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Do muscle relaxers help with anxiety

Do Muscle Relaxers Help with Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders can be challenging to cope with even on the best days. Many treatments are available for anxiety disorders, but they are not one size fits all. Trial and error might be necessary if go-to methods are not sufficient for you. At this time, muscle relaxers are questioned often if they help with anxiety.

Treatment could also depend on which anxiety disorder you are suffering from. If there are any underlying causes for the disease, they may be a factor as well. Your doctor will take this and your history into consideration when working out a treatment plan.

Just like most treatment of any health problem, there are potential side effects. Though usually mild, these side effects can sometimes be dangerous. A reaction to medication is typically the culprit in the case of severe side effects.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Disorders

There is a difference between feeling anxious now and then and having an anxiety disorder. It is normal to experience occasional stress, but it is probably something else if it persists for a long time. Several diseases fall under the anxiety spectrum.

Anxiety Disorders

  • Panic disorder

  • Characterized by panic attacks that can cause chest pain, sweating, and heart palpitations, the panic disorder causes sudden, extreme fear that peaks in a short amount of time.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
    • This condition may cause unrealistic, persistent worry and anxiety with little to no reason.
  • Phobias
    • This significant anxiety about a specific situation or object can cause avoidance and even panic attacks.
  • Social anxiety disorder
    • The excessive concern with judgment from others may cause elevated levels of fear, avoidance, and anxiety caused by self-consciousness or feelings of embarrassment is also known as a social phobia.
  • Selective mutism
    • This regular failure of some kids to talk in specific situations can interfere with learning and social functioning even when able to speak in others.
  • Separation anxiety
    • Separation anxiety is a childhood disorder may stem from separation from guardians or parents at an early age.

Your doctor will want to treat you based on the cause of your anxiety. Not all treatments will work, depending on this cause. They will want to rule out any underlying issues or address them first.

Possible Causes

  • Respiratory disorders
  • Certain uncommon tumors
  • Drug withdrawal or abuse
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pain
  • Heart disease
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Medication side effect
  • Genetics
  • Faulty brain chemistry
  • Stressful environments

Muscle Relaxers

Muscle Relaxers

Usually prescribed for conditions such as cerebral palsy, motorneurone disease, and multiple sclerosis, muscle relaxers may also help with long-term back or head injuries. By relaxing the muscles, these medications help alleviate pain and discomfort. There are several muscle relaxers available by prescription for those who may need them.

Common Muscle Relaxers

  • Baclofen
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Methocarbamol

Taking muscle relaxers can make you feel better, but there are also risks involved. Some side effects can mildly interfere with daily life or cause serious problems. Some people may even become addicted to certain medications.

Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty with urination
  • Grogginess or sleepiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Confusion


  • Allergic reaction
  • Interactions with drugs or alcohol
  • Addiction potential
  • Sleepiness

Your doctor will consider these risks and side effects if they feel that a prescription for one is necessary. They are not right for everyone, especially when it comes to conditions other than mentioned above. While they can effectively relieve anxiety, it is mostly a last resort.

Treatment for Anxiety

Treatment for Anxiety

Many treatments are available for anxiety disorders. With medication and psychotherapy to choose from, your doctor may need to adjust these remedies to fit your situation. Usually, patients have a combination of both prescriptions and therapy.

Anxiety Treatments

  • Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • CBT teaches patients to handle panic-causing or negative behaviors and thoughts into positive ones. Your therapist will guide you to manage situations in a way that will not cause anxiety.
  • Medication
    • Antidepressants
      • Most of the time, antidepressants are the go-to medication treatment.
    • Benzodiazepines
      • These drugs are particularly helpful in those with persistent anxiety and panicky feelings. They act super-fast, but one must take caution. Being highly addictive, they should only be a temporary addition to your treatment.
    • Antipsychotics
      • These medications, in low amounts, can assist other treatments in boosting effectiveness.
    • Beta-blockers
      • Especially useful for physical anxiety symptoms, these drugs can help during panic attacks.

Regardless of what your doctor chooses to begin with, any treatment will take time. Your body needs to adjust to medications, and changing your way of thinking is not easy. Be kind and patient with yourself as you go through treatment. You are already getting the help you need, so try not to judge your progress.



As you may have noticed, benzodiazepines fall under anxiety treatments and muscle relaxers. They are technically a category of anti-anxiety medications. However, these medications can be useful for seizures, alcohol withdrawal, skeletal pain, and muscle spasms.

Benzodiazepines are temporary solutions, and you should tread carefully. For the occasional unmanageable symptoms or to help with other treatments as they take effect, these drugs are ideal. Your doctor will decide if you should take them longer, but that is reserved for serious cases.

Since Benzodiazepines can be highly addictive, they are typically a last resort. If your doctor does prescribe them, follow their directions exactly. Do not make any changes without consulting them, for that can have consequences other than addiction.


It is essential to take care of anxiety disorders before they cause more problems. The many treatments available include medications that double as muscle relaxers. These medications, called benzodiazepines, work with other drugs to complete anxiety treatment.

Muscle relaxers do not always help with anxiety because of their addictive nature. Some people are more susceptible to addiction, and your doctor will consider that when creating your treatment plan. If they do decide to prescribe one, it will likely be temporary.

Taking benzodiazepines for a long time can cause withdrawal, dependence, and even tolerance. Use them only as directed for as long as directed and speak with your doctor about any concerns. Anxiety is manageable with many treatments, and muscle relaxers are just one of them.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16949248/
  2. https://patient.info/bones-joints-muscles/muscle-relaxants
  3. https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/anti-anxiety-medications-benzodiazepines
  4. https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/pain-medication/muscle-relaxants
  5. https://medshadow.org/the-problem-with-muscle-relaxants/
  6. https://www.goodrx.com/anxiety
  7. https://psychcentral.com/lib/medications-for-anxiety-panic-and-phobias/
  8. https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/do-i-need-a-muscle-relaxer
  9. https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/feeling_depressed/3038983-Do-muscle-relaxants-help-with-anxiety


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