What is Sciatica?

Pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, which runs down one or both legs from the lower back.
It’s usually caused when a herniated disc or bone spur in the spine presses on the nerve. Pain originates in the spine and radiates down the back of the leg. Sciatica typically affects only one side of the body. Medication for pain and physiotherapy are common treatments.

Ayurveda View of Sciatica

Sciatica is known as Gridhrasi in Ayurveda. (Gridhra means Eagle), like the gait of the affected person can resemble that of an eagle’s walk and the inflamed nerve appears like an eagle’s beak. Sciatica is typical of Vata imbalances.

Sciatica is also considered to be caused by an impaired digestive system. Faulty digestion causes the build-up of toxins (ama) that keep on accumulating in the minute channels of the body.

The Ayurvedic treatment of Sciatica consists of taking cleansing herbs that eliminate the toxic build-up, followed by digestive herbs that restore proper digestion. Along with this, toning and demulcent herbs (herbs rich in mucilage that can soothe and protect irritated or inflamed internal tissue) are also prescribed to nourish the nervous system and alleviate imbalanced body energies.


What is the cause of Sciatica?

  • Spinal injury
  • Overweight
  • Irregular exercises
  • Herniated disk
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Sleeping on a soft mattress
  • Wearing high heels

Symptoms of Sciatica

  • Neck or jaw pain.
  • Shoulder or arm pain.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • Shortness of breath when you are physically active.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Sweating.
  • Fatigue.


Ayurvedic Treatment of  Sciatica

Ayurvedic therapies like Dhanyamla Dhara, Abhyanga Sweden, Pathrapotali Sweden (Elakizhi), Sarvangadhara (Pizhichil), Kati Vasti, Vasti (the most important procedure in Ayurveda for curing Sciatica permanently), etc., are carried out as per the necessity and condition. These therapies are directed towards relieving the inflammation and underlying causes of Sciatica; relieving the spasms and nerve compressions in the affected area, and strengthening and nourishing the entire spine & supporting tissues. Usually, the treatment period is 4 – 5 weeks according to the severity of the disease.


Home Remedies for Sciatica

  • Sciatica can be an extremely painful health condition, but you should be happy to know that, in most cases, this condition resolves in a few weeks. Sciatica usually presents with pain, inflammation or numbness in the lower back and legs; this may be caused by a herniated spinal disk, bone spur or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal passage) that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body, originates in the lumbar region of the spine and travels down to the feet.
  • Sciatica is one of the most common pain conditions with as many as 40 percent of the population experiencing it at some point in their lives. Among the risk factors for developing sciatica are obesity, tobacco use, and a sedentary lifestyle.  

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