Medical treatments for those with muscle spasms may include medications, such as Flexeril. Chiropractic care can provide a safer alternative to this kind of medication.
What is Flexeril?
Flexeril is cyclobenzaprine. It may also be known as Fexmid and Amrix. As a muscle relaxer, it blocks pain/nerve sensations that are headed for the brain. It is used to help treat musculoskeletal conditions, and it can help reduce pain during the patient’s recovery from the spasm or injury.
Contraindications and Side Effects
Flexeril should not be used by those prescribed MAO inhibitors, or in people who have had heart disease or thyroid overactivity. It is not safe to combine with alcohol, and caution should be taken when driving. People with glaucoma, liver disease, or an enlarged prostate should also be cautious. There are certain medications patients take that can interfere with Flexeril, such as bronchodilators, motion sickness pills, bladder medications, and irritable bowel prescriptions. People on Flexeril could have an allergic reaction, or other types of side effects. These may include chest pain, heart arrhythmia, weakness, headache, faintness, confusion, seizure, nausea, hallucinations, blurred vision, digestive problems, dry mouth, or bruising.1
The Chiropractic Alternative
Flexeril is a “central-nervous-system depressant”, and it hasn’t been shown to be more effective than anti-inflammatory medications or typical painkillers, according to Dr. Sidney Wolfe in Worst Pills, Best Pills, written in collaboration with the AARP. It can be dangerous, since it acts more like an anti-depressant, with serious side effects, and it is addictive. Many chiropractors believe that muscle spasm is caused by reflexes of the spinal cord due to pain. Pain may originate in muscle damage, inflammation, and joint dysfunction. Herbs, such as skullcap and valerian root, are anti-spasmodic. Bromelain and fish oil might be helpful as anti-inflammatory agents. Of course, massage and ice also assist with these issues. A conservative alternative to potentially dangerous and addictive medications would be chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments address the underlying cause of the spasm, and they resolve the subluxated joint so that the spasm can be halted at the source.2,3 Dr. Nicolas Campos, a chiropractor, says that the mainstream route of treating neck pain is to take X-rays, give an anti-inflammatory medication, add in Valium or Flexeril, and consider surgery. Some practitioners advise patients to “wait it out”. Neck pain, however, is caused by muscle spasm and subluxations in the spine, per Campos, and that is why a “chiropractic adjustment along with muscle work is a must”. Neck pain doesn’t go away on its own, and chiropractic care can provide relief better than other treatments: “…not physical therapy, not medicine, not yoga, not Pilates, nothing”. Both the spasms and the subluxations should be addressed at the same time in order to provide relief.4