Back pain can be debilitating. It can interrupt your daily activities, make it hard to get comfortable, and leave you searching for answers. If you’re suffering from back pain, you may be wondering if the muscle relaxer Flexeril can help provide relief.
At Kaly, we understand back pain and how to find solutions that work. We want to empower you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about using Flexeril for back pain relief.
Keep reading to learn more about the proper Flexeril dosage for back pain, how this medication works, potential side effects, and more.
What is Flexeril and How is it Used for Back Pain?
Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a common prescription muscle relaxant medication. It works by blocking nerve impulses that stimulate muscles, causing them to loosen and relax. This makes it an effective option for relieving muscle spasms and tightness associated with acute back pain.
Flexeril is one of the first-line treatment options doctors often prescribe for back pain relief. Studies show it can significantly improve functionality and reduce pain intensity. It’s especially helpful for lower back pain caused by muscle strains or injuries.
What’s the Recommended Flexeril Dosage for Back Pain?
For adult patients, the standard Flexeril dosage for back pain is 10mg taken orally three times per day. This dosage may be adjusted up or down based on the severity of your back pain and your response to treatment.
Some doctors prescribe an initial Flexeril dosage of 5mg taken three times per day for the first 4 days. Then, they’ll increase to 10mg three times a day based on your symptoms. It’s always best to follow your doctor’s specific dosage recommendations. Never take more Flexeril than prescribed.
How Does Flexeril Ease Back Pain?
Flexeril works directly on the central nervous system to depress nerve transmission activity in the brain and spinal cord. This reduces excitability of spinal cord neurons, leading to relaxed muscles in spasm.
Relaxing contracted back muscles can help improve mobility, restore proper alignment, decrease stiffness, and relieve acute lower back pain caused by strains or muscle injury. The anti-inflammatory effects of Flexeril also help reduce swelling associated with back pain.
Is Flexeril Effective for Lower Back Pain?
Multiple research studies have shown Flexeril to be effective for short-term relief of lower back pain. In one analysis of clinical trials, Flexeril significantly improved functionality and reduced pain intensity in patients with acute low back pain caused by strains and muscle injuries.
For chronic lower back pain, the benefits of Flexeril are less conclusive. While it can provide muscle relaxation, Flexeril is not a long-term solution. Your doctor may prescribe it along with other therapies like physical therapy, massage, heat/ice therapy, acupuncture, and over-the-counter pain relievers.
Other Muscle Relaxers for Lower Back Pain
In addition to Flexeril, other common muscle relaxers used for lower back pain treatment include:
- Diazepam – Also known as Valium, diazepam is a fast-acting benzodiazepine muscle relaxer.
- Baclofen – Specifically used to treat muscle spasms related to neurological conditions.
- Tizanidine – An alpha-2 adrenergic agonist that blocks nerve impulses to relax muscles.
- Carisoprodol – Works in the central nervous system to reduce pain sensations.
- Methocarbamol – Skeletal muscle relaxant that blocks nerve impulses and relieves pain.
Your doctor will help determine which muscle relaxer is most appropriate for your individual case of back pain.
Comparing Flexeril and Diazepam for Back Pain
Both Flexeril and Valium (diazepam) are effective for short-term back pain relief. Flexeril lasts longer, with effects that can persist for up to 36 hours compared to just 3-4 hours with diazepam.
Flexeril causes less drowsiness than Valium, making it preferable for daytime use. However, Flexeril interacts with more medications and should be used cautiously if you take other drugs.
Valium starts working faster than Flexeril – effects can begin in as little as 15 minutes. But Valium also comes with a higher risk of tolerance and dependence with long-term use.
Your doctor can help weigh the pros and cons of each muscle relaxer for your situation. Always follow dosing directions carefully.
Potential Side Effects to Watch Out For
The most common side effects of Flexeril are dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, and fatigue. In some people, Flexeril can potentially cause or worsen back pain.
Notify your doctor if you experience any unusual changes in your back pain symptoms after starting Flexeril, like increased pain, spasms, or aching. Exceeding the recommended Flexeril dosage also increases the risk of side effects.
Can Overusing Flexeril Harm Your Back?
Yes, misusing muscle relaxers like Flexeril can potentially worsen back pain. Taking more than the prescribed dosage of Flexeril puts you at risk for overdose effects like severe weakness, paralysis, seizure, coma, and even death.
Long-term overuse can also lead to dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and increased back pain when the medication is stopped. Always take Flexeril exactly as directed by your doctor. Never mix it with alcohol or other drugs.
Tips for Safe and Effective Use of Flexeril
|Take the exact dosage prescribed by your doctor
|Take more Flexeril than prescribed or double up doses
|Take with food if it causes stomach upset
|Drink alcohol while taking Flexeril
|Discuss all other medications/supplements with your doctor
|Drive or operate heavy machinery when starting Flexeril
|Drink plenty of fluids while taking Flexeril
|Stop Flexeril abruptly – taper off as directed
|Notify your doctor of any side effects
|Combine Flexeril with other muscle relaxers or sedatives
The Takeaway: Find Back Pain Relief the Right Way
We hope this overview has helped you better understand how Flexeril can be used appropriately to manage back pain symptoms. When taken properly and under medical supervision, Flexeril provides safe, temporary relief of muscle spasms and tightness.
At Kaly, your health is our top priority. We’re dedicated to guiding you through effective back pain treatments. If you’re considering Flexeril for back pain relief, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our caring doctors will help determine if Flexeril is right for you.