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PM against muscle relaxers

neednewbacknneednewback Posts: 229
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Pain Medications
I just had a visit with my PM, who is doing my injections (he is not responsible for any of my medications), and he said I should get off all muscle relaxers and only use magnesium/calcium three times a day to manage muscle spasms and tightness. On top of this he was very much against Soma, which I am taking due to its addictive properties. It seems like just about every med I take cant be quit cold turkey, or there would be some sort of withdraws anyhow and I have never craved a soma and really dont like taking them unless I need one because they make me very sleepy.

I am going to try the magnesium/calcium to see if this does in deed help and I will let you know how it works, but I have no desire to quit taking soma, because it is one of the meds that actually helps treat my pain and spasms. If his method works I wont need soma and will have no need to take it.

My question is, what do you think about this stance against all muscle relaxers?




  • My surgeon was like this too. Not exactly sure why, I never asked. I don't think it was because of the addictive properties. He had no problem prescribing pain meds. He said he would rather have me take the vicodin than a muscle relaxer. Maybe I'll ask him, I see him in 2 weeks.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • According to my PM (and based on my personal experiences with multiple muscle relaxers I tend to agree with him) muscle relaxers are only really effective short term as in like 2 to 3 months. Since I have terrible issue with spasticity he has set me up on a rotation of several different muscle relaxers. So every 2 to 3 months I switch from one to the other. Seems to work quite well. I can definitely tell when I've reached the point that the switch needs to be made.

  • Both of my surgeons were dead set against muscle relaxers. I got 3 weeks worth post op, that's it. First surgeon went along with Skelaxin. Second surgeon said they were useless and gave me Valium.

    Try using a foam roller and exercise with it. The one I got has a video with it that covers most major muscle groups and it works. Look up Self Myofascial Release for more info.

    Try basic Yoga poses. The simplest and easiest to do, with modifications, is a whole body stretch. You can easily change it to highlight work on hamstrings and calves. It works well. There are several others that work also.

    As for vitamins. Magnesium is usually the first to try. Another that works well is ZMA. It's Zinc and Magnesium. Used a lot by body builders as a post workout to recover sore muscles. Any deficiency with several vitamins can compound the problem. Make sure you are on a really good multivitamin. Not the cheap ones you get at the grocery store. Look on the body builder sites. I can recommend several brands I have used of varying vitamins, minerals, proteins, BCAA, etc...

    No matter what though you must stretch calves and hamstrings EVERY day if you have lower back issues. You might actually find that some of your back pain decreases if you keep them stretched. It does for me. Significant improvement just doing a Piriformis stretch.

    I threw away the Skelaxin and don't even bother with that stuff anymore. It's just stretching and working requires more effort than popping a muclse relaxer pill. You can live without them though.
  • Ok what kind of magnesium we talking here? Do i drink it? Eat it? Or smoke it?

    I will try anything. Stretching does help but because the injury no mater what it gets tight again, Would magnisium realy help with this? No mater how much i exercise the legs get realy stiff and only deep massage breaks it up, Which of course i cant do myself,

    Each nite gf does deep massage and it works beter then any muscle relaxer,

    I need something that keeps the muscles from geting so stiff during the day,

    So whats best. Magnesium liquid? Pill? Or what? Please tell me its not another pill,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I'm not sure why a pm doc would be against them, unless they know they make you just sleep. Well for me they knock me out. And yes helps the spasms if severe. But I wouldn't take them daily. Then my legs would get worse, I have to do yoga and stretching.

    I was doing some reading on magnesium and I just got some so giving it try this week.
    And going to look up that Self myofascial release also.
    Yes Alex they are pills. I had seen some drops also.

    Now I need to find a mate who does massages wow that would be great. Especially in winter time that's the time I need the most.
    I don't get both legs spasms same time often but when I have ones that stretching and nothing helps get rid of I have flexoril if I'm screaming in pain.
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • I really do agree with you Z, but I'm like Alex, no matter how much I stretch (I can do it all day) my muscles tighten right back up afterwards. It took my PT two months of mayo facial massage to get my muscles to release and if I dont get a weekly massage it starts working in the tight direction. I do have one of those ouchie logs and it does help, but due to my instability and pain, I am very limited in what I can actually do, its very easy for me to put myself into a pain flare and then I'm starting all over again.

    I started the Magnesium Calcium three times a day and I will keep you informed on how it works, I cant see how it can hurt me. I've always tried to limit my muscle relaxer intake because I dont like how I feel on them, but even with this said, I have only been using one soma per day max.

    It's funny how even after all these years there is always something more to learn and I hope this is one that has a positive effect on me, god knows I need to be moving in the right direction with something health wise. I hope it helps others too...

  • Maybe Alex is onto something, never thought of smoking my vitamins.
  • Ok so to answer a bit more.

    The most important question. No Alex don't smoke it. That is crack, not magnesium... lol.

    Ok forget the ZMA for now. Stick with a really good multivitamin. Even though you may not be active you need a vitamin for active people. It has increased amounts to support recovery in people who workout. Part of it helps with muscles.

    The magnesium is the big one for now. See if that helps. You could also try Taurine. Most post workout high protein or BCAA stacks have taurine and other elements that might work. Try them separately for a month. The idea here is we are troubleshooting guys. To see if you are deficient somewhere. If you're on lots of pain killers and many other meds. They strip certain chemicals out of your body as a side effect. You need to compensate for that and then some.

    Stretching is big. You need to do the right ones for you. I can do calf and hamstring stretches and mine still feel reasonably tight. Here is the kicker. Glutes and hips. Glutes feel like someone picked me up by them. Kind of like getting a wedgie. My typical lower back pain now comes from that. Not discs. I do a Piraformis stretch and after a couple of rounds of that my back pain is gone. We've been programmed to think that all the problems from our butt to our toes is from lower lumbar, like L4-L5, L5-S1. Well sometimes it's actually you legs making your back hurt.

    While you're testing supplements. Cut the caffeine out, not down, out. Try to do only water and juice and some milk.

    Watergirl, most any doc doesn't like muscle relaxers because they are highly addictive. As a temporarily solution to calm down muscles post op they're fine. After that they aren't. Something is causing the problem. Muscle relaxers on a permanent basis should be the last answer.

  • Guys I sent you both a PM with a link to the supplement I use. Works really well for me. I've been using it for about a year now. I don't take other vitamins and minerals since it has what I need. I do take a pre-workout supplement and I'm on a high protein diet. Other than that I eat better, exercise hard, and drink lots of water.

    No more muscle spasms or need for muscle relaxers. Rarely take a pain killer. Advil from time to time. A hydrocodone once in a while. That's it.
  • IME the muscle relaxers work much better. I was on Soma 350 for 4yrs 3x/day until one day my PM said new policy no more Soma for anyone with no explanation given. I didn't have any withdrawls and due to the subject being hush hush I imagine it had to do with some sort of legal issue with another patient. Anyway IMO the next 2 best muscle relaxers are Valium and Zanaflex. The protocol your Doc is suggesting will need to be followed daily and it will take about 3 months before you notice any significant difference assuming you even do.
  • I've been taking calcium/magnesium for a couple weeks now and havent noticed any effect from them yet, but I will keep taking them to see if I notice any difference with more time. I have been visiting family and I've been in a bed that isnt the best for me and I have been in airplane and car seats for a fair amount of time, so lately I have needed one to two muscle relaxers a day (they have helped me a ton). Even with all this I have been able to be fairly active and havent had too much downtime away from family in pain, although nights have been rough. At this point I am so glad this pm doctor isnt the one perscibing my meds because I couldnt imagine not being able to take muscle relaxers, especially soma.

    What is the big deal with soma, that is one this pm went out of his way to say soma is espcially bad due to its addictive properties. Everything I'm on it seems like its addictive and can cause dangerouos withdraws, what is one more. I dont really care for the feeling of soma in my system, just feel sleepy, but it works so well to calm my muscles. I have gone days without taking any on a rare stretch of time when I'm feeling good and have never felt any withdraw symtoms. When the time comes, if it ever does, where I no longer need them I will greatfully taper off them and leave them in my pain filled past.....Mitch
  • Mitch,

    My PM won't prescribe muscle relaxants but has no problem with my primary prescribing them as long as I tell him. He says he only manages narcotics and muscle relaxants have no place in chronic pain management. ? I'd rather take a flexeril than extra narcs, myself.

    I have difficulty sleeping, main reason is due to pain. Like C, I have to rotate muscle relaxers. My PM is OK with me taking Flexeril to sleep, I've had Robaxin during the day at times, Norflex at other times, Zanaflex used to work wonders, and others. To me, it is better to take one of those and sleep better than to take extra narcs and deal with the constipation. I've never had Soma.

    My PM's issue is not addiction. I don't always take the muscle relaxers, but sometimes I do have an acute strain on top of my chronic condition or use them to help the pain to sleep. I guess I'm lucky he doesn't care if my primary prescribes them.
  • I'll add to this thread as I just dealt with it today.

    Met with a PM for the first time, he was dead set on telling me how bad Soma was. I've had Flexiril / Amrix in the past, and just tried Soma this last Dr. visit. So I've had it less than 1 month.

    Personally I don't see how anyone could be addicted to it, but maybe I dunno what long term use does. The past 28 days I've played with it a bit, but it really works best at bed time. You do develop a slight tolerance with moderate use (I was only taking max. 1 per day).

    To be honest, the Flexiril bugs me out much worse than the Soma. I won't take Flexiril unless absolutely necessarily. Both leave a pill hangover for me, but the Soma is a little more 'clean'. MR's seem to have their place with sleep issues IMHO. Zanaflex dryed me out really bad.
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