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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 – felt in either one or both of the legs – are usually experienced after the age of 30, and go on aggravating as the age advances.
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.
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.