A sudden unbearable pain gives us a thought: Will muscle relaxers help a pinched nerve? Muscle relaxants are used for the treatment of involuntary muscle contractions and muscle spasms. The most common causes of these problems are fibromyalgia, lower back pain, and whiplash.

Although muscle relaxants are used to reduce muscle spasm pain by relieving muscle contraction. But will muscle relaxers help a pinched nerve as well? Let’s find out

What is a pinched nerve?                                                      

Our body mostly feels stiffness and pain in the back, neck, arms, and legs may be due to a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve is a compression of a nerve by the surrounding tissues. The compression causes numbness, tingling, and pain in different parts of the body.

In several cases, a pinched nerve is caused by herniated disc slipping between the vertebrae of the spinal cord. It causes the compression of the spinal nerve that leads towards the leg.

Most commonly pinched nerves are caused by the neck (cervical radiculopathy), upper back (Thoracic radiculopathy), and lower back (lumbar radiculopathy). However, people also experience nerve compression in their legs and arms.

Causes of a pinched nerve

The following are the most common causes of nerve compression or a pinched nerve.

  • Ageing-it causes severe wear and tear problems in the spinal cord
  • Rheumatoid arthritis-inflammation of the joint increases the pressure on the surrounding nerves
  • Repeat active motions-like sitting and typing for a longer duration causes stress to the nerves
  • Pregnancy-it is the most common cause since excessive weight results in nerve compression.
  • Sudden injury
  • Obesity-A pinched nerve is caused by excessive weight
  • Diabetes-High sugar levels can also cause nerve damage.

Will muscle relaxers help a pinched nerve                        

Yes, a muscle relaxant medicine can overcome the symptoms of a pinched nerve. You can use Over-the-counter muscle relaxants like acetaminophen and NSAIDs to treat pinched muscles. They have very rare side effects and provide immediate relief.

However many of the muscle relaxants are not OTC medications. You will need a prescription and doctor’s directions to take those muscle relaxants for pinched nerves.

Such muscle relaxants include prescription drugs like Chlorzoxazone, carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone, tizanidine, baclofen, etc.

There are off-label muscle relaxants as well that are still under research to prove its effect on muscle spasms. Off label medication includes benzodiazepine, clonidine, and gabapentin.

Will muscle relaxers have good results when it comes to pinched nerves?  

Muscle relaxants help in recovery from symptoms of a pinched nerve. OTC muscle relaxants like acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can provide immediate relief from pain.                  

The most common reason for a pinched nerve is nerve compression by surrounding tissues and Muscles. A muscle relaxant immediately relaxes the muscle providing relief from pain.

Also Read: Stabbing pain after C-section

Treatments for a pinched nerve                                            

Apart from muscle relaxant medicines following are some other nonsurgical treatments for a pinched nerve.

  • Take proper rest

Most of the time a pinched nerve gets better on its own without any treatment. Doing rest for a few days can help you recover From it.

  • Icing or heating

If you are having swelling or pain in the affected area, do icing or heating on it.

  • Physical therapy

By doing light exercises you can reduce the pressure on the pinched nerve. A physiotherapist will tell you the best exercises to relax your body, muscles, and nerves.

  • Corticosteroids

If the pain is unbearable your physician may prescribe you an oral or injectable corticosteroid like prednisone to relieve pain.

  • Cervical collars and splints

Cervical collars and splints are recommended for those people who have pinched nerves in their neck and hands. They will reduce the activity so that the area can heal.


Hope you have got the answer that muscle relaxants will help a pinched nerve. Yes, a muscle relaxant can help you in treating the symptoms of a pinched nerve. If it is not working for you then you can also try other treatments for healing pinched nerves.                                                        

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