- by Dr. Mini Nair
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- Mar 10 2017
Ayurvedic treatment for Sciatica
Sciatica, called as hridrasi in Ayurveda, is one of the vatavyaadhis (vata disease) that usually comes with pain in the lower back radiating to the buttocks, and then further down the legs, up to the little toe. The sciatic pain is caused due to compression of the sciatic nerve, which can also occur due to degenerative disc disease. Sciatica is associated with symptoms like numbness, tingling, and excruciating pain in the lower back or legs along the sciatic nerve. The pain usually increases when the person is sitting because sitting compresses the nerve 30 times more than usual times. Since this is a vatavyaadhis, the Vata dosha is under imbalance. So the main treatment is to balance the Vata dosha and some cases when Kapha vriddhi is also seen. So the first ayurvedic treatments given for sciatica are sneehanam and the swethanam.
What are the Causes of Sciatica?
Normally, Sciatica is caused by irritation of the roots of the lumbosacral spine and lower lumbar.
Other possible causes of sciatica include:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Muscle spasm in the buttocks or back
- Degenerative disc disease
Symptoms of Sciatica
The common symptoms of Sciatica include:
- Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting
- Numbness, weakness, and difficulty moving the foot or leg
- Hip pain
- Lower back pain
- A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
- Burning or tingling down the leg
- A constant pain that makes it difficult to stand up
Ayurvedic remedies for treating sciatica:
The drugs used for the snehanam are the sahcharathi thailam, kottamchukkadi thailam, dhanwanthram thailam and various other thailams based on the condition of the patient and the prakriti of the body. These drugs have anti inflammatory properties which is very beneficial for treating sciatica. Once snehanam is done, swethanam is followed to bring down the inflammation of the nerve. This is usually done with treatment methods like the dhanyaamla dhaara which use materials to bring down the inflammation of the nerve.
The person is subjected to the treatment for a period of one to two weeks based on the condition, followed by which various kizhis are given to the patient (like the jambira kizhi, podi kizhi). In jambira kizhi, the main drug is the jambira or lemon, taken with various other drugs which are taken in the form of a bolus, treated with oil and then used as sedation therapy for the patient. Then strengthening treatment of the paraspinal muscles has to be done for which njavara kizhi is done. One of the important treatments of Ayurveda is to strengthen both the muscles and the nerves, this is done for the duration of 7 days for which the patient has to be on complete bed rest. So with Ayurveda, sciatica can be treated completely, while other oral medications can also be given for external therapies.
These oral medications include rasnasapthaka kashaaayam, gandharvahasthaadi kashaayam, and certain treatments like vasthikarma. Vytharnavasthi is one of the important vasthi chikitsa which brings down the inflammation and the pain to a person who is suffering from sciatica nerve pain.
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