Sciatica


Overview

Any type of pain and/or neurological symptom that originates from the sciatic nerve is referred to as sciatica. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body and is formed by the union of 5 nerve roots from the lower spine. It passes deep in the buttock and down the back of the thigh all the way to the heel and sole of the foot. The sciatic nerve serves a vital role in connecting the spinal cord with the skin and muscles of the thigh, leg, and foot. The symptoms of sciatica are typically felt along the path of the nerve.

Symptoms

  1. Lower back pain
  2. Low back pain radiates to the buttock and back of the thigh and calf, the leg pain may also extend to the foot or toes.
  3. Pain in the leg worse when sitting.
  4. Burning/tingling down the leg
  5. Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot.
  6. Constant pain on one side of the rear.
  7. Shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up.
  8. Conditions worsen when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting can aggravate.
  9. Loss of bowel and bladder control in severe cases. 

According to Ayurveda there are three elements present in our body: Vata, Pitta and Kapha Which should be in balance. Sciatica is considered as Gridhrasi, aggravation of vata dosha is the main cause of Sciatica. Ayurveda also considers Vataja-Kaphaja Gridhrasi in which vata is the main dosha and kapha is sub dosha.

Causes

The sciatic nerve may be irritated, compressed, or inflamed by

  1. Herniated disc.
  2. Overgrowth of bone in vertebrae.( spinal cord is made up of many bones called vertebrae).
  3. Nerves can be compressed by tumour.
  4. Diabetes - This condition, which affects the way your body uses blood sugar, increases your risk of nerve damage.
  5. Prolonged sitting.
  6. Occupation
  7. Age. Age-related changes in the spine

Treatment

Treatment protocol aims at :
  1. Relief from pain ,numbness and weakness
  2. Prevent progression of disease.
  3. Strengthen muscle and relax the nerve and Rejuvenate the whole body.

The first line of treatment should always be avoiding the causative factors. If the problem persists then consider the following treatment protocol.

  • Low back pain and radiating pain from low back to toe ,weakness, numbness - Irritated,compressed and inflamed sciatic nerves produce pain along the path of the nerve. Ashwagandha, Punarnava  provides strength to the back muscles, spine and the ligaments. It also reduces the inflammation and irritation in sciatic nerves and acts as a natural Rejuvenator which provides nutrition and strength to the tissues, especially bones and muscles. It balances Vata dosha.
  • Guggulu, Mahayogaraja guggulu, Rasna, Gokshura, Eranda  are powerful pain allevaters that help to pacify vata dosha in joints, muscles and nerves. It helps in improving immunity and also regulates metabolism of the body and eliminates toxins and waste products from the body.

           (The above mentioned Ayurvedic drugs are Herbs and Herbomineral preparations)

Other therapies - Abhyanga(oil massage), Basti (enema), Kati Basti (An external Ayurvedic treatment of localized application of medicated oil used in a particular region on the back), Virechana/Purgation therapy (cleaning digestive tract and purifies blood), Vasti (enema), Shashtika shali pinda sweda (a type of fomentation), Lepa (therapy wherein paste of drug is applied to the affected part).

Herbs

Ashwagandha, Punarnava, Guggulu, Mahayogaraja guggulu, Rasna, Gokshura, Eranda


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