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.
When foot pain persists, a patient is diagnosed with L4 radiculopathy. Some patients with sciatica experience numbness or weakness in their back or leg(s), whereas others experience only discomfort. 80% of slip disc cases are never diagnosed until the discomfort in the lower extremities becomes unbearable. Sciatica, which radiates or travels from the pelvis to the toes, is typical of slipped discs. Surgery cannot treat sciatica pain completely. Surgery is always a transient option for pain relief.
‘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. 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.
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The sciatic nerve's branches emanate from the lumbar region. In the lumbar region, each intervertebral disc provides passage to a nerve root. From the L3-L4,L4-L5, and L5-S1 discs originate the sciatica-causing nerves.
Sciatica discomfort is caused by nerve compression resulting from a bulge, herniation, or protrusion.
Slip disc and sciatica are two conditions that are intrinsically linked. In the majority of cases, a spinal disc disorder is diagnosed due to sciatica.
Canal Stenosis, which radiates discomfort along the sciatic nerve. This is why, when it comes to Ayurvedic treatment for Sciatica, we must address canal stenosis.
Sciatica discomfort caused by Piriformis Syndrome
The Piriformis muscle lies beneath the gluteal muscles. This connects the sciatic nerve to the lower extremity. Whenever the piriformis muscle is rigid. This disorder is referred to as piriformis syndrome.
Pregnancy and sciatica
In the majority of cases, the sciatic nerve becomes irritated during pregnancy as a result of increased belly weight and a wider walking gait. This condition is excruciating. But this condition is not pathological. After the end of the pregnancy, sciatica symptoms caused by pregnancy disappear.
There are a number of illnesses that, while not technically sciatica, can cause similar symptoms.
The Vatavyadhi is a broad category that encompasses all of these conditions. We take them into account when providing the Ayurvedic treatment for sciatica.
Pakwashayagata - Characterized by an increase in Vata in the colon. The following symptoms are seen with this condition- Lower limb stiffness, colic pain, symptoms of constipation, Urinary retention, Gastric, and lower back/ pelvic pain
Gridhrasi - Symptoms of vata-caused gridhrasi include twitching, occasional soreness, and stiffness in the gluteal region, hip, posterior thigh, knee, calf, and soles.
Khalwi - Grudhrasi is the one that most closely resembles sciatica. Most individuals, however, appear to have a combination of Gridhrasi and Pakwashyagata Vata.
Therefore, it is important for a doctor treating Grudhrsi to investigate the role of the Dosha.
Due to disc protrusion / bulge
If a herniated disc is causing sciatica. We must focus solely on the fundamental cause. Because the sciatic nerve is in no way to blame. The primary offender resides in the lumbosacral region.
When a disc bulges below L3-L4, the L4 and L5 nerve roots are affected; these are the sciatic nerve's nerve roots. When the sciatic nerve is compressed due to a herniated or bulging disc.
It is essential to determine the cause of the bulging or herniated disc. But when it is just a fundamental condition of the disc - the degenerative disc - it is referred to as a degenerative disc.
When a disc bulges, we offer Ayurvedic Treatment for Bulging Disc, and when a disc herniates, we offer Ayurvedic Treatment for Herniated Disc.
Using Ayurvedic remedies, Yoga, and Panchakarma, the disc can be pushed back to normal.
Due to piriformis syndrome
In this condition, radiculopathy treatment is combined with the relaxation of the piriformis muscle. In addition to Panchakarma procedures, we use Ayurvedic herbal medicines for sciatica pain.
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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.
a. A herniated or slipped disk that causes pressure on a nerve root, is the main cause of sciatica.
b. Spinal Stenosis is abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal.
e. Trauma injury.
The self-care tips for sciatica are- Applying ice or hot packs, taking over-the-counter medicines, and performing gentle stretches.
Although it might not be possible to prevent all cases of sciatica, taking the following steps can help protect your back and reduce your risk: maintaining good posture, quitting smoking, maintaining healthy weight, choosing physical activities least likely to hurt your back.
There are 5 possible herbs to relieve sciatica pain. They are: Nirgundi, Guggulu, Ashwagandha, Pippali, and Jaiphal.
Sciatica is an imbalance of the Vata dosha and rebalancing will help manage the pain. Panchakarma is a detox treatment from the whole body that rebalances the vata in you and helps alleviate sciatica.
A common issue for pregnant women is sciatic nerve pain and is also called sciatica, or lumbar radiculopathy, it is described as a “radiating pain” that travels from the sciatic nerve, located in the lower spine, down the back of your thigh. The sciatic nerve is the largest in your body and the main nerve in the legs and sciatica occurs when the spine is compressed in some way. It pinches the sciatic nerve, causes inflammation, numbness and pain.
Sciatica can be acute or chronic. An acute episode may last between 1-2 weeks and usually resolves itself. It’s fairly common to experience some numbers for a while after the pain has subsided. Chronic sciatica can be a life-long condition.
In sciatica, the pain radiates from the lower back into the leg, whereas in back pain, discomfort remains in the lower back.