Sciatica is the pain caused due to compression of a nerve in the lower back, that causes inflammation, pain, irritation and pinching. The reasons for sciatica are slip disc, hernia, etc. that cause pressure on the nerve root. It originates in the gluteal area and runs through hips, buttocks and down the leg ending just below the knee. In this condition the person may feel severe or mild pain anywhere along the sciatic nerve, weakens the muscles in legs, feels numbness in legs and unpleasant tingling sensation in leg, foot and toes.
‘Gridhrasi’ is the term for Sciatica in Ayurveda. It is considered as a Vata Vyadhi i.e. a neurological disorder that is characterized by stiffness, pain and pricking sensation initially at the hip and gradually moving towards waist, back, thigh, knee and calf region. This pain is associated with frequent pulsation. Gridharshi is the outcome of vitiation of Vata dosha and is of two types: Vataja and Vata Kaphaja.
Ayurvedic treatment for sciatica focuses on elimination of the root cause of the condition. The treatment involves combination of physical therapy that helps in reduction of pain and inflammation; intake of Ayurvedic herbs and medicines that help in balancing doshas and in sciatica condition; and rasayana therapy (rejuvenation therapy) to maintain natural strength and vitality of the body. Along with this, massage therapy is also given to people with sciatica that helps in improving blood circulation, relaxation of muscles and releasing hormones that act as pain relief. This line of treatment helps in reversing the condition of sciatica in a natural way.
The treatment for sciatica comprises of three approaches:
Along with these therapies, dhanyamla dhara, abhyanga swedam, pathrapotali swednam, sarvangadhara, kadeevasthy, vasti, etc. are employed to relieve from the inflammatory changes and underlying causes of sciatica. A proper diet and exercise regimen is maintained to avoid the accumulation of toxins in the body. This line of treatment helps in reversing the sciatica condition effectively.
“The ayurvedic approach of disease looks for the root cause and not merely the symptoms. The basic principles of Ayurveda consider an individual human a specific identity and hence his treatment giving importance to the treatment of the patient rather than the treatment of the disease.”
“Since Ayurveda focuses on the root-cause of the disease, it effectively reduces the risk of severe health complications arising out of the untreated underlying cause. Patients who complete their Ayurveda treatment have a reduced risk of health complications later.”
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