Ayurvedic Solutions for Sciatica Treatment and Prevention
Human body is composed of a mesh of nerves running all around the body. Sciatic nerve is one of them. Sciatica nerve is the largest nerve in the body which is formed by the union of five nerves emerging from the lower segment of spine. Its route runs deeply through buttocks, back of the thigh and all the way down to heels and sole of the foot. The sciatic nerve plays a crucial role in maintaining connection between spinal cord and skin muscles of the thigh, leg and foot. Any kind of pain in the course of the sciatic nerve along with pain in the lower back especially in the lumbo sacral region is referred to as sciatica. So let’s read all the details about sciatica, its causes, its symptoms, and its management according to Ayurveda as well as in modern medicine.
Sciatica is referred to as an inflammation in the sciatic nerve which has its course running from lower back (lumbosacral region) to back of the leg (hamstring muscles) towards heel and sole. Symptoms of sciatica generally involve neurological symptoms like sensation causing moderate to severe pain in the lower back, radiating towards buttocks and back of the leg. The person may feel numbness, weakness in this area. The character of pain is burning or sharp pain. Symptoms of sciatica occur due to underlying injury or compression to the sciatic nerve or in the area where there is a course of nerve such as vertebrae etc. the sciatic pain gets worse on prolonged standing, sitting or walking and the pain is resolved by lying down. According to ayurveda in any neurological pain there is aggravation of vata dosha (body humours). This condition of sciatica is compared with Gridhrasi in Ayurveda according to our ancient Aacharya’s.
COMMON CAUSES OF SCIATICA
- Herniated or slipped disc pressurising the nerve root
- Spinal stenosis
- Piriformis syndrome
- Prolonged sitting on wallet
- Vitamin B12 deficiency (mostly in elderly people)
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- Pain- It can be mild to sharp cutting, burning or electric shock like
- Pain aggravated with movement
- Pain worsens with coughing, sneezing or sitting for prolonged time
- Numbness or tingling sensation
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Early or middle aged people
- Heavy weightlifters
- Person engaged in an occupation in which there is continuous pressure on their back
- Females are more prone
- Person with diabetes
- Having low calcium levels
- Poor physical health
- Inadequate warm up before playing any sport or exercise
- Family history with back pain
- Previous back surgery
- Permanent weakness or numbness
- Chronic back pain
- Wasting or muscle
- Use proper technique while lifting weights
- Warmup before exercising or sport
- Cardiovascular fitness exercises that involves hamstring flexibility and muscle strength
- Ideal body weight should be maintained
- Injured person should avoid vigorous activities or any kind of twisting
- Based on history
- Some physical tests like SLRT (STRAIGHT LEG RAISING TEST)
- Spinal X ray
- CT scan
- To test nerve conduction- Electromyography
MANAGING SCIATICA PAIN
- Take rest with back lying down
- Icing or cool packs should be applied
- Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin, ibuprofen etc
- Muscle relaxants
- Slight exercises to maintain flexibility and strengthening the muscles
- Surgical correction
- Corticosteroid injections
Ayurvedic aspect and management of sciatica
Ayurveda refers to an ancient science existing from more than 3000 years. In Ayurveda Sciatica is known as “Gridhrasi”. Gridha words refer to vultures. It means a person suffering from the disease resembles the gait like a vulture hence it is called Gridhrasi. The Dosha involvement in Gridhrasi is predominantly vata producing neurological symptoms. But sometimes Kapha is also vitiated. So it is either purely vataj or vata-kapha.
स्फिक्पूर्वा कटिपृष्ठोरुजानुजङ्घापदं क्रमात् |
गृध्रसी स्तम्भरुक्तोदैर्गृह्णाति स्पन्दते मुहुः ||५६||
खल्ली तु पादजङ्घोरुकरमूलावमोटनी ||५७||
The causes of Gridhrasi with reference to ayurveda is abhighataj (trauma), excessive dry or cold food that increases vata dosha, excessive fasting, excessive intake of katu (pungent), tikta (bitter), kashaya (astringent) rasa, formation of ama (undigested food), remaining awake late at night, sleeping during day time etc. Due to all these factors vata dosha is aggravated that enters the hip region and fills up the micro circulatory channels producing symptoms like ruk (pain), stambhan (stiffness), tod (pricking sensation), muhuspandan ( twitching) in the sphik (hip), kati (waist), pristha (lower back), uru ( thigh), janu (knee), jangha (calf) and pada (foot) respectively.
Chikitsa (management) of Gridhrasi involves
- Sodhan (detoxification): Sodhan involves various steps like snehan (oleation therapy), sweden (sweating), virechan (purgation), basti (medicated enema), raktamokshan (bloodletting), agnikarma (thermal cautery). With shodhana the doshas are balanced, clearing the microchannel and detoxifying the body.
- Shaman (palliative therapy): Shaman therapy involves herbal formulations to pacify vitiated vata and kapha dosha and to elevate the digestive fire. The herbs like Nirgundi (Vitex negundo), Bala (Sida cordifolia), Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), Eranda (Ricinus communis), Shigru (Moringa oleifera), Rasna (Alpinia galanga), Jambira (Citrus limon), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) are best effective the pacifying vata dosha.
- Rasayana (rejuvenation therapy): After the doshas are in a balanced state inside the body, rasayanas helps in gaining strength.
- Yoga: Yoga helps in maintaining flexibility and provides strength. Some common asanas for Sciatica are Sarpasana,. Salabhasana, Dhanurasana, Pavanamuktasana, Bhujangasana, Setu Bandhasana.
HERBAL REMEDIES FOR SCIATICA BY PLANET AYURVEDA
Planet Ayurveda is a herbal manufacturing unit and is a renowned GMP certified company. Formulations are in the form of vatis (tablets), churan (powder), liquids (syrups), jams, capsules. Products prepared by Planet Ayurveda are 100% pure, herbal, vegetarian and natural supplements formulated under the supervision of MD experts. With the goodness of herbs, Planet Ayurveda has formulated various preparations to manage sciatica. All the herbs formulated under the guidance of Ayurvedic Context.These herbs are pure and unadulterated. All these herbal remedies are free from preservatives, additives and chemicals. The herbal formulation by Planet Ayurveda for the effective management of Sciatica are as follows.
- HAKAM CHURNA
- YOGRAJ GUGGUL
- ASHWAGANDHA CAPSULES
- VRIHAT VATCHINTAMANI RAS
- DHANWANTHARAM TAILAM
1. HAKAM CHURNA
Hakam Churna is a polyherbal formulation prepared by Planet Ayurveda. The herbs it contained are Chandrashoor (Lepidium sativum), Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi), Kalonji (Nigella sativa), Methi (Trigonella foenumgraecum) etc. All the herbs possess anti inflammatory and anti analgesic properties. It pacifies the increased vata dosha. It also acts as a nervous tonic, helping in strengthening the Sciatic nerve. Thus helps in managing sciatica.
Dosage: 1 tsp two times a day with warm water after meals
2. BOSWELLIA CURCUMIN
Boswellia Curcumin is a herbal formulation prepared by Planet Ayurveda.it is the amalgamation of two herbs Shallaki (Boswellia serrata) and Haridra (Curcuma longa). The formulation is effective in managing musculoskeletal disorders. It strengthens the muscles. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It helps to ease the symptoms like pain, numbness, stiffness etc. Hence effective in managing Sciatica effectively.
Dosage: 2 capsules 2 times a day after meals
3. YOGRAJ GUGGUL
Yograj Guggul is a classical herbal formulation prepared with all the purity by Planet Ayurveda. The potent herbs it includes Amalaki (Emblica officinale), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Pippali (Piper longum), Vidanga (Embelia ribes), Ela ( Elettaria cardamomum), Marich (Piper nigrum), Shunthi (Zingiber officinale), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), nagar (Cyperus rotundus) and many more. It is an anti-inflammatory and has analgesic properties. Itb relaxes the stiffness and numbness in the muscles. And is very effective in managing Sciatica.
Dosage: 2 tablets twice daily with warm water after meals
4. ASHWAGANDHA CAPSULES
Ashwagandha capsule is a herbal formulation prepared by PLanet Ayurveda. It contains single herbs that contain magics in itself Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). It is a rasayanik herb, rejuvenates the complete body and helps in muscle strengthening. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps with weakness and numbness. In totality it provides nourishment to the body tissues.
Dosage:1 capsule twice daily with warm water after meals
5. VRIHAT VATCHINTAMANI RAS
Vrihat vatchintamani ras is an ancient herbomineral preparation formulated by Planet Ayurveda. It contains Rajata Bhasma (silver calx), Swarna Bhasma (gold calx), Abhrak Bhasma (mica ash), Loha Bhasma (iron ash), Suta Bhasma (compound of purified mercury and purified sulphur), Mukta Bhasma (pearl calx) and Pravala Bhasma (coral calcium, kumari (Aloe barbadensis) and many others. It has properties of healing damaged nerves. It pacifies the aggravated vata dosha. It acts as a nervine tonic and the best formulation for all the vata disorders. Thus powerful in managing the symptoms of Sciatica.
Dosage: 1 tablet twice daily with warm water after meals.
6. DHANWANTHARAM TAILAM
Dhanwantaram tailam is a product of Planet Ayurveda formed with the love of herbs. As suggested by our Aacharya’s tail has vata nashak properties which means it is the best for vata disorders.it contains herbs like Bala (Sida Cordifolia), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), ambla (indian gooseberry), bilva (Aegle marmelos) and many others. This oil has muscle strengthening properties. Thus Dhanwantaram tailam potently manages the pain and other symptoms due to Sciatica.
Dosage: Massage externally after warming it up through a water bath method.
Sciatica or Gridhrasi is a condition which makes a person cripple for a prolonged period. Though it may not be a life threatening condition it hampers a person’s daily activities. The sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise increases the chance of sciatica. Strictly following the vatahar diet along with regular exercise is helpful in managing the sciatica very well with very low chances of recurrence. Hence this article is all about managing sciatica with reference to ayurveda as well as modern aspects
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