Gridhrasi is what Sciatica is known as in Ayurveda. It is the disorder that causes mild to agonizing pain in the sciatic nerve or neuralgia. These nerves, emerging from the pelvis, run along the hamstring and may cause intense pain in one or both the legs when a person suffers from Sciatica. Sciatic pains fill your life with misery as the simplest of daily activities cause sudden and excruciating pain. There are two types of sciatica i.e. true sciatica and pseudo-sciatica. Sciatica may be caused due to bulging disc or herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, piriformis syndrome, pregnancy or trauma, etc.
According to Ayurveda, Sciatica is caused due to impairment in Vata i.e. the dosha responsible for the functional ability and movement of the body, and also in some cases due to impairment in the Kapha i.e. the dosha that is responsible for body fluids and lubrication. Ayurvedic herbs that improve the symptoms of Sciatica are:
1. Babunah is also known as Bitter Chamomile. Not only is it used to relieve and reduce the pain faced by a sciatica patient, but it is also used for treating problems such as rheumatism due to the advancement of age. Compressed bitter chamomile flowers are prescribed for sciatica.
2. Guggulu is also known as Indian Bdellium. Since guggulu is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it relaxes the sciatic nerves.
3. Rasna is also known as Vanda Orchid. Intense or agonizing pain due to the sciatic nerve issues can be reduced by this ayurvedic herb due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Juniper oil is extremely helpful when massaged onto the thigh muscles with firm strokes or pressure. It is used extensively in massage therapy for treating sciatica since the extent of reduction in sciatic nerve pain is tremendous.
5. Jaiphal is also known as Nutmeg. After being mixed with sesame seeds oil, nutmeg is coarsely powdered and then fried till it turns brown. This is then applied to those areas where the sciatic pain is intense for instant relief.
6. Kumari is also known as Indian Aloe. Properties of Indian Aloe are extremely helpful in treating lower back ailments such as sciatica and lumbago.
7. Shallaki is also known as Boswellia or Frankincense. Containing anti-inflammatory properties, shallaki is applied externally to get relief from sciatic nerve pain.
Ayurvedic preparations such as Yogaraja Guggulu, Vataganjakusha, Saindhavadi taila are also very useful in treating Sciatica.
Do you experience regular pain starting from your lower back that travels down the buttock and to your legs? If you do, you may be suffering from a condition called sciatica. Even though the pain from sciatica can affect both your legs, in most cases, it only affects one side. Sciatica affects you when the sciatic nerve is compressed. This can be due to a tumour or some other disease that affects you.
Sciatica: Risk Factors
Here is a look at some of the risk factors that increase your chances of suffering from sciatica.
Age- With age, the bones in your spinal column start to become weak. This causes bone spurs and herniated disks, resulting in sciatica.
Obesity- Being over weight can increase the pressure on your spinal column, leading to the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Job- Some jobs are physically stressful. If your job requires you to lift heavy loads or involves driving for prolonged periods, it can cause sciatica.
Diabetes- Diabetes affects the way in which your body deals with glucose in the bloodstream. This can cause nerve damage over time and lead to sciatica.
Symptoms of sciatica-
The primary symptom of sciatica is a pain that originates in your lower back and travels down through your buttocks and into your thigh and calf muscles. This pain can vary from one affected person to the next. Some people feel mild pain, while others experience extreme discomfort. Furthermore, sneezing and coughing can intensify the pain.
If you remain seated for a long time, you can start to feel the pain from sciatica. Other symptoms for the disease include
In most cases, sciatica does not require treatment. It may disappear on its own after some days. In these cases, there is no permanent nerve damage as well. However, some people may have recurring episodes of sciatica, which may result in permanent nerve damage. In these cases, you should seek immediate treatment for the condition.
Treatment for sciatica relies on four main methods. Here is a look at these four options.
Medications- Medicines help deal with the pain from sciatica. Doctors prescribe anti-inflammatories, narcotics, muscle relaxants, anti-seizure drugs, tricyclic antidepressants for the treatment of sciatica.
Physical therapy- After the medicine reduces pain from Sciatica, you will need to undergo physical therapy. These sessions will focus on preventing future episodes of the disorder by strengthening your muscles and improving your overall posture.
Steroid injections- Steroid injections into the affected nerve will help relieve some of the pain. However, it is a temporary solution and the pain returns after a couple of months. Furthermore, side effects from such injections are high.
If you experience pain radiating down from your lower back, avoid taking over-the-counter pain medications. Instead, visit a doctor to check whether it is sciatica.
Sciatica pain arises from the sciatic nerve which is the single largest nerve in our body. It consists of individual nerve roots, which branching out from the lower back of the spine to the back of each leg and combining together forms the sciatic nerve. The origination of the sciatic pain lies in the lower back of the body and radiates down the buttock to the sciatic nerve.
Causes of the sciatica pain
Other causes are a spinal injury, diseased degenerative disc, infection on and around the lower back. The pain would worsen, if an individual is in an occupation where he or she has to stand or sit for hours at length. The lifting of heavy things would strain the sciatic nerves as well.
How to identify sciatica pain?
Sciatica pain varies from infrequent to a constant throbbing down the lower back. So initially it is difficult to detect whether it is sciatic pain or not. But when the constant pain in the lower back leads right down till the toes and foot, it is really time for an individual to get in touch with a doctor. The pain can give a burning sensation almost searing making it difficult for the person to stand up or walk properly. Along with the pain, one can feel fatigued. An involvement of the spinal cord is rare in the sciatic pain but is possible.
Treatment for sciatica pain
Sciatica can be treated in both surgical and non-surgical way. Surgical treatment is rare as sciatica tends to respond well with non-surgical treatments. If the pain continues for over a month despite treatment, surgical treatment will be considered. The non-surgical pain treatment would include physical exercises and oral medications along with natural treatment.
The longest nerve in the body is the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve starts from the lower part of the spine, through your hip to the back of the leg. So when it is said sciatica, we refer to pain in this nerve. Since the nerve covers the spine, hip and leg, sciatic pain is felt in the areas through which it passes. The lower leg muscles and sensation in the legs, thighs and feet are controlled by this nerve.
Symptoms usually include:
Homeopathic remedies are easy and gentle on the body. Homeopathy aims to boost the body's immune system so it can fight all its weaknesses. The following conditions can easily be treated by homeopathic medicines:
Homeopathy opts the holistic approach to treat all the patients. In this approach, the homeopath prescribes different medicines to the patients suffering from the same disease as the requirements of everyone's body remains different from others.
Sciatica is a neurological condition that mainly arises due to problems in the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is believed to be the largest nerve originating from the spinal nerves L4 to S3. It extends downward from the lower spine into the back of each leg (thighs) right down to the foot. The sciatic nerve acts as a connecting link between the spinal cord and the foot and the leg muscles. People with sciatica often experience a tingling sensation along with a shooting pain radiates downwards from the lower back (mostly the lumbar region) to the back of one of the legs. Some may also experience the sciatic pain down both the legs (rare).
Types of Sciatic Pain:
Sciatica that affects a person can be of two types depending on the severity of the associated symptoms
Symptoms associated with Sciatica:
What triggers sciatica and the associated symptoms?
Proper management and prevention for sciatica are possible. One should be alert and consult a doctor in case they experience the associated symptoms or any discomfort.
Sciatica is a painful condition in which the sciatic nerve of the legs gets affected. It is also associated with the lower back pain and can aggravate to such an extent that the gait and the posture of a person can drastically reduce. Though there are conventional methods and medications to treat the condition, ancient Ayurveda offers the best solution in treating the symptoms. Let us take a look at how ancient wisdom can successfully keep the condition of sciatica under check.
Ayurveda for Sciatica
As per Ayurveda system of medicine, the condition of sciatica was termed as Gridhrasi. This is because the patient's gait is altered due to the intensity of the leg and gets slightly curved due to pain. As a result of this, his walk resembles that of a vulture (Gridhra). Many factors lead to sciatica, most common ones being that the person bends the body at unreal angles and sitting for a prolonged period. Other factors can include accidents or physical trauma due to an injury and old age. In some rare cases, infections and tumors can cause exertion on the sciatic nerve, and this can lead to sciatica.
How Ayurveda Heals?
Ayurveda generally categorizes the diseases by the doshas and sciatica is caused by vitiated Vata (one of the primary doshas in the body which is responsible for the movement and functionality of the body). Sometimes even Kapha, a dosha responsible for lubrication and bodily fluids can also cause sciatica. The fundamental principle in an Ayurvedic treatment focuses on restoring the imbalances in the doshas. It effectively channelizes the treatment from the roots. It consists of three methods in the eradication of sciatica. The first one is the elimination of accumulated toxic products in the body followed by the correction and rejuvenation of the body.
Diet too plays a significant role and certain foods like fried foods, pulses and beans should be completely avoided. Patients also need to get his rest only on a hard bed during the treatment cycle, and gentle leg exercises can be done along with the medications. There are certain therapies like Abyanga swedam, Pathrapotali swedam (Elakizhi), Sarvangadhara (Pizhichil), Kadeevasthy, Navarakizhi that are done to relieve the pain. The most important of all is the Vasti treatment to cure sciatica permanently. These therapies focus mostly on reducing the inflammatory changes and underlying causes of Sciatica, thereby strengthening and nourishing the entire spine & supporting tissues. The treatment cycle usually lasts 4 – 5 weeks.
Ayurveda is safe
The biggest advantage of an Ayurvedic treatment method is that it is extremely safe and that there are no side effects. It effectively acts as a detox thus getting rid of the harmful substances from the body along with curing the symptoms. Ayurveda can be effectively used for treating Sciatica and keep the condition from reoccurring.
Sciatica refers to the pain one experiences due to the irritation or compression of nerve roots contributing to formation of Sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body, running from the lower back, down to the back of each leg. The pain can occur in the lower back and spread to the hips, buttocks and leg. Sciatica generally affects one side of the body. There are numerous causes of irritation of the sciatic nerve and sciatica.
Some of them are: