Sciatica

Sciatica is defined as an inflammation of the supporting tissues of the sciatic nerves of the leg. This condition is characterized by a pain running from the lumbar (lower back) region to the back of the legs. Sciatica pains ‚Äď felt in either one or both of the legs ‚Äď are usually experienced after the age of 30, and go on aggravating as the age advances.

Causes

Compression of the spinal nerve due to ruptured vertebral disc in the spine, faulty posture such as slumping on a chair, sleeping in a curved position, injury that hurts the lower back region can be triggering causes for sciatic pains. Contraction of the piriformis muscle, which may lead to strangulation of the nearby sciatic nerve, can also be responsible for sciatica.

Symptoms

¬∑         Pain from lumber region to toe.

Ayurvedic View

Known as Gridhrasi in Ayurveda, sciatica is considered to be caused due to impaired digestion. A faulty digestive system causes the buildup of toxins (ama) that accumulate in the minute channels of the body. The Ayurvedic treatment of Sciatica consists of cleansing herbs that eliminate the toxic build up, followed by digestive herbs that restore proper digestion. Toning and demulcent herbs are also prescribed to nourish the nervous system and alleviate imbalanced body energies. Medicated oils may also be applied to soothe the sciatic nerve. Panchakarma, massage therapies can be effective in subsiding the pains of sciatica.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

¬∑         A large proportion of the diet must be carbohydrates, which facilitate proper movement of bowels, thereby bettering the body‚Äôs digestion.

¬∑         Green leafy vegetables should be incorporated in the diet as they provide fiber which improves digestion and elimination of wastes.

¬∑         Fruits such as bananas and apples are recommended.

¬∑         Heavy meals must be avoided as they take a long time to digest. This may exert undue pressure on the lower back region.

¬∑         While sleeping, lie straight on your back or with bent knees supported by a pillow.

¬∑         Do some light sciatica exercise such as light walking and jogging. Do not exercise if your condition is extremely painful.

¬∑         Taking hot and cold compresses on an alternate basis can be quite helpful in relieving pain.

Home Remedies

¬∑         Apply a paste made of crushed garlic cloves and water to the affected part, or rub a cut clove directly onto the area.

¬∑         Eat 1-3 buds of fresh cloves daily.