Let’s first talk about what muscle relaxers are not. They are not a specific class of drugs. They are a group of drugs that have sedative properties that make the muscle relax. They actually work through the central nervous system rather than on the muscle itself.
They give you a sense of relaxation that makes the pain subside. They are prescribed for degenerative diseases such as arthritis or injuries to the muscle. Muscle relaxer medication is usually prescribed along with physical therapy to help the muscle heal. Some of the popular prescribed muscle relaxers are Flexeril, diazepam and cyclobenzaprine.
If you are in need of muscle relaxers for a short period of time, Flexeril is usually prescribed. This particular medication is not for prolonged use as it can become habit forming. It is recommended not to be taken with alcohol or other prescription medications that can effect your mind. Diazepam, otherwise known as Valium is taken for a short period of time, about 2 weeks, as this drug can be habit forming along with the ability to change your cycles of sleep. A better choice for long term would be Cyclobenzaprine and it can even be helpful if you’re having trouble with sleep.
Whichever muscle relaxant you choice, it’s important to consult with your doctor first and be sure to notify him/her of any side effects you may experience when taking a muscle relaxant.
How does a muscle relaxers work? Exactly how does it help the part of the body that is affected? Most importantly are they effective and safe to use.
Muscle relaxers work by decreasing the tone of a muscle. It will help to relieve the symptoms that come with this type of injury, such as pain, hyperreflexia, muscle spasms, and gastrointestinal issues.
It’s important to realize that if you are experiencing discomfort or pain, there are reasons behind the muscle problems. It could be from stress, over extending the muscle, trauma or injury, and sprains. You could experience this type pain when doing an ordinary activity or chore. Listen to what your body is telling you. If you are having pain there is usually a reason behind it. Be aware also that it could be an infection which could affect connective tissues in the body.
How does taking a muscle relaxant, such as Flexeril work to actually relieve the discomfort you are feeling?
You must realize that a muscle relaxer will not heal the injury that is causing the pain. But it will quite effectively make the pain you are experiencing more bearable while your injury has a chance to heal.
If taken according to directions after seeing your doctor, muscle relaxants are safe to use. It can be very helpful to specific muscle pain, but not so effective for regular aches and pains. Simply by following the prescription medication, you will get the best results for the relief of pain.
Muscle relaxers decrease muscle tone by affecting skeletal muscle function. Simply put, it is a drug that will relax and relieve muscle tension.
A fact that most people don’t know is that muscle relaxers were used in South America as early as the 16th century. We have come a long way since then, and no longer use arrow tips dipped in poison to paralyze skeletal muscle. However the basic principal remains the same.
Muscle relaxers are commonly classifies in two categories.
Spasmolytics: Also referred to as centrally acting muscle as it reduces spasticity in neurological conditions. These act at cortex, spinal cord and brain stem areas and sometimes all three. Antispasmodics are generally used for neck pain, low back pain and tension headaches.
Neuromuscular Blockers: These will interfere with transmission at the neuromuscular end plate. These types of relaxants have no CNS activity. They are usually used for surgical procedures and emergency medicine for causing paralysis.
When using a muscle relaxant there are factors you should take into consideration such as efficiency, side effects, cost and tolerance. Some of the side effects are dizziness and drowsiness. Cost is a minor concern as efficiency seems to be what most people are looking for.
Flexeril, metaxalone, cyclobenzaprine and methocarbamol are commonly used for myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, low back and neck pain.
Even though Flexeril or the generic Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxer, it does not directly relax tense skeletal muscles. It does however reduce muscle spasm because it is a sedative.
Flexeril is usually prescribed for the relief of pain from acute musculoskeletal issues. Along with taking this pain reliever it is important to follow up with plenty of rest, physical therapy and other methods to help heal the muscle.
Taking any type of medication comes with risks. You should first talk to your doctor to become aware of the side effects and risks involved. Medications can affect people differently therefore you should be fully aware of how this affects you before driving or operating any type of machinery.
If you have or had a problem with substance abuse, you should realize that there is a possibility to become dependent on Flexeril or Cyclobenzaprine. Some of the side effects known are dizziness, confusion, weakness, agitation and temporary loss of vision. For the most part, these symptoms usually subside after a few hours.
It is still unknown to what degree it is harmful for a woman that is breastfeeding or pregnant to take Flexeril or Cyclobenzaprine. It is always best to speak with your doctor before taking any medication, especially when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Although rare, some patients have experienced seizures while taking this type of medication. Flexeril can affect the kidney because it is broken down and excreted by the kidney. For that reason patients that experience diminished functioning of the kidney or liver should be closely monitored.
If you experience any of the following, you should contact your doctor immediately, as Cyclobenzaprine and Flexeril can affect the central nervous system, which in more severe cases can cause coma.
Blurred vision, hallucination, euphoria, headache, in coordination or muscles becoming rigid.
As with most medications the benefits that they provide usually out weigh the temporary side effects. Taking muscle relaxers can be very effective for the relief of pain while your injury heals.
Using Flexeril or the generic Cyclobenzaprine can be very effective for pain relief. It works by relaxing muscles due to muscle related injuries, spasms, sprains and strains. This was formulated specifically for pain and muscle injury, not intended to be used for average body aches and pain.
Muscle relaxers will give you temporary relief from pain and should be taken with or after meals to avoid upset to your stomach. You should also make sure you rest and if necessary get physical therapy along with taking Flexeril. Only take as directed and do not increase your dosage or take more often than prescribed. After taking this pain medication you will feel temporary relief, however do over do it keeping in mind your injury is still apparent.
It’s important to speak with your doctor before taking Flexeril so he/she can get a medical history in case there are any problems with the liver, kidneys, allergies, blood disorders or history of asthma. Use this medication with caution upon rising as it can cause lightheadedness or dizziness. Move slowly when changing positions. Also take precautions when operating machinery or driving a vehicle if it makes you feel dizzy. Limit your intake of alcohol when taking pain medication.
Discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor before taking any type of muscle relaxers.