If the patient with osteochondrosis is concerned with back pain, then the attending physician (therapist, neurologist) in the complex therapy program will most likely use the central muscle relaxants.
Miorelaxants are medicines that relax the muscles. It is proved in practice that they are effective in painful acute and chronic spasm; their use allows shortening the duration of treatment and reducing the dosage of other drugs. However, their effect is not similar to the effect of an anesthetic, for example, Tramadol.
Muscle relaxation can be absolute and relative:
- relative muscular relaxation causes central muscle relaxants: they affect the special neurons in the spinal cord, which are responsible for the regulation of muscle tone. Muscle tone is the level of contraction that exists during muscle rest. Therefore, under their influence, the muscle is not paralyzed, but the drug only lowers the tension caused by excessive tone. These remedies are used by therapists and neurologists in osteochondrosis. Despite the availability of drugs in pharmacies, they should be used in a hospital,
- absolute muscle relaxation (or temporary paralysis) causes peripheral action relaxants that act directly on the muscles. They are used to suppress the work of the patient’s respiratory muscles when transferring to artificial ventilation of the lungs and to “impose” the hardware rhythm on the patient. They are used by anesthesiologists and resuscitators; they have nothing to do with their use in osteochondrosis.
What happens with a muscular spasm in osteochondrosis?
In all cases, an important component of the transformation of acute pain into chronic pain is a spasm of the skeletal muscles of the back in response to pain stimulation. Further events develop as follows:
- pain causes a reflex contraction of the muscle and an increase in its rest tone,
- with a higher tone, vascular spasm develops in the muscle, and the accumulated products of its vital activity (lactic acid) accumulate in its tissue,
- as a result of such “self-poisoning” soreness increases and everything repeats again.
Thus, a “closed vicious circle” is formed in the muscle: pain causes spasm, and spasm retains pain. Such a state can exist for weeks and even months. Medications relaxants are designed to break this “vicious circle” with osteochondrosis and other similar diseases.
Back pain during movement and at rest, aching and pressing character can be the reasons for the usage. Usually, they are localized in the forelegs (the upper edges of the trapezius muscle), the paravertebral (near-vertebral) muscles that lie to the right and left of the spine, the broadest muscles and the deep musculature of the back in the waist.
The appearance of sensitive disorders, as with pain, and in the form of painless forms: a feeling of “crawling,” numbness, and a decrease in tactile sensitivity. Most often, they appear in the course of the sciatic nerve: on the back of the thigh, in the form of a strip, going down to the popliteal fossa.
Centralized muscle relaxants are drugs that significantly facilitate the life of patients and not only the life of patients with osteochondrosis but also with other, much heavier lesions of the central neural system, for example, in severe strokes. Therefore, with acute pain in the back, it is not worth waiting for local preparations (gels, creams, ointments) to work. After all, the central muscle relaxants prescribed by the therapist or neurologist in a timely manner will help to reduce the time of painful spasm, and in some cases in general, get rid of seasonal exacerbations.