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Which Muscle Relaxers Have You Tried, and Which Ones Work Well?

I am a 38 year old female with chronic tension headache like symptoms for about 5 years. I have been on Flexeril for about 4 years for the tightness and pain that I get in my shoulder blade muscles. It does not seem to be helping anymore. The tightness and pain are almost constant. I also take Vicoprofen for the pain, which also does not seem to be helping anymore. I am afraid to ask my doctor for new medications as she is very strict with Narcotics and such, but I need something to relieve the symptoms until I figure out what is causing the pain. I recently saw a Neurologist who prescribed Gabopentin but I have only been on that for about a week and see no difference. I was just wondering what other muscle relaxers are out there and what kind of success others have had with them. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Comments

  • Maehaley, I've taken a gait of muscle relaxers & for me I prefer baclofen.
    It's a hit and miss with individuals though.
    Flexeril made my mouth sticky dry. Hated that & it didn't make much of a difference in my pain.
    Methocarbamol at first just knocked me out but again no relief.
    Tizanidine made me extremely tired for about an hour then gave me extreme anxiety. Weird dreams too.
    Baclofen at first was hard to adjust to. It messed with my head. I was passed out hard all the time & had the crazy dreams. Then it started to even out & it not only helps with muscle tension but it did work a little on my anxiety. It brings a calmness & overall feeling of relaxation. I think it's not working as well & have asked for an increase but my doctor says no.
    I also took diazapam for a good 8 years. It worked but quickly lost its effectiveness & I never got an increase in dose. I also wouldn't ever get back on it as its very addictive & can't just stop. I was forced into withdrawal from it. It was enough to make me scared of ever taking it long term again. 
    Baclofen also needs to be tapered just like gabapentin or a antidepressant. 

    Have you tried anything other than Flexeril? 
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 254
    Thanks for responding! I have not tried anything other than the Flexeril. That's why I was looking for some advice from others. I will mention Baclofen to my doctor. I read that Soma is good too. Have you ever tried that?
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  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,340

    Maehaley

    Flexeril works for me - except one time.  Once, I had a very painful spasm on my shoulder blade.  Doctor called in a prescription for Flexeril.  Within hours of taking it, the pain increased so much that I left work and headed to an urgent care.  They gave me Valium, just enough for the weekend, which eased the spasm and then Flexeril worked again.

    The moral of the story is that sometimes we need a different muscle relaxer.

    Also, muscle relaxers aren't narcotics, so ask your doctor - or at least have a discussion about your current meds not helping anymore, which is different than asking for new meds.

  • No I haven't tried soma. Maybe someone else will comment about that. From what I've read people have been taken off of it though as it is very addictive. 
    Bruce that's a great point regarding short term usage or different med for certain times.
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 254
    Thanks Bruce! I am going to talk to my doctor next week. I just need some relief until I can figure out what is causing the pain.
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  • Interesting replies,

    I have tried most of the above and they all work to a degree.  I like zanaflex and flexeril the best.  They don't do much by themselves but when combined with pain meds they do the trick. 

    Maehaley, I also have bad tension headaches.  I take fioracet which works the best for me.  It is a headache med and pain management doesn't prescribe to often.  I had to go to neurologist for them.  It is worth the effort as pain meds do nothings for tension headaches for me.  I am a big believer in the BLEND principle of pain control.  Good luck

    dmo

  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 254
    Thanks dmo!
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 254
    dmo, I am just curious as to what types of tests you had done to diagnose tension headaches? I have had an x-ray and an MRI of my brain but they showed nothing so my PCP referred me to a Neurologist. I saw him about two weeks ago and he ordered an MRI of my neck. Well the insurance denied it, so I appealed their decision and I received a letter today that the neck MRI is still denied because I don't meet their Medical Policy Adult Head Imaging Policy. They want me to start physical therapy, which I already tried about 3 years ago. It did not really help. So now I guess I have to wait weeks to show that the physical therapy isn't working and hope that they will then approve the MRI. So frustrating! But in the meantime I have a check up with my PCP on the 23rd so I am going to discuss muscle relaxer options with her then.
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 254
    I don't know why my doctor's office and I received conflicting information but I just got a call from the Neurologist and the neck MRI has been approved! Yay! Hopefully I will get some answers now!
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,340
    Maehaley

    That is great news.  Please let us know how it goes - and when it is scheduled.

    Yeah - doing a little happy dance for you!
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