Hello, I have been on Zanaflex for 5 years now. It is the only muscle relaxer that has worked for me, I tried just about everything else. I get an RX for the 4mg tabs and take 2mgs in the AM 2mg at noon and then the full 4mgs at night. I have a herniated disk at L4-L5 & L5 S1 that hurts on my right side, and because of that, I have a muscle spasm almost all the time in my upper left back, likely from trying to compensate for the injury. I did find that when I started a long acting pain medicine, the combination of the two made me very sleepy, even on the lower dose in the morning, so I only take it now in the morning when it's really bad.
My MRI revealed MILD bulging disks in L-4, and L-5. I've tried everything to get rid of the pain, from acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic manipulation, epidural, SIJ injection, and facet joint injections. I'm not a candidate for surgery. Nothing has relieved the sciatic pain.
Do you have sciatic pain in your leg? If so does the Zanaflex relieve that pain?
I wake up with stiffness and cramping in my right leg, from my glut going down my leg, but mostly in my calve muscle.
I took 4 mg Zanaflex yesterday morning. Made me feel tired and a bit 'spaced out.' However, it didn't relieve my pain. When it wore off, about 4 hours later, I took my usual 800 MG Advil, which helps me with the pain.
I took a 4 mg Zanaflex again last night. This morning I woke up to my usual sciatic pain.
Do you have to 'build up' the Zanaflex in your system for it to be effective? Do you remember how it affected you initially?
I'm hesitant to take it again this morning. Perhaps I ought to take a 1/2 pill dosage like you do in the morning and 1/2 again in the afternoon.
Judy a bit off subject,and thought to post to your statement.. you are not a candidate for surgery.
My 1st doctor told me that and she treated me for over 2 years. She only did MRI's, injections and medicated me. She too told me I was not a candidate for surgery and I would suffer many long agonizing years of excruciating pain and .. "to just live with it".
Well, after that.. I knew it was time to find a new doc. It took 4, but I found one that thought I had been through ALOT over 3 years and was time to do some testing. The MRI's all showed my l5/s1 disc bulging, and l4/l5 as just "slightly" beginning to degenerate.
Well the disocgram proved the MRi's wrong. The bulging disc was still there, but not causing my pain, and the l4/l5 disc was actually badly torn had leaked out and all that remained was the outer shell. The doctor was stunned at the findings and said it was amazing the disc was even still holding up.
Surgery was then scheduled shortly thereafter. I am not saying have surgery, but that it may be an option for you at some point and don't take one doctors opinion.
I do hope you get some relief. I know you are a golfer.. though I dont know how you can play with all that twisting on the spine that way. If you can play..that is wonderful!
All the best. Tammy
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt
L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!
Interesting that you suggest I get another opinion. Yesterday I was thinking just that. I plan to go to another orthopaedic spine specialist as soon as I can get an appointment.
I've been truly hoping that I could resolve my pain without surgery, so when they tell me that I'm not a candidate for surgery, I suppose they're telling something I want to hear. Like, who the heck wants to go through surgery? Especially after reading the horrors that sometimes follow surgery, on this board.
They tell me that my case doesn't warrant surgery, but they don't tell me how to resolve my problem.
I haven't had a 'discogram'. Is that invasive? I've also been thinking that I need a catscan, or something to give them a closer look at my whole pelvic area.
i just posted on the discogram quiestion also. i'm in the same boat, on my way to the discogram...anyway, i used that medication for about 3 yrs. what i didnt like, and my husband also, was that at night we seemed to wake up after 4-5hrs of sleep and not be able to fall back asleep. personally, soma is what i like the most, i dont feel messed up, or tired or anything, i'm able to take it during the day and still take care of my kids.
hope this helps
I take 4mg of Zanaflex at night. (Makes me sleepy) I think it does help some with the spasms. I tried it a couple of years ago and couldn't tell a difference. But, now that I am post lumbar lam...I think it does help. I take Robaxin during the day. I wouldn't give up on it just yet.
Hi there... I feel silly asking this, but how does sciatica cause muscle spasms? I thought any pain going down your legs from the sciatic nerve was simply that, even though sometimes it feels like a charlie horse. So my muscles really are knotting up a bit and it's just not the sensation of it?
The sciatic nerve is surrounded by muscles....so when the sciatic gets "inflammed" it causes the muscles around it to get irritated thus causing muscle spasms...Sciatic nerve pain is the worse!!! I am sorry you are feeling it too. The Zanaflex for me, helps calm things down especially at night and allows me to sleep some.
Yep - my latest pain has been sciatic pain.. it used to be that laying down at night was the only relief I would get from my weird & frequent lowerback & leg pains, but now nighttime is the worst. It's not every night, but about 60-70% of the time. <sigh> Sitting used to be the worst.
Unfortunately, the muscle gets irritated by the sciatic nerve and that causes muscle spasms, and the spasms irritate the nerve, and so it becomes cyclic. Also trigger points are created by the spasms. Somehow the fascia (the layer of tissue that wraps around your muscle*) gets oxygen deprived (that's how they explained it to me) and the trigger points also create muscle cramping.
My sciatica sometimes feels like an extreme charley-horse, especially in my calve muscle.
I had a series of trigger point injections, to release the trigger points and stop spasm. Still have the sciatica, still have the severe calve cramping.
It's the pits!!
(*You can see the fascia on a raw chicken. It's that very thin tissue that seems to be around the muscle under the skin.)