Discussions that mention valium

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint board


I just saw this post and wanted to add something. Benzos - including xanax and valium, can act as direct muscle relaxants and are frequently prescribed for that purpose. In fact often the mainstay of treatment from neurologists treating myoclonus - a condition that causes muscular jerking/spasm etc... are benzos. I was given a very low dose of valium to treat stapedial muscle spasm by an oral surgeon in a major dental hospital. It was amazingly effective. I was not given it for anxiety, nor was she qualified to treat an anxiety patient had I been one. Interestingly the other treatment they use to treat tmjd is notriptyline - a tricyclic anti depressant - not for depression but because it has been proven to be effective in the treatment of tmjd, by working on pain receptors in the brain, along with other conditions - migraine etc... Although I understand that the primary known use of xanax and other benzos is to treat anxiety, in terms of neuromuscular conditions they definitely aren't prescribed to treat anxiety with the hoped for side effect being one of muscle relaxation. I'm guessing that they act on the neuro/brain aspect of the condition that is causing the muscles to spasm.

Although I understand your reservations about benzos, if used sparingly and cautiously, with a full knowledge of their addictive qualities, they can be life altering. This is why I think it's important people understand their different uses, and don't deride their use too quickly. I was extremely glad that a tiny (2mg) and occasional dose of valium could quiet the violent vibration I experienced in my ears, had I been denied valium because it is possible for people to abuse them, I would have suffered unecessarily. My doctor was happy to prescribe it to me as I am not an addict but a patient who experiences horrible non anxiety related physical symptoms. Below is an article that states categorically that diazepam (valium) is a muscle relaxant.

Sorry to be pedantic, but for the reasons I've outlined above, this is important to me. I agree that on prescribing xanax, a doctor should inform a patient about its potentially addicting nature, and that it isn't only used as a muscle relaxant.

Current Evaluation and Management
Written By

D. Scott Fortune MD
David S. Haynes MD
Jay W. Hall III PhD

Neurologic Disorders
Neurologic disorders that cause objective tinnitus include palatomyoclonus and idiopathic stapedial muscle spasm. Palatomyoclonus is characterized by an irregular clicking sound within the ear. The myoclonus is rapid with a rate between 40 and 200 beats/min and occurs intermittently. The sound is generated by the mucous membranes of the eustachian tube snapping together as the palatal musculature undergoes myoclonic contractions. Patients may also complain of aural fullness, hearing loss, or sound distortion. Symptoms are worsened by stress. Frequently a history of muscle spasm with occipital headaches or temporomandibular joint pain can be obtained. The diagnosis can be made on physical examination by listening for the noise with a Toynbee tube or viewing myoclonic jerks in the palate. Tympanometry can occasionally record movement synchronous with the palatal contractions. Rarely, electromyography of the palate is indicated to confirm the clinical diagnosis. Treatment of palatomyoclonus is medical. Antispasmodic agents and muscle relaxants, such as clonazepam or diazepam, are the mainstay of treatment. Neurologic consultation is useful for long-term management of these patients.