Which Muscle Relaxants are Best for Neck and Back Pain?

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Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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Whether from a new injury or an aggravated old injury, stiffness and soreness in the neck and back at night may lead to disrupted sleep and more pain in the morning. Muscle relaxants have been shown to help relieve this pain and get you through these tough days—used at night, these medications may improve acute neck and back pain.

Your first line treatment will still be acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs (ibuprofen, Advil, naproxen, Aleve, etc) which do work better for neck and back pain than muscle relaxants. But there may be a benefit to taking both, especially at night, where a muscle relaxant added to acetaminophen or an NSAID works better than either alone.

Let’s compare them. How well do they work and what are their side effects? Oh, and are they affordable?

Dr O.

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