I went to my doctor for a bout of low back pain. I came away with a prescription for muscle relaxants. Should I take these? I don't really like using drugs for anything.

Some studies don't support the use of muscle relaxants for acute low back pain. Even so, they are commonly used for this purpose. Patients don't regain function or recover any faster when using these drugs. In fact patients who use muscle relaxants have a somewhat slower recovery.

Other studies show that taking a muscle relaxant is better than using nothing at all. Muscle relaxants can make you sleepy. This increases the risk of falls or problems while driving or while at work.

Anti-inflammatories such as aspirin or ibuprofen may be a better choice. Ask your doctor for more information before making a final decision about this.