Sciatica is one of the very painful conditions most commonly accompanied by lower back pain. Severe radiating pain shoots along the sciatica nerve, advancing to the legs and foot of one side of the body. It happens rarely on both sides. This affects the sciatic nerve path and compresses the nerves and causes irritation and inflammation. Sometimes the vitiation of kapha dosha along with vata may cause the disorder. At times constipation may be the root cause or aggravates an attack of sciatica.
Ayurveda & Sciatica
Sciatica is known as Gudhrasi in Ayurveda. It is caused mostly by Vata, while sometimes it is due to a combination of Vata and Kapha dosha disturbances.
- Pain in the areas starting from the hips to the foot, or in all these areas. It may be mild or severe.
- A feeling of pricking and loss of bladder control will be seen.
- Sciatica is characterized by reduced appetite, swelling on the face or below eyes during mornings. The swelling may disappear after a few hours. If allowed to progress it becomes difficult to cure.
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Sciatica attacks occur due to lifting heavy objects, bad postures of sitting, and any other condition such as a tumor or abscess that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sometimes a joint injury or a slipped disc may also put undue pressure on the sciatic nerve.
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Ayurvedic Remedy for Sciatica
- Bed rest is often recommended for sciatica patients. With Ayurvedic treatment, most of the patients are usually cured within 1to 3 months.
- In acute cases of sciatica, Brihat Vat Chintamani Ras with Maharasnadi Kwatham taken 2 or 3 times a day are very effective acute cases.
- Godanta Mishran and Punarnava Guggulu are highly effective medicines for sciatica.
- Medicated enemas are given using Mahasahachar oil and Mahanarayan oil.
- Maha Vishagarbha Tailam, oil should be applied over the areas of pain at bedtime every day. Bath in the early morning with warm water reduces the pain and inflammation to a great extent.
- “Naadi swedan” a procedure in which, a jet of medicated steam is directed at the painful back and leg, usually after the snehan procedure. The decoction of Nirgundi is usually used for this procedure.
- “Awagah swedan” a therapy in which the patient is asked to recline in a tub filled with a warm decoction made of herbs like Nirgundi, Dashmool, or Erandmool.
- Simhanada Guggulu is another effective remedy in sciatica. Two pills should be taken with a cup of milk twice a day after food.
- The affected leg should be treated with a paste of tamarind soaked in saltwater, churned, filtered, and boiled to paste-like consistency for relief from the pain.
- 5 Crushed garlic cloves put in 50ml of lukewarm sesame oil and should be applied on the affected areas.
- Regular application of warm castor oil to the sole of the affected areas is also beneficial.
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Sciatica patients should avoid potatoes, curd, brinjal, cold water, and cold beverages.
Light exercise of the leg is beneficial. Avoid exposure to dampness and cold. Swimming in warm water is recommended as a good exercise for the legs. The patient should use a hard bed and a lumbosacral belt should be worn. Halasana, Shalabhasana, and Bhujangasana are good yoga postures that can provide relief and also prevent the recurrence of sciatica.