original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
Muscle relaxants are commonly prescribed for low back pain (LBP); however, there is limited evidence of their clinical efficacy and tolerability. This review evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of muscle relaxants in people with LBP. We searched online databases including Medline, EMBASE, CENTRAL and PsycINFO (inception to end October 2015) and performed citation tracking for eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Two authors independently extracted data and assessed risk of bias of randomized controlled trials of muscle relaxants. Pain outcomes were converted to a common 0-100 scale. Data were pooled using a random effects model with strength of evidence assessed using GRADE. Fifteen trials (3362 participants) were evaluated in this review. A total of five trials (496 participants) provide high quality evidence that muscle relaxants provide clinically significant pain relief in the short term for acute LBP; MD -21.3, [-29.0, -13.5]. There was no information on long-term outcomes. The median adverse event rate in clinical trials for muscle relaxants was similar to placebo 14.1% IQR (7.0-28.7%) and 16.0% (4.1-31.2%); p = 0.5, respectively. There is no evidence for the efficacy of benzodiazepines in LBP. For people with acute LBP, muscle relaxants provide clinically significant short-term pain relief. For chronic LBP, the efficacy of muscle relaxants is largely unknown. There was no eligible RCT evidence to support the efficacy of benzodiazepines in LBP. Prolonged use of these medicines in LBP cannot be guided by trial evidence. WHAT DOES THIS REVIEW ADD?: Muscle relaxants provide clinically significant pain relief for acute low back pain. Caution must be taken with the interpretation of the findings as the evidence comes from specific muscle relaxant medicines.
These four articles on PainScience.com cite Shaheed 2017 as a source:
- Save Yourself from Low Back Pain! — Low back pain myths debunked and all your treatment options reviewed
- Complete Guide to Headaches — Detailed, readable, science-based self-help for tension headaches and other common musculoskeletal headaches
- Save Yourself from Neck Pain! — A complete guide to chronic neck pain and the disturbing sensation of a “crick”
- Frozen Shoulder Guide — An extremely detailed & readable guide to one of the strangest of all common musculoskeletal problems, for both patients and pros
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
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- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.