Sciatica is known as GRIDHRASI in ayurveda. It is neuralgia or pain in the sciatica nerves. This sciatic nerve emerges from the pelvis and runs down the back of the thigh. Sciatica pains can be felt in either one leg or both legs.
TYPES OF SCIATICA
- TRUE SCIATICA – This is caused due to the compression of the lumbar spine nerve root. The main cause of this form of sciatica is a herniated vertebral disc in the spine.
- PSEUDO SCIATICA – The pain caused due to the compression of the peripheral regions of the spinal nerve is pseudo or false sciatica. The patient feels the same pain in pseudo sciatica as he feels the pain caused by true sciatica.
CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS
There may be many factors which cause sciatica which depends on the nature and origin of the pain
- If a person bends the body to unreal angles, falls from a height or meets with an accident that hurts the lower back region then he may suffer from the pain of sciatica.
- If the spinal nerve root or the spinal nerve itself gets compressed due to a herniated vertebral disc in the spine, it can be one of the major reasons of true sciatica.
- As a person grows older, there is a general wear and tear of the sciatic nerve, or the muscles supporting the sciatic nerve. This causes the nerve to get compressed, which results in pains of sciatica.
- Sometimes infections and tumors can cause exertion of the sciatic nerve and this may also be one of the causes of sciatica.
According to ayurveda, aggravation of vayu is the cause of sciatica. Sometimes, the vitiation of kapha and vata brings on the attack. Different types of sciatica pains may be felt by a person and this depends on where exactly on the sciatic nerve the pain is originating from. The following types of pain are seen
- Numbing pain
- Pins and needles
- Sometimes muscular weakness may be accompanied by pain
MEDICINES AND PRESCRIPTIONS
Here is a list of herbs that are considered beneficial for sciatica.
|Ayurvedic Name||Common English Name||Benefits|
|Babunah||Bitter Chamomile||Bitter chamomile has been used since long time for treating advancing age problems like rheumatism. It also helps in reducing the pains of sciatica. A compress of its flowers is prescribed for the treatment.|
|Guggulu||Indian bdellium||Guggulu is beneficial for anti-inflammatory properties. When the oil of guggulu is applied externally, sciatic nerves become relaxed.|
|Rasna||Vanda Orchid||Rasna is also known to have some anti-inflammatory properties. During the searing pains caused by sciatica, this has shown to bring comfort to the person suffering from sciatica.|
|Juniper||Juniper||Juniper oil is proved to be very beneficial in the massage therapy of sciatica. The oil is massaged with firm pressures on the leg and thigh muscles and this reduces the pain to great extent.|
|Jaiphal||Nutmeg||Nutmeg is powdered coarsely and is mixed with the oil of sesame seeds and fried till it becomes brown. This is applied externally to get relief from the sharp pains of sciatica.|
|Kumari||Indian Aloe||Indian aloe has some properties which help in treating the ailments of the lower back including lumbago and sciatica.|
|Shallaki||Boswellia or Frankincense||The gum of the shallaki is known to have anti-inflammatory properties when it is applied externally.|
Apart from these herbs, there are some ayurvedic preparations which are highly beneficial in the treatment of sciatica. These are as follows
|Two tablets should be taken four times a day with water or milk.|
|20ml should be taken just before sleeping with the urine of cow.|
|240 mg of vataganjakusha and 3gm of vaishwanara churna should be taken two times a day after meals daily with warm water. It can also be taken with decoction of manjistha.|
Saindhavadi taila or mahavishagarbha taila
|This is used for massaging the affected parts. After the massage hot fomentation should be applied.|
DIET AND OTHER REGIMEN
- Fried foods, pulses and beans should be prohibited.
- Curd and other sour substances should also be avoided.
- Saffron should be mixed with milk and given to patient.
- Gentle leg exercises should be done.
- The patient should not be exposed to cold and damp surroundings.
- The patient should sleep on a hard bed and also wear a lumbo-sacral belt.