Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common complaints that primary care doctors
deal with, and it is one of the most frustrating conditions that patients suffer from. Almost everyone will experience low back pain at one point in their lives and many people deal with chronic low back pain on a daily basis. There are many causes of LBP, but the vast majority are benign and can be dramatically improved with the right treatment.
Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) is one of the most common medications prescribed in the US for LBP. It is marketed as a muscle relaxant, but truthfully little is understood about the exact way it treats symptoms. Unfortunately, it is not one of the best medicines to treat chronic LBP and is best used for only a short period of time. Other medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used in combination with cyclobenzaprine to achieve greater levels of relief, and there is little danger is using one of these in combinations with cyclobenzaprine.
However, the best way to use these medications is for a short period of time to create a pain-free space for more definitive treatments such as strength, stretching and conditioning exercises for your back. Though much more challenging to accomplish these are the best long term approach to treat low back pain and provide benefits that will last a lifetime. There are many great resources where you can find out about such exercises and your primary care doctor is the best place to start. If your doctor is unable to provide the guidance that you require a physical therapist
can also be very helpful. Good luck!