It is an inflammation of the supporting tissues of the sciatic nerve in the leg. In Ayurveda, it is known as gridhrasi. The condition is caused by the aggravation of vaayu that has resulted from strain to the back due to poor conditioning, posture or due to back sprain caused due to structural damages such as ligament tear. Constipation and cold weather often precipitate an attack of this condition. Sciatica pain usually occurs on one side when your sciatic nerve is stretched or pinched, usually by a herniated disc, although narrowing of the spine or other vertebral abnormalities can also cause this pain. Sufferer may experience mild tingling sensation to severe pain, which could also cause immobility.
It isn't known why some people are prone to sciatica. Most often, pain begins with an injury, after lifting a heavy object or after making an abrupt movement. A number of conditions may make people susceptible to sciatica. A herniated disc, sometimes called a slipped disc, is the most common cause of severe sciatica.
Sciatica can also be caused by other problems, including inflammation, abscesses, blood clots, tumours and obesity. Arteriosclerosis can also cause chronic low back pain. When it blocks arteries in the legs, it may cause pain that resembles sciatica caused by spinal stenosis.
SELF HELP APPROACH AND AYURVEDIC REMEDIES
In the condition when sciatica is not caused by a medical condition such as arthritis, osteoporosis, about 90% of people recovers within a month. Despite this, sciatica is still the most common reason for surgery, which can cost a lot.
- If you are experiencing acute lower back pain, lie down in a comfortable position.
- Lying on the side or the back with bent knees supported by a pillow relieves the stress on the back.
- Alternating ice packs and heating pads at about twenty minute intervals can also relieve the pain.
- Supportive back belts and braces may help some people temporarily, but they can reduce muscle tone over time. If you feel it is necessary, you can use them for a short period.
- Strict bed-rest for a couple of weeks is certainly helpful in sciatica. However, long-term bed rest results in loss of muscle tone bone strength, increases susceptibility of blood clots, and causes depression and lethargy.
- Begin by walking, stationary biking, swimming and even light jogging within two weeks of having symptoms but never force yourself to exercise.
- Getting adequate amounts of sleep however is very important and the healthy sleep patterns play a vital role in recovery from back pain and sciatica.
- Apply a paste made of gunja seeds on the painful parts. Alternately, you can use the paste made from dhatoora leaves.
- Simali (Vitex nigundi) acts excellently in curing sciatica. Take the decoction made from leaves of this plant, in a dose of three to four teaspoonfuls twice or thrice a day.
- To get symptomatic relief from nerve from pain, you can take trayo dasaanga guggulu, two pills, twice a day along with water.
- In extreme cases, special therapeutic procedures such as vasti karma, kati vasti are advised. In such therapies, medicated oils are administered externally and internally to facilitate the mobility. Here is a typical prescription for sciatica:
1. Sinhanada guggulu, 2 tablets twice daily with warm milk.
2. Godante mishran along with mahaa raasnaadi kwaatha.
3. Brihat vata chintamani ras, 1 tablet twice daily.
4. Maha vishagarbha taila, for external application