Sciatica is a medical condition characterized by severe pain in leg and lower back region due to irritation of sciatica nerve roots.
Sciatica is the largest nerve in human body which originates from L4, L5, S1,S2,S3 spinal nerves. Its course begins from lower back, passes from hip region to the thighs and lower leg. Behind the Knee joint (Popliteal fossa) it divides into two branches:-
The most common cause of Sciatica is a bulging or rupture of disc in the spine. It causes pressing of the nerve roots of sciatica.
Other causes include: nerve injury, stiffening of vertebrae (Lumbar spondylosis), Formation of bony spurs in vertebrae (Osteophytes), narrowing of Spinal canal (spinal stenosis), tumour, Pregnancy.
The most common symptom is pain that begins in lower back and radiates to thighs, lower legs and sometimes to foot also. Pain may be either on one or both legs. Other Symptoms include weakness of leg muscles, tingling sensation and numbness in legs.
Pain generally aggravates on forward bending or prolonged sitting/standing.
In Ayurveda, this nerve condition is described as “Gridhrasi”. It is a Vata dosha dominant disease.
The clinical features of Gridhrasi are:-
Pain in lower back region radiates from hip through knee, leg towards foot. Stiffness in leg, pricking type of sensations in affected parts.
If Kapha dosha is also involved with Vata Dosha then it may cause –Indigestion, Poor appetite, Drowsiness, Heaviness and Nausea.
1) Single Herbs – Nirgundi (Vitex negundo), Bala (Sida cordifolia), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shunthi (Zingiber officinale), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Brahmi(Bacopa monnieri), Kupilu (Strychnos nuxvomica), Vacha (Acorus calamus),Eranda (Ricinus communis).
2) Powders – Ajmodadi churna, Dashmoola churna, Panchkola churna, Naarsingh churna, Ashwagandhadi churna.
3) Guggulu preparations – Tryodashang guggulu, Mahayograj guggulu, Rasnadi guggulu.
4) Herbomineral Preparations – Sameerpannag Rasa, Vatgajankush Rasa, Vatchintamani Rasa, Yogendra Rasa, Ekangvir Rasa, Shilajeet Bhasma,vishamushti vati, Agnitundi vati,Shankh Bhasma.
5) Kwath (Decoctions) – Rasnasaptak Kwath,Maharasnadi Kwath, Mashbaladi Kwath, Sahcharadi Kwath.
6) Oil Preparations – Mahavishgarbha taila, Prasarni Taila, Mahanarayan Taila, Rason Taila.
7) Asava/Arishta (Alcoholic Preparations) – Dashmoolarishta, Balarishta.
1. Avoid forward bending and heavy weight lifting.
2. Wear comfortable shoes. Avoid heels and hard sole shoes.
3. Take 2 – 3 garlic cloves, 1 inch of ginger and 1 teaspoon of carom seeds. Heat this mixture in half cup of mustard oil. Massage the affected part with this luke warm oil once or twice a day.
4. Make a special Pottali (Bundle) for providing hot massage to the back – take 2 to 3 crushed garlic cloves, 2 inch of crushed ginger, 1 tablespoon flaxseeds, 1 tablespoon carom seeds and 1 teaspoon Black pepper seeds. Roast this mixture in 1 tablespoon of Mustard oil and keep it in a clean cotton cloth and make a round pottali (bundle). Massage back with luke warm oil and then do hot fomentation with this pottali in tapping style. Be careful to not overheat it. It is very beneficial in relieving pain and stiffness.
5. Rasona ksheer Paka – Add 4 – 5 crushed garlic cloves in 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of water and boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and then strain the milk. This preparation is called as Rasona Ksheer Paka. Drink a cup of this milk once daily. The anti-inflammatory activity of garlic is highly beneficial in reducing the inflammation and pain in Sciatica.
6. Take diet rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamins like milk, cow’s ghee, cheese, green vegetables, beans, mushrooms and nuts. If you want to take additional supplements, it is always better to consult a healthcare professional before doing so.
7. Take 3 gms of turmeric powder with milk at night as curcumin present in turmeric possess potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
8. Practise Yoga Asanas like Bhujangasana and Shalabhasana. Avoid forward bending Asanas. Maintain an optimal weight.
The purpose of Ayurvidya is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider regarding your medical condition or treatment and before undertaking any new health care regimen.