The prevalence of migraine and severe headaches in the USA is high, affecting roughly 1 out of every 6 Americans. Headaches account for about 3% of the emergency department’s visits and have constantly been the fourth or fifth reason for visiting a physician . With the ever-increasing number of analgesics on the market, can we keep using muscle relaxers for headaches?. Skeletal muscle relaxers are effective for managing acute pain. However, the risk of adverse effects raises concerns about its safety in routine use. Thus, this blog evaluates the safe use of Soma for migraine and headaches.
Overview of Muscle relaxers for headache & migraine
Most prescription analgesics do not treat the root cause of headaches and migraines, which is muscle tightening. Moreover, relying on such pain relievers only elevates these concerns and builds medication tolerance.
Unlike other pain medications, muscle relaxers are pharmacologically efficient and target the root cause of these conditions. It works on the skeletal muscles and lowers the passive and continuous contraction of the muscles. Thereby helps to ease the muscles and provides relaxation and calmness.
Migraine is a recurring headache with precipitating factors, including ceratin food, weather changes, stress, fatigue, and hunger. It is a discomfort that can cause a pulsing sensation or severe throbbing pain on one side of the head.
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The key characteristics of migraine are-
The pain may last from 4 to 72 hours
Often occur in the morning
Having a family history is common
Gradual onset of pain, with peak for hours followed by a slow decline.
Women are more susceptible to experiencing migraine in their lifetime. The ratio is 3: 1 for females and males .
Somatic symptoms accompanying migraine-
Sensitivity to light
How does Soma for migraine work?
The use of a muscle relaxer for headaches can be surprising. It is because migraine is a brain and neurological disorder. Soma's prophylactic treatment for migraines occurs within 30 minutes of intake.
Studies show that during a migraine attack, muscles in the body contract. That is why numerous people feel relief by rubbing the back of the head and their temples. Using muscle relaxers for headaches like migraines does more than just relax your muscles. They help by altering the mechanism of the brain for perceiving pain.
The efficacy of Soma for migraine treatment is an investigational benefit of the analgesic. Even though studies indicate that the working mechanism of muscle relaxers such as Soma pill, Baclofen, and tizanidine results in treating headaches with few side effects.
Tension headaches- What are they and how can Soma pill help?
Tension headache is a mild to moderate pain that often feels like having a tight band around the head and is one of the most common types of headache. Such pain is usually mild and does not affect your regular work. This condition occurs when the neck and scalp muscle contract or become tense. The muscle contraction may be a response to depression, stress, anxiety, or head injury.
Using muscle relaxers such as Carisoprodol (Soma pill) or metaxalone (Skelaxin) helps to loosen the muscles of the head and neck, thus allowing faster relief from tension headaches.
In contrast to most OTC treatment options for tension headache, the Soma pill addresses the pain's mechanism and fundamental cause. The tension headache is characterized by
Tightening of muscle encircling the head-
Using the Soma pill helps relax the muscle, thus helping achieve faster relief from pain.
The irritated nerve from the body sends warning signals to the pain receptor of the brain. Carisoprodol helps manage pain by blocking the sensation of pain from traveling to the brain receptors.
Tightening of the neck muscle-
Muscle relaxers for headaches, including Soma, work by loosening the neck and back muscle fibers to help relax the tensed muscle and get relief from intense pain.
Clinical evidence on the efficacy of Soma for migraine
A comparative study by H.J. Featherstone analyses the effectiveness of Naproxen with Carisoprodol. Naproxen is a known and commonly prescribed drug for migraine. H.J. Featherstone conducted this clinical study on 100 patients with migraine and without aura (severe headache with dizziness) .
The study shows that both Carisoprodol and Naproxen effectively treat the early signs of migraine. However, Soma for migraine was more effective compared to Naproxen.
Potency of the Soma pill for treating facial pain
You must be wondering what facial pain is because we hardly address this condition in our day-to-day life. Facial pain is the discomfort in any part of the face. It includes headaches and injury.
Facial and jaw pain is estimated to impact more than 25% of the population . This condition stems typically from overuse of the muscles in the neck and head. Most physicians prescribe the use of Muscle relaxers such as Soma for headaches.
Muscle relaxers can effectively manage headaches and facial pain due to muscle pain. However, Sinus congestion does not arise from tensed muscle and is therefore not treatable with muscle relaxers.
The improper use of the muscle relaxer can increase the risk of serotonin toxicity if taken with other medicines for better action. While the Soma pill can potentially treat short-term acute pain, it may not be effective for treating most facial and jaw pain.
Some facial and jaw pain causes that are untreatable with the Soma pill are cluster headache, salivary gland infection, Trigeminal Neuralgia, and temporomandibular joint issues.
Is Soma For Migraines safe for regular use?
Migraine pain usually lasts from 4 to 72 hours. The onset of action of the Soma pill is fast, and its effects last 5 to 6 hours in a user. The maximum prescription use of the analgesic is 3 to 4 times daily. The administration of the Soma pill continuously for the next 72 hours for migraine is not advisable as it may elevate the risk of addiction and dependency.
The use of Soma for migraine is an investigational benefit of the analgesic, and physicians do not often prescribe it. If your migraine is sporadic and triggers under specific conditions, in such cases, the use of Carisoprodol is considered safe. Soma for headaches is not advisable for more than three weeks of regular use.
Alternative to Soma for migraine
The cause and severity of the pain may differ from one person to another. Although the use of Soma for migraine shows promising results, your physician knows precisely which muscle relaxer for headaches will work best for you. Some of the alternatives to the Soma pill for treating migraine are-
First line of preventive medicine
The early and proper use of Soma for headaches often helps abort migraine pain. Onobotulinum toxin A is one of the extensively studied preventive treatments for migraine. According to the website practical pain management, nearly 4 million people have taken this injection for headaches. Botox is the only Onobotulinum toxin A which is FDA-approved as a treatment for chronic migraine. Studies show that a set of Botox injections can reduce headaches for 1 to 3 months .
The standard dosage of botox recommended by the FDA is 155 units every three months. It further provides a cumulative benefit of improvement over a year.
Other FDA-approved migraine preventive medications are anticonvulsants (Anti-seizure medications). Some common anticonvulsants are Divalproex sodium (Depakote), Topiramate (Topamax), or Trokendi.
The recommended dosage for Topamax or Trokendi varies from 25 to 50 mg, with a daily limit of 400 mg. Depakote can be taken in doses of 500 to 1000 mg daily. However, the administration of these anticonvulsants should be under medical supervision as they can cause side effects such as confusion, kidney stones, metabolic acidosis, alopecia, etc.
The table below lists a few other first-line preventive medications for migraine.
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Natural Supplements and Herbs
Even though medicines are available to treat migraine, their efficacy differs in people. Natural supplements and healthy options are becoming increasingly popular to help manage and prevent migraine episodes.
Some health supplements you can take as an adjunct therapy with the Soma pill are-
It helps lower oxidative stress and brain inflammation in migraine patients.
Studies associate deficiency of vitamin D with migraine. It is because vitamin D improves magnesium absorption and reduces the chances of migraine.
This is an antioxidant that protects from oxidative stress from migraine. It reduces the enzyme level that causes inflammation during a migraine attack.
Research suggests that feverfew is an effective migraine treatment. This plant is native to the Balkan mountains but is now grown almost everywhere.
Soma Muscle relaxer for headache & migraine- Final verdict
Headaches and migraines are escalating health concerns. The Soma muscle relaxant addresses tension headaches by relaxing the tightened brain blood vessels. It also provides effective results as a preliminary treatment for migraines without aura. One can buy Soma to administer with other pain relievers to emphasize the efficacy further. However, it is imperative to take prior advisement from health experts to avoid drug interactions, addiction, or abuse.