Sciatica is defined as the pain originating from the sciatic nerve. The pain is mild to sharp and sometimes excruciating. The sciatic nerve pain travels from the buttock, down the back of the thigh and into the leg. Pain in leg is the classical symptom of sciatica. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body hence there is a lot of pain in the sciatica from back to leg and foot.
- Due to several low back conditions such as bulging disc, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis etc.
- Compression of the spinal nerve due to ruptured vertebral disc in the spine
- Faulty posture such as slumping on a chair, sleeping in a curved position
- Any kind of injury that hits the lower back region
- Due to contraction of the piriformis muscle which may lead to strangulation of the nearby sciatic nerve
- Mild or severe pain in the lower back, around hip region radiating to the thigh, calf muscles and foot
- Occasional stiffness or pulsation in these areas and in the rear of the leg
- Pain worsens during sitting or moving the affected limb.
- Tingling, pricking and burning sensations
- Decreased sensation in the back, in the calf muscles and the sole of the feet
- Weakness in the knee or foot
- Difficulty in walking or bending
- Inability to move or bend the foot and knee
- Altered gait
AYURVEDIC VIEW AND TREATMENT ACCORDING TO CHANDIGARH AYURVED CENTRE
According to Ayurveda, sciatica refers to the pain in back, which gradually travels along the affected lower limb. The cause is due to the compression of the sciatic nerve near the lumbar region of the spine.
In ayurveda, sciatica is compared with Griddhrasi. It is observed that in this disease, the patient’s gait is similar to that of the vulture (gridhra). It is a vata dosha disorder caused due to impaired digestion. A faulty digestive system causes the buildup of toxins or ama that accumulates in the minute channels of the body.
Two types of Griddhrasi are described in the ancient texts:-
- Vataj Griddhrasi – In this type the patient has curved posture and experiences severe stiffness, pulsations in the back, hip, thigh, knee and foreleg.
- Vata kaphaja Griddhrasi – In this type the patient experiences the above symptoms along with indigestion, drowsiness, nausea, anorexia, heaviness of the leg and freezing sensation in the lower limb.
The Ayurvedic treatment of sciatica consists of:-
- Eliminating the toxic build up
- Restoring proper digestion
- Nourishing the nervous system
- Alleviating imbalanced body energies.
Panchakarma therapies advised in this case are:-
- Kati Vasti
- Sarvanga Abhyanga
- Patra Pinda Sweda
- Vasti – Anuvasana and Niruha
Single herbs that are beneficial in this case are:-
Ayurvedic formulations recommended in this condition are:-
- Yograj Guggulu
- Singhnaad Guggulu
- Brihat vata chintamani rasa
- Vishmushtik Vati
- Rasnadi Guggulu
- Rasnadi kshaya
- Vata nashak vati
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
- Avoid taking in fried foods, pulses and beans.
- Avoid eating curd and other sour foods.
- Do gentle leg excercises, yoga, hip flexion and extension excercises.
- Avoid exposure to damp and cold surroundings.
- Green leafy vegetables should be taken as they provide fibre which improves digestion and eliminates the wastes.
- Prefer sleeping on a hard bed.
- Do local hot fermentation.
- Avoid having tea and coffee.
- Avoid lifting heavy weights.
- Take in high fibre diet to ensure proper bowel evacuation.
- Take few garlic cloves and prepare its paste by adding water to it.
- Take 1-3 buds of fresh cloves daily or rub a cut clove directly over the affected area.
- Add one teaspoon of turmeric powder to one cup of milk and cinnamon in small quantity. Boil the solution and sweeten this drink with honey and drink it once or twice daily. Curcumin compound present in the turmeric helps in reducing nerve pain and inflammation.