Doctors advise therapeutic “stops” for muscles in motion
Due to the increasing demand from athletes, “weekend warriors,” and the like, there is a rather sizable market for muscle relaxant medication. These medications are designed to help people deal with problems like muscle spasms, chronic pains, and excessive muscle strain. In other situations, the drug is used to keep limbs as still as possible for medical or therapeutic sessions that that require pinpoint precision.
Diazepam, in particular, has found use in the military as a powerful muscle relaxant medication. The drug is primarily used by snipers. Since there are situations when the sniper would be unable to use the base tripod to keep the rifle as steady as possible, diazepam is often recommended to allow the shooter to keep still. The result is that the rifle is stable and the shot’s chances of hitting the target are fairly equivalent to when a tripod is used. With the use of the drug, movement of the limbs have been kept to a minimum, allowing the sniper to improve target acquisition and accuracy. However, there have been reports of substance abuse in the field. This is the likely reason why most armed forces, specifically those units with sniper teams, have begun to seek alternative muscle relaxant medication.
Another common muscle relaxant medication is carisoprodol. Unlike diazepam, which is typically taken in capsule form, carisoprodol is administered in the form of a powder. This particular muscle relaxant is more of a skeletal muscle relaxant, which means it targets specific muscle areas attached to the skeletal system. This is a significant difference as compared to diazepam, which is a drug designed to target and work on the entire body through chemical interactions within the central nervous system. Carisoprodol is typically dissolved in liquids, particularly water or alcohol, before being administered. One similarity that carisoprodol has with diazepam is that both can occasionally be prescribed for patients that are undergoing withdrawal from alcohol. It is, however, not prescribed for use by persons being treated for drug abuse since the medication can also be addictive or habit-forming.
Methocarmabol is also another common muscle relaxant medication, with chemical similarities to certain antihistamines. This particular drug, while lacking the addictive potential of the above medications, is also far less potent and, in some cases, the effects last for shorter periods. However, this is understandable, as methocarmabol was specifically designed to treat spasms and aches. This particular muscle relaxant medication was not made with the same potency as diazepam simply because it was not meant to treat symptoms of the same severity as the aforementioned drug.
Recently, research has been conducted on the possible use of gabapentin as a muscle relaxant medication. Currently, how exactly the compound works in treating epileptic seizures is unknown. It is theorized that the drug affects the central nervous system by blocking neuro-transmitters in the body. Gabapentin is primarily used as a drug for psychological treatment, and less common as a muscle relaxing agent.
There are other more potent medications in the market. These drugs are reserved and prescribed for more serious conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. The said conditions require the use of powerful, non-anesthetic muscle relaxants such as orphenadrine.