Q:

What is a good over-the-counter muscle relaxer?

A:

According to Everyday Health, currently, there are no over-the-counter muscle relaxers. However, there are several pain relief medications available over-the-counter; NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Aleve (naproxen) and Motrin (ibuprofen) and Tylenol are examples of such medications. Some common muscle relaxers that are available by prescription include Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), Soma (carisoprodol) and Skelaxin (metaxalone).

Both prescription muscle relaxers and over-the-counter pain relievers may cause side effects. Muscle relaxers such as Flexeril, Soma and Skelaxin are known to cause nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and vomiting. Taking more than 3,000mg to 4,000mg of Tylenol per day increases the likelihood of liver toxicity.

Prolonged use of NSAIDs may cause stomach ulceration, bleeding and kidney failure.

In addition to drug treatment, there are alternative ways to manage pain. The use of hot and cold compresses can aid in relief. Heat can reduce muscle spasms by increasing blood flow to the area, and cold reduces inflammation in the area.

Acu-Cell has several suggestions for relieving pain that involve supplements and herbal interventions. It suggests using massage oils on the affected muscle area and using magnesium and calcium supplements to reduce muscle spasms. Before taking steps to treat and relive muscle pain, first consult with a physician.


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