What are muscle relaxers and how do they work
Muscle relaxers are a class of drugs that work by inhibiting the central nervous system (CNS), specifically the neurons that control muscle movement. This results in a temporary relaxation of muscles. There are two types of muscle relaxers: central acting and peripheral acting.
Central acting muscle relaxers are medications that work by inhibiting the activity of the central nervous system. This results in a relaxation of the muscles and a decrease in muscle spasms. These medications are used to treat conditions such as muscle spasticity, tension headaches, and migraines.
Peripheral acting muscle relaxers are drugs that are used to relieve muscle spasms and pain. They work by blocking the nerve signals that are sent to the muscles, which causes the muscles to relax. These drugs are typically used for short-term relief of muscle spasms and pain, and they are not typically used for long-term treatment.
Do muscle relaxers help with menstrual cramps
No, muscle relaxers are not typically used to treat menstrual cramps. However, some women have reported that muscle relaxers have helped to relieve their menstrual cramps. It is believed that the drugs work by relaxing the muscles in the uterus, which can help to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps. However this is not an FDA approved use for muscle relaxers and it is not recommended by most doctors.
If you experience extreme pain during your menstrual cycle, it is important to speak with your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Or if you go through two pads or tampons in two hours or less, you should seek medical attention as this could be a sign of menorrhagia, which is a condition that causes excessive bleeding during menstruation.
Side effects of muscle relaxers
The most common side effects of muscle relaxers are drowsiness, dizziness, and headache. Other side effects include:
• Nausea and vomiting
• Dry mouth
• Blurred vision
• Low blood pressure
It is important to speak with your doctor about the side effects of muscle relaxers before taking them. If you experience any of the above side effects, it is important to stop taking the drug and speak with your doctor.
How to safely take muscle relaxers
If you do decide to take muscle relaxers here is how you can take them safely.
1. Speak with your doctor first. You should always speak with your doctor before taking any medication, especially if you have a medical condition or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
2. Take the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time possible. Muscle relaxers should only be taken for a short period of time, as they can become less effective over time.
3. Do not drink alcohol while taking muscle relaxers. Drinking alcohol can increase the side effects of muscle relaxers, such as drowsiness and dizziness.
4. Do not drive or operate machinery while taking muscle relaxers. Muscle relaxers can cause drowsiness and dizziness, which can impair your ability to operate machinery or drive a car.
5. Do not take muscle relaxers if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Muscle relaxers should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding as they can cross the placenta and enter the breastmilk.
Speak with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about taking muscle relaxers.
Alternatives to muscle relaxers for menstrual cramps
There are a number of alternative treatments for menstrual cramps, such as:
• Pain relievers: over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps.
Ibuprofen is an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) these kind of drugs can damage your kidneys if not taken properly. So, it is important to speak with your doctor before taking any pain relievers.
Acetaminophen is a miscellaneous analgesic and it does not have the same risks as ibuprofen. It does however work almost the same as ibuprofen but without the anti-inflammatory aspect.
• Heat: applying a heating pad to the lower abdomen can help to relax the muscles and relieve the pain of menstrual cramps.
• Exercise: gentle exercises such as walking or Yoga can help to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps.
• Relaxation techniques: relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation can help to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps.
• Herbal teas: herbal teas such as chamomile or ginger tea can help to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps.
• Dietary changes: eating a healthy diet and avoiding trigger foods can help to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps.
Trigger foods are different for everyone, but common trigger foods include:
• Spicy food
Speak with your doctor about alternative treatments for menstrual cramps.
Conclusion on do muscle relaxers help with menstrual cramps
Muscle relaxers do not typically work to relieve menstrual cramps. If you are looking for relief from menstrual cramps, there are a number of alternative treatments that may work better for you. Speak with your doctor about the best treatment option for you.
Note: This article is not medical advice. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute as medical advice. Always speak with your doctor before taking any medication.