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Ayurvedic management of Sciatica

Sciatica is a painful condition of the lower back and the legs. It is not a muscular or skeletal condition but a nervous disorder because of a painful nerve that runs from the lower back through the legs. When the sciatic nerve gets irritated, pressed or pinched due to various causes including injury. It is characterized by one sided pain in the back and in one leg. Ayurveda can effectively target sciatic pain at its origin and improve symptoms gradually. This article enlists an introduction to sciatica, its causes and symptoms, and appropriate ayurvedic management of sciatica based on herbal medications.

Introduction

Lower back pain is common in adults all over the world. While women may blame it on their hormones and phases of the menstrual cycle, men usually associate all back pain with posture and desk job. But when this pain intensifies in one side of the back and can also be felt in the leg connected with that side, this indicates a more serious condition, sciatica. Sciatica gets its name from the longest nerve originating from the spine – the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve originates from the lower lumbar and upper sacral nerves, and runs down until the lower legs on both sides of the body. Sciatica pain also originates at the origin of the sciatic nerve and follows the course of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can be felt in one or both of the legs. It is caused by a variety of reasons including injury, inflammation, or compression. Sciatica is a chronic condition.

Although sciatica can cause extreme pain and discomfort, it can still be managed with care at home. A therapeutic movement routine in addition to naturally formulated herbal remedies can reduce symptoms and even eliminate the cause to a great extent. Only in extreme cases with many complications need medical treatment.

Symptoms

  • Pain feels like electric current
  • Excruciating pain
  • Numbness
  • Pain near the lower back
  • Pain originates from near the buttock
  • Pain in the back of any leg
  • Activities like walking, standing, climbing the stairs intensify pain
  • Lost or reduced flexibility in lower body
  • Inability to do activities like mopping
  • Inability to do the laundry
  • Inability to lift things like grocery and toddlers
  • Pain is continuous throughout the leg

Causes & Risk Factors

Various factors contribute to the development of any condition in an individual. Those could originate from one’s lifestyle or routine, or be present due to family history. Some other factors decide the severity and susceptibility of a condition affecting a particular individual. We call these factors as causes and risk factors. Causes and risk factors of sciatica can be interrelated.

  • Compression of nerve root : each nerve root originates between two vertebras. It can be compressed or pinched between them and cause pain.
  • Abnormal narrowing of the spine : the spine can narrow as it progresses downwards.
  • Obesity or overweight : extra weight on the body puts extra pressure on the spine which causes nerve pinching.
  • Extra abdominal weight due to pregnancy : later stages of pregnancy can cause extra weight on the abdominal region of a woman, due to the baby being heavy. This changes the posture of the woman and can cause nerve compression in the lower back.
  • Lack of physical activity : when one doesn’t move enough during the day, their nerve health also suffers and it is easier for such people to get sciatica.
  • Desk job : desk job not only reduces one’s physical activity but also makes them pay less attention to their posture while sitting.
  • Poor posture : an abnormal form of the spine during any activity can put unnecessary pressure on it and at harmful angles.
  • Vertebral disc diseases : there are jelly-like small discs fitted between every two vertebras. They can get deformed and harm the nerves around them.
  • Herniated discs : herniation of spinal disc is a similar deformity that can badly affect nerve roots.
  • Injury to the spine : accidental injury to the spine can damage many nerves and affect their coordination.
  • Using soft and bouncy mattresses : it reduces the body’s capacity to deal with even the most minimal environmental stress.
  • Overuse of high heeled shoes : high heeled shoes put the foot in an unrealistic position which damages nerves of the legs especially the sciatic nerve.
  • Age-related osteoarthritis of the spine : the spine can get weaker with age, putting extra pressure on the nerves.
  • Diabetes : diabetes damages nerves badly, especially chronic diabetes. It causes loss of sensation in nerves.
  • Other neuromuscular conditions such as fibromyalgia.
  • Medications of nervous disorders : they are strong and suppress normal functioning of the nervous system, which hinders the process of pain sensation and worsens all symptoms.

Complications

Sciatica can be managed well. But if initial symptoms are ignored and multiple conditions are present, sciatica can cause:

  • Permanently dysfunctional leg
  • Loss of all sensation in the leg
  • Loss of control relating to bowels and urination

Diagnosis & Modern Treatment

Common imaging (MRI or electrography techniques) and scanning (x-ray or CT scan) methods can be used to look for a pinched and damaged nerve.  Modern treatment methods include pain relieving medications that reduce sensation of pain in the leg. These medications can be very powerful and can have serious side effects.

Herbal Remedies by Planet Ayurveda

Planet Ayurveda manufactures pure herbal formulations that are used as medications and tonics worldwide. These formulations are carefully sourced from authentic texts on Ayurveda written in ancient India thousands of years ago. The formulations are chemical free and additive free and thus safe for consumption by people of all ages and individual conditions. The products are suitable for people with all dietary preferences and restrictions since these are completely plant-based, halal and completely organic.

The combination ‘sciatica care pack’ has been created by experts at Planet Ayurveda for ayurvedic management of sciatica.

  1. Boswellia Curcumin - 2 capsules twice daily with warm water, after meals.
  2. Hakam Churna - 1 tsp. twice daily with warm water, after meals.
  3. Ashwagandha Capsules - 1 capsule twice daily with warm water, after meals.
  4. Yograj Guggul - 2 tablets twice daily with warm water, after meals.
  5. Vrihat Vatchintamani Ras - 1 tablet twice daily with warm water, after meals.
  6. Dhanwantharam Tailam - For external massage, warm the oil before use, and then apply.

Product Description

1. Boswellia Curcumin

Itis a dual herbal capsule formulated with Shallaki (Boswellia serrata) and Haridra (Curcuma longa) both of which are known for anti-inflammatory properties, thus helpful in relieving sciatica.

2. Hakam Churna

A poly herbal formulation containing miraculous herbs like Methi (Trigonella foenum graecum) and Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) for relieving pain originating due to sciatica.

3. Ashwagandha Capsules

A pure herbal capsule formulated with just Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) which is known for its excellent combined effect on the nervous and musculo-skeletal systems.

4. Yograj Guggul

It is a tablet like formulation made of many valuable herbs including Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Nut grass (Cyperus rotundus), Ceylon leadwort (Plumbago zeylanica), etc. for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

5. Vrihat Vatchintamani Ras

It is a composite formulation of various precious mineral ashes such as Swarna bhasma, Rajat bhasma, Loha bhasma, Mukta bhasma, etc. for strengthening the nervous system.

6. Dhanwantaram Tailam

It is prepared using herbal drugs such as Bala (Sida cordifolia), Agaru (Aquilaria Agallocha), Mahameda (Polygonatum cirrhifolium), Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), etc. The stiffness of muscles can be managed effectively with dhanwantaram oil. The combination of these herbs help to improve the inflammation and pain in sciatica.

Lifestyle Tips

  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Maintain a good posture while doing any activity.
  • Do not overexert while working out or exercising.
  • Take care of good body movement and balance while lifting heavy objects.
  • Lead an active lifestyle and increase physical activity.
  • Consume a balanced diet.
  • Try to reduce your consumption of allopathic medications.
  • Get regular health checkups.
  • Do not ignore initial symptoms that persist for more than a week.
  • Hire a house help if you cannot do household chores.
  • Take extra care if you are pregnant or old.
  • Manage your diabetes with natural medications.
  • Use medium – softness chairs, beds and mattresses.
  • Keep house conditioning temperatures in a normal range.
  • Join a yoga class for better fitness and do meditation.

Conclusion

Sciatica is a condition of the nervous system. It is characterized by a radiating pain in the sciatic nerve. Individuals with disorders of the nerves can benefit greatly from ayurveda because ayurvedic formulations have mild potency and minimal side effects therefore they are able to target any disease at its origin rather than symptomatic treatment. Certain ayurvedic therapy can also help in addition to the above mentioned combination of herbal medications. Yoga can be combined with an ayurvedic program for maximum benefits. Although the side effects of these therapies are minimal, still it is recommended that an expert be consulted before beginning any regime or course.
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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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