relaxers Help Myofascial Pain?

One of the major causes of pain in myofascial pain syndrome is muscle tension. Muscle tension is caused due to muscle spasm. Muscle spasm is the condition caused when there is an injury in the muscle and the muscle remains in the contracted mode. Muscle relaxants may be used to relax the muscles.

Do Muscle Relaxers Help Myofascial Pain?

Do Muscle Relaxers Help Myofascial Pain?

Muscle physiology works upon the contraction and relaxation of the muscles. The control of muscular physiology is through the signals that originate in the brain. Various mechanisms are involved in the muscle movement which includes actin and myosin, the muscle proteins that plays a major role in muscular contraction. The muscle, while the inactive form is usually in the contraction form while the idle muscles are relaxation mode. The patient feels pain when the muscle remains in contraction mode even in the idle state. Thus, a relaxant is required to help the muscle regains its relaxed state. The drugs or chemicals that perform this function are known as muscle relaxants.

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic condition wherein pain and fatigue are experienced by the patient. The pain in the muscles is due to the reduced blood supply and spam due to muscular contraction.1 The symptoms may be alleviated by the use of muscle relaxant. Studies show that Cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxant reduces the spasm and manages the pain of the patient suffering from myofascial pain syndrome.

Myofascial pain is caused due to two important physiological functions in the muscles, the muscular tension, and the trigger point. During the muscle tension, the muscles become stiff and the pathogenic spasm occurs in the muscles. Further, the trigger points also developed in the muscles that lead to the formation of taut bands.

Although the mechanism of action of muscles relaxant is not fully elucidated; however, it is believed that they act on the brain however some may exert an effect on spinal motor neuron. Muscle relaxant helps in relieving the pain and discomfort associated with the muscle spasm. Various studies are available to conclude that muscle relaxant is an important treatment approach in the management of pain due to myofascial pain syndrome.

Myofascial Pain Treatment

Various treatment options are available for the management of symptoms associated with myofascial pain syndrome. The condition is chronic and not be cured however with the use of combinatorial treatment strategy, the symptoms can be an effective treatment and the quality of life of the patient can be significantly improved. Following are the treatment available for the patient suffering from myofascial pain syndrome:

Pain Relieving And Muscle Relaxant Drugs. Pain is one of the most pronounced symptoms of myofascial pain that also cause ample discomfort to the patient. The pain can be managed by the use of pain killers such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine are used to relax the muscle and to make the patient relieved from muscle spasm.2

Antidepressants. various studies show that Antidepressants have a dual action; Drugs such as amitriptyline help to reduce the pain and also helps patients to have a sound sleep.

Hot Herbal Compress. Hot herbal compress helps in relieving the pain and tenderness caused due to muscle injury. The chemicals present in herbs improve blood circulation.

Ultrasound Therapy. Ultrasound therapy for myofascial pain helps in improving the blood supply and thus reduces the symptoms.3

Massage. Massaging normally or with the help of some pain-relieving oil, may increase circulation and reduces pain.

Dry Needle. Injecting the dry needle at the trigger point helps in reducing the muscle tension. The needle may also insert in the places surrounding the trigger point.


Muscle relaxants help in myofascial pain. Various muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine relax the muscles through its effects on the brain. Some muscle relaxants improve muscle spasm by acting on spinal motor neurons. Various studies are available to authenticate the use of muscle relaxant in myofascial spasm.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 16, 2019

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