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Clinical effects of Soma muscle relaxer for menstrual cramps

Clinical effects of Soma muscle relaxer for menstrual cramps

Muscle relaxers are analgesics that assist in relieving muscular discomfort in the body. Carisoprodol is a centrally acting muscle relaxer retailed under the name Soma pill. The prescription use of the Soma muscle relaxer is as a short-term treatment option for acute pain. So, do muscle relaxers help with period cramps?

Menstrual cramp, also known as dysmenorrhea, is throbbing pain in the lower abdomen. A study on the Prevalence of menstrual pain in young women indicates that 84.1% of the women suffer from menstrual cramps, whereas 43.1% experience regular discomfort [1]. Such cramps can affect your everyday activities and make that time of the month uncomfortable. 

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, about half of the women who menstruate suffer from cramping during the first few days [2]. Often, menstrual pain can be managed on its own, but women who experience severe pain often require medical assistance for pain relief. 

Using a muscle relaxer for period cramps shows effective results in helping relieve pain within 30 minutes of intake. This blog evaluates the use of the Soma pill in treating endometriosis cramps in the uterus. 

 

Do muscle relaxers help with period cramps?

Periods are idiosyncratic (a mode of behavior distinct to an individual); therefore, what works for one person may not show an effective result in another. However, people with periods do share certain root causes (uterine muscle contraction) for their symptoms. 

Soma-for-menstural-pain

The use of Muscle relaxers helps people overcome period cramps that are associated with primary dysmenorrhea. However, its usage cannot completely defy the discomfort arising from secondary dysmenorrhea. During the menstrual cycle, the uterus contracts to assist in removing its lining. In this course, the prostaglandins (hormone) elevates, resulting in inflammation, pain, and uterine muscle contractions.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2 million Americans have been using muscle relaxers. The relaxer’s mechanism involves decreasing our muscle tone. It acts on the muscle fibers and helps to relax, thus inducing relief from pain. 

The Soma pain medication is an FDA-approved Schedule IV analgesic that has paved its way into the pharmaceutical world for its effectiveness and invincible potency. The action of the analgesic begins within 30 minutes of intake, and its action lasts approximately 6 hours. 

The usual adult dose of the Soma pill is 350mg for beginners, which can be escalated to 500mg throughout the treatment. Women who buy Soma online for their menstrual cramps should not use it for more than three continuous weeks. If you are a lactating mother, you should administer the muscle relaxer after consulting a doctor. 

What causes menstrual cramps?

“Dysmenorrhea” is the medical term for a painful period or menstrual cycle that is caused due to uterine contraction. When the chemical “Prostaglandin” makes the uterus contract, it causes cramps.

 

why_do_menstural_cramps_occur

 

The uterus is a muscular organ, thus making muscle relaxers an excellent treatment option for cramps and discomfort. In most cases, during the menstrual cycle, the strong contraction of the uterus can press against nearby blood vessels, thus cutting off the oxygen supply to the muscle tissue [4]. These factors largely contribute to your period discomfort. 

There are two subgroups of dysmenorrhea- primary and secondary. The proper understanding and knowledge of which type of dysmenorrhea you are struggling with are essential to help find the best muscle relaxer for period cramps. 

 

Primary Dysmenorrhea: 

Primary dysmenorrhea is period cramps due to “natural” or “normal” uterine muscle contraction alone. Prostaglandins trigger these contractions. Some people, during their menstrual cycle, overproduce prostaglandins, thus leading to worse cramping.  

 

Secondary Dysmenorrhea:

This condition results from other factors (other than typical uterine muscle contraction). Such cramps may arise due to benign growth (like polyps and fibroids), endometriosis (when the uterus cells grow in other body parts), and intrauterine devices (IUDs). The duration of the pain in secondary dysmenorrhea increases compared to chronic pain. It generally starts 2-3 days before the menstrual cycle, and gradually the pain elevates and continues till the end of the process.

Clinicians advise on muscle relaxers for menstrual cramps

Even after a lot of research and speculations, the question “do muscle relaxers help with period cramps” remains. So, let us see what medical professionals have to say. Two eminent physicians on the website HealthTap states that using muscle relaxers for menstrual cramps is a second line of treatment [5]. 

 

Muscle-relaxer-for-period-cramps

 

Muscle relaxers are often prescribed when the generic medications fail to show effective results in the patient. The medical practitioner also states that these analgesics can help get relief from pain but will not treat the root cause of the issue. 

Scientific study on muscle relaxers for low-back pain during a menstrual cramp

 

scientific_study_on_muscle_relaxer_for_back_pain_during_periods

 

Most women on their periods must have experienced lower back pain, which is one of the common symptoms of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Such lower back pain can range from subtle discomfort to debilitating pain. This pain is often along the center portion of the lower back.

But, knowing that more than half of all women experience period cramps and back pain isn’t enough to help you feel better. Here’s what you can do to stop it.

Back pain in most women begins a few days before their cycle and usually subsides after the completion of the period. This pain is mostly muscular and arises due to hormonal changes during those days of the month. 

A study determines the efficacy of muscle relaxers in diminishing the severity of back pain during dysmenorrhea [6]. Muscle relaxers such as the Soma pill relieve acute skeletomuscular pain by acting on the body's central nervous system. It prevents the pain stimulation from traveling to the GABA receptor of the brain. Thus, using muscle relaxers for period cramps and back pain can be an effective solution for most women toiling to stay active all day long.

Alternative to Carisoprodol Muscle Relaxers For Period Cramps

When we talk about muscle relaxers, the first name to pop into our head is Carisoprodol. But numerous alternatives to the Soma pill showcase similar efficacy and benefits in users. 

When choosing the best muscle relaxer for period cramps, ensure you do not get confused by uterine muscle relaxers. They are commonly used to stop premature labor and give the fetal lungs time to mature. These muscle relaxers are safe during pregnancy and are, however, not prescribed for menstrual cramps. 

Three effective prescription muscle relaxers for menstrual cramps apart from Carisoprodol are-

  • Cyclobenzaprine

  • Tylenol

  • Skelaxin

When should you talk to a doctor about period pain?

 Any signs and symptoms here can be a sign of severe or chronic menstrual cramps. If you are dealing with any of the following conditions, you should consult a doctor. 

  • If the cramp lasts for more than 3 to 5 days.

  • In case you experience it in the later part of your life.

  • When usual pain medications fail to relieve cramps and period pain.

  • If the pain moves to your legs and back.

Limitations of muscle relaxers for menstrual pain 

Soma pill is a safe medication with a low possibility for abuse and addiction. Even though using muscle relaxers has shown exemplary results in managing cramps and body pain, they still have certain limitations.  

Using muscle relaxers is ineffective in managing several premenstrual syndromes in women. These analgesics do not improve conditions such as irritability, mood swings, fatigue, and depression. 

Long-term use of the muscle relaxer can cause adverse effects in the user, thus resulting in drowsiness, agitation, palpitations, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and stomach issues. The use of the analgesic is unsafe for women who are lactating, pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Also, women with a history of heart, kidney, and liver disorders should refrain from ingesting the analgesic without consulting a doctor. 

Home remedies for faster pain relief 

 

home-remedies-for-period-pain-relief

 

Along with using muscle relaxers, several home remedies can be incorporated into your routine to manage the signs of period pain. These can be done in conjugation with your medicines and other therapies. 

 

Applying heat- Using heating pads on your abdomen and lower back can help relieve period pain. A study in 2018 indicates the effectiveness of heat therapy in treating menstrual pain. It was seen to show similar benefits as NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) [7]. 

 

Using essential oils- Messaging for 15 to 20 minutes with your favorite essential oil can help. The massage therapy for period cramps involves rubbing the oil on the abdomen and back and pressing on specific points. Myeong Soo Lee et al. found that aromatherapy and massage therapy can help reduce menstrual cramps and pain [8]. Some effective essential oils that may help are rose, fennel, lavender, and peppermint. 

 

Avoiding certain food items- During the menstrual cycle, avoiding food that can cause water retention and bloat is best. Some food to avoid during those times is alcohol, fatty food, salty food, caffeine, and carbonated beverages. 

 

Adding herbs to your diet- There are several herbs with antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce muscle contraction and pain associated with the menstrual cycle [7]. 

 

Herbs

Dosage

Scientific evidence

Cinnamon

Incorporate cinnamon into your food or tea or take about 840mg of capsule three times a day. 

In 2015, a woman who took cinnamon in her diet reported lesser pain, nausea, and Vomiting. 

Chamomile tea

Try to sip two cups of chamomile tea a few days before your period. 

According to a study report, using chamomile tea increases the urinary level of glycine, effectively relieving muscle spasms in users.

Ginger

You can grate the ginger and add it to your warm water or tea. 

A study on students indicates that 250mg of ginger powder four times a day can help with the pain. The same study also concludes that the effectiveness of ginger is similar to ibuprofen.

Fennel seeds

You can take 30mg of fennel extracts for three days during your period. 

A study on fennel seeds against placebo showed that women between the ages of 15 to 24 showed relief from pain with fennel extracts.

Nutrition-backed solutions for period pain

A growing body of medical science indicates that certain nutrients can alleviate or eliminate menstrual cramps. Some of your best options are- 

 

Vitamin B1- This is one of the well-studied nutrients for cramps. Clinical analysis of over 100 women with dysmenorrhea showed that using Vitamin B1 supplements could lower the severity of cramps by half [9].

 

Zinc- A study by Eby in 2007 suggests that using zinc can increase the blood supply to the uterus. The same research reveals that intake of 31mg of zinc thrice daily has the best outcome for pain relief. This can help in preventing uterine cramps [10]. 

 

Magnesium- Several studies specify the association between muscle and back pain with lower magnesium intake. A daily dose of magnesium helps to prevent dysmenorrhea in some people. It functions by relaxing the smooth muscle of the uterus, thus further reducing the prostaglandins which cause period pain [11]. 

 

Vitamin B6

Numerous body enzymatic processes, including the menstrual cycle, involve using Vitamin B6. It helps regulate the hormone and inflammation, easing several menstrual symptoms [9]. 

Soma muscle relaxer for period pain- our final verdict 

 

pain-scale-for-menstural-cramp

 

Don’t let the silence created by menstrual taboo add to your confusion and cramps. A website, “menstrual-matters,” have taken the precise approach to assess the level of pain caused during the menstrual cycle.

They state that most women experience pain between “5 to 8” during their menstrual cycle. Now, can you take a moment to think of all the things you can do if your pain does not limit you? 

With muscle relaxers such as the Soma pill, period pain can be a thing of the past. But, by the aforesaid causes of period pain, the use of Carisoprodol may have certain limitations. The Soma pill is a tool for relieving the excruciating pain from your cramps; however, it cannot treat them entirely. If the pain does not diminish with time, it is best to visit a gynecologist. 


FAQ's

Yes, the use of muscle relaxers helps with period cramps. The use of Carisoprodol works within 30 minutes of intake.

Doctors commonly prescribe Soma pill as a muscle relaxer, Ibuprofen, anafranil and ketoprofen.

Yes, Cyclobenzaprine can be used for menstrual cramps. However, do take more than 60mg a day.

For severe menstrual pain, most doctors prescribe NSAIDs.

Carisoprodol, Cyclobenzaprine, and Skelaxin are some of the best muscle relaxers for cramps.

Yes, the use of muscle relaxers can help in decreasing the cramp and pain in the pelvis muscle due to endometriosis.

Muscle relaxers and over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen can help with endometriosis.


References-

  1. Prevalence of menstrual pain in young women: what is dysmenorrhea?, Giovanni Grandi et al. NCBI. 

  2. When to see a doctor for menstrual cramps, HealthPartners. 

  3. Ten Ways To Cope With Menstrual Cramps, nyxiesnook

  4. Dysmenorrhea, Cleveland clinic. 

  5. Will muscle relaxers help menstrual cramps?, Taphealth. 

  6. Efficacy of high-velocity low-amplitude manipulative technique in subjects with low-back pain during menstrual cramping, David Boesler et al. degruyter. 

  7. What Helps Menstrual Cramps: 6 Home Remedies and OTC Options to Manage Pain, Healthline. 

  8. Aromatherapy for Managing Pain in Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trials, Myeong Soo Lee et al. NCBI. 

  9. Best Muscle Relaxer for Menstrual Cramps, delune.

  10. The Efficacy of Zinc Administration in the Treatment of Primary Dysmenorrhea, Batool Teimoori et al. NCBI. 

  11. Magnesium and the menstrual cycle, helloclue.