Muscle Relaxers and MAV

Hi all, looking for some input.

Fell back in October and separatered my shoulder, it only improved slightly and then actually started to get worse, pain has been pretty consistent and have recenty seen a shoulder specialist, I have “frozen shoulder”. Treatment is a cortisone shot which I rec friday, stretching 5 x a day. I have been dealing with this pain for 2 months now, rarely take anything not even advil or tylenol due to this crazy mav but at this point am not sleeping due to pain. Don’t want to go the narcotic route but what about muscle relaxers? Any input? Currently doing stretches/ultra sound therapy/trigger point/moist heat/biofreeze gel-topical ointment- really I’m tring to exhaust all avenues before meds.

Thanks Cecilia

I have problems with my shoulder as well. Once every couple of years I get a prescription for muscle relaxants. The nice thing is that I am usually symptom free taking them. I’m a little doped up, depending on which one the docs give me but my shoulder feels better and I don’t fall nearly as often, and almost non-dizzy.

how about an antihistamine like phenergan? they can help you sleep?

Muscle relaxers actually affect GABA…so if you find that you are feeling better on gaba increasing meds, it could be that you naturally have low GABA levels. My doctor feels if you truly suffer from low GABA levels, that it’s not bad to supplement with meds (like benzos) that increase it in the brain. Not unlike the SSRI’s that increase serotonin. The trick is finding which ones your brain is not making enough of, and using meds to help properly balance the brain chemistry. I think SSRI’s are a doctors first choice because most people are low in sero…for me, the ssri just made things worse and increased anxiety…however, doing cymbalta, which balanced out my sero and norephinephrine, but I obviously need some gaba too, as the klonopin takes away the leftover dizzies…a lot of people need a cocktail of sorts…
fyi…alcohol is the most common form of people self medicating for low GABA levels…as it increases those levels and helps people mellow out.


Thanks for the info, sounds like something I need to look into. I have brought this up with my GP only to get one of those “wow, never heard of that” moments. :roll:

I’m currently being treated for frozen shoulder, but mine wasn’t due to any injury. Many middle aged people (lucky me) get it spontaneously. My orthopaedic surgeon (I have a relationship with him due to prior issues, such as torn meniscus in my knee) had both of his freeze up on him!!

So when I went to him about this, he said there were different treatment options, but mentioned that he wanted to avoid medications because I was already on a lot (I wondered if he was particularly zeroing in on the Topamax?). In any event, I was rather pleased with that declaration. I’d brought to my appointment a page I’d printed off the internet with pictures of exercises I’d found on an ortho website - figured they’d know what to recommend for frozen shoulder. I’d been doing those for awhile (after I diagnosed myself - correctly, I might add). Slight improvement in range of motion, no pain relief.

Doc said he tried the same approach. Said it doesn’t work. He said he had to get to a good physical therapist, and I should too. He wrote the prescription.

He warned me the pain would get a little worse, and it has. But my pain generally hasn’t been as bad as yours - it was only a problem (with the exception of a few nights) when I rolled over on that side. (Once when I overdid my internet exercises, I did have throbbing pain at night for 3 nights, and that wrecked my sleep, but then it went back to only waking me if I rolled over on that side - I have pretty much “trained” myself not to do that.)

PT (stands for Pain and Torture) is essentially breaking up the scar tissue in there (that’s what frozen shoulder is: a bunch of scar tissue gumming up the works). A lot of massage, then therapist does some “working” of my arm through range of motion, then some stretching exercises that I do (with pulleys, a cane, walking my hand up the wall, using a strap over the shoulder and held with the other hand behind the back, etc), then heat + electrical stimulation. I’ve been going 3X/week for just over 3 weeks now. After 2 weeks, some strengthening exercises were added. I have homework exercises every day, too. I’m amazed at the progress I’ve made, not only in the increased range of motion, but in the reduction of pain: while I’m sore from the “workout” (they “beat me up” pretty good - that’s their own lingo!), I can lie on that side at night now.

Don’t know if your prior shoulder separation would preclude any of this type of thing, but I figure if a surgeon believes in physical therapy for frozen shoulder, it’s got to be good. And so far, it’s working for me - my range of motion in almost all directions is nearly normal, so it’s looking like I may be discharged next week.

Thanks for the input. I did go to PT and was taught the exercises, doing them 4-5 xs a day, we just started this week, and going for US/trigger point 2 x a wk…I have noticed the range of motion has inproved but so has the pain but it just might be as you you said the initial worse before it gets better. I too am of Topamax and try to avoid any meds, like I said even advil and tylenol at this point. I’ll just continue with my exercises and therapy and see where I stand in a few weeks, thanks again. Happy holiday to all, be safe.

Oh, yes my ortho told me the same, although this incident was brought on by a fall, I am the “poster child for frozen shoulder” and he expects I will get it again in the future, out of no where it will show up. Apparently “middle aged, caucasian women, thyroid disorder (me) with either diabetes or a family history of (my dad)” are prime candidates. Oh lucky us…look what we have to look forward too!!!HAHA!! :lol:


Hi Dreamer,
My mum had this frozen shoulder a few years back.
what she told me was, any Exercise or massage/physio needs to be done Very slowly/ gently.
Even with exercises, mum ended up needing the steroid injection.
you need to have a specialist giving the injection to really know what she/he is doing.
My mum has 'nt had any trouble with her shoulder since having the injection.
She’s kept going with the “pulley system” and rotational exercises, even though she is well now.
There are a few ideas about why frozen shoulders happen, but the remedy is much the same.

personally , I was given some pretty strong antiinflametries for a tennis elbow/tendons , from continuous ( percussion/congas playing ) and they only made my mav much worse over a period of 3 weeks.
But that’s just me!

check out youtube and see if these exercises help. (do every movement SLOWLY ) try not to induce pain, or things could become worse.

best wishes .