Sciatica (Gridhrasi)
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Introduction

 

Sciatica is a very common ailment of advancing age. Most people as they reach in their late thirties begin complaining of pain in their lower backs or in their legs. This is generally due to sciatica.

However sciatica is not a very serious problem in most cases. Though the pains may be severe sometimes, the overall ailment itself gets healed as time passes. Some necessary precautions and a proper diet helps in the treatment of sciatica.

Definition of Sciatica (Gridhrasi)

 

Sciatica is defined as an inflammation of the supporting tissues of the sciatic nerves of the leg. This inflammation is felt as a pain running from the lumbar (lower back) region to the back of the legs. Sciatica pains can be felt in either one or both of the legs.

A general confusion is that sciatica is an ailment in itself. Actually this is not so. Sciatica is the name given to the set of symptoms shown due to an inflammation at any point along the entire sciatic nerve. Hence, for the treatment of sciatica, the physician needs to ascertain where the problem has originated from. The treatment of sciatica is different in different persons due to this variation.

Sciatica is felt more with advancing age. Generally 30 is the age where the sciatic pains might begin in a person, and they go on aggravating as the age advances.

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Types of Sciatica (Gridhrasi)

Sciatica is a general term given to any inflammation of the sciatic nerve which runs from the lumbar region to the back of the leg. Though any such ailment can be termed loosely as sciatica, medical science recognizes only one form of this pain as true sciatica.

True Sciatica – This is the sciatica caused by the compression of the lumbar spine nerve root. Its main cause is a herniated vertebral disc in the spine.

Pseudo Sciatica – Pseudo or false sciatica is the sciatica pain caused due to the compression of the peripheral regions of the spinal nerve. The pains caused by pseudo sciatica are the same as those caused by true sciatica.

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Causes of Sciatica (Gridhrasi)

Depending on the origin and nature of the pains of sciatica, there are several causative factors:-

(i) The compression of the spinal nerve root or the spinal nerve itself due to a herniated vertebral disc in the spine is one of the major reasons of true sciatica.

(ii) The piriformis muscles are located on the pelvic girdle, below the gluteal muscles. A spasmodic contraction of the piriformis muscle can strangle the nearby sciatic nerve, resulting in pains of pseudo sciatica. This is known as the piriformis syndrome.

(iii) Sciatica can also be triggered by faulty posture methods. This includes slumping on a chair, sleeping in a curved position and insufficient exercise of the hip and lower back muscles.

(iv) Contorting the body to unreal angles, falling from a height or any accident that hurts the lower back region can be a triggering cause for the pains of sciatica.

(v) As a person’s age advances, there is a general wear and tear of the sciatic nerve, or the muscles supporting the sciatic nerve. This causes a compression on the nerve, which results in pains of sciatica.

(vi) Some infections and tumors can cause exertion of the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica.

(vii) Miscellaneous other reasons that can cause sciatica are abscesses and blood clots. Obesity and related conditions such as atherosclerosis can also trigger the pains of sciatica.

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Symptoms of Sciatica (Gridhrasi)

The most poignant symptom of sciatica is the feeling of a pain that travels from the lumbar (lower back) region to the back of the legs. This pain is generally felt on one of the sides. Sciatica pains are of different types depending on where exactly on the sciatic nerve the pain is originating from. The pain can be of the following types:-

  • Pins and needles
  • Numbing pain
  • Pain accompanied by muscular weakness

The sciatica pain is felt during performing specific activities like sitting or standing. In some people, the pain is triggered by coughing or sneezing, which exerts the lower back region. This kind of pain can be very severe and last for several minutes, and sometimes hours.

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Complications due to Sciatica (Gridhrasi)

Sciatica is a condition that heals itself with time if proper precautions are taken. However, in people who neglect the symptoms of sciatica, there can be the possibility of onset of more severe complications. Some of these complications are as follows:-

(i) A person suffering from prolonged sciatica may lose the sensation in the lower back and the leg region. This is caused by the continuous numbing of the nerves, especially the sciatic nerve.

(ii) A prolonged suffering of sciatica could compound into dietary disorders such as loss of bowel movements leading to incontinence.

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Transmission of Sciatica (Gridhrasi)

Sciatica is a physiological disorder caused due to inflammation of the sciatic nerve of the person. It is a non communicable disorder.

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Reducing Pains of Sciatica (Gridhrasi)

Sciatica generally heals itself as time passes. But as long as it lasts, the pains are extremely severe. A few techniques can help to reduce the onset of pains of sciatica.

Do not sleep in the fetal position. Lie straight on your back or with bent knees supported by a pillow.

Ice pack therapy is also found to be relaxing. Ice packs should be alternated with heating pads at about fifteen minute intervals.

There are some supportive belts and braces available in the market which can provide a temporary relief from sciatica pains.

If the pain is too aggravating, then it is good to have a complete bed-rest for a couple of weeks, as suggested by the doctor.

Light sciatica exercise must be done once the bed-rest is completed. This can be in the form of light walking, jogging and then moving on very gradually towards more straining sciatica exercises.

A proper sleep pattern is also beneficial to treat mild sciatica conditions. Preferably a hard bed should be used for sleeping, or alternatively, the person can sleep on the floor on a mattress. This provides firm support for the sciatic nerves.

Avoid heavy antibiotics. Ibuprofen and paracetamol may be taken in necessary.

A visit to a chiropractor may help in reducing some of the pains. A good oil massage can be done to relieve pain.

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Diet during Sciatica

Pains of sciatica are compounded with constipation. Hence all kinds of foods that can aggravate indigestion must be avoided. If a person has to strain while defecation, then it exerts the sciatic nerve; thus aggravating the pains. The following dietary regimen must be followed:-

A large proportion of the diet must be carbohydrates. Carbohydrates contain cellulose which provides roughage for the movement of bowels.

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

Fruits must be consumed in good amount. Fruits such as bananas and apples must be preferred as they aid in proper digestion.

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

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Ayurvedic Treatment for Sciatica (Gridhrasi)

The treatment of sciatica by Ayurveda is open to debate. Though Ayurveda experts maintain that sciatica can be healed up to 90% using the techniques of Ayurveda, those in the medical profession refute these claims. Ayurveda can treat the severity of the pain and provide temporary relief in the condition, but there is no proof of a permanent cure.

However there are several curative herbs that have been traditionally used by those who propound Ayurveda in order to reduce the pains of sciatica. A list of these herbs with their actions is given below:-

Ayurvedic Name of the Herb

Biological Name of the Herb

Common English Name of the Herb

Action on the Human Body

Babunah

Matricaria chamomilla

Bitter Chamomile

Bitter chamomile has been used since age-old times for the treatment of advancing age ailments such as rheumatism. It has also shown some powers in reducing the pains of sciatica. A compress of its flowers is prescribed for the treatment.

Guggulu

Commiphora wightii

Indian bdellium

Guggulu is ascribed with anti-inflammatory properties. Sciatic nerves become relaxed when there is an external application of the oil of the guggulu.

Jaiphal

Myristica fragrans

Nutmeg

Coarsely powdered nutmeg is mixed with the oil of sesame seeds and fried until brown. This is applied externally to obtain relief from the sharp pains of sciatica.

Juniper

Juniperus communis

Juniper

Juniper oil is used in the massage therapy of sciatica. The oil is massaged with firm pressures on the leg and thigh muscles to reduce the pain. Juniper is also a carminative and a stomachic. Hence it can be used in curing indigestion problems.

Kumari

Aloe vera

Indian Aloe

Indian aloe has some properties in treating ailments of the lower back including lumbago and sciatica.

Rasna

Alpinia galanga

Vanda Orchid

Rasna is known to have some anti-inflammatory properties. These help in bringing comfort during the searing pains caused by sciatica.

Shallaki

Boswellia serratta

Boswellia or Frankincense

The gum of the shallaki is known to have anti-inflammatory properties when it is applied externally. Shallaki is a traditionally used remedy for other similar pains like arthritis and lumbago.

There are some Ayurvedic preparations that are supposed to have potency in the treatment of sciatica. These preparations are as follows:-

  • Trayo Dasanga Guggulu for oral use with water
  • Sinhanada Guggulu for oral use
  • Godante Mishran in conjunction with Maha Rasnadi Kwatha for oral use
  • Brihat Vata Chintamani Ras for oral use
  • Maha Vishagarbha Telugu for external application over the affected area

Among all the alternative therapies for the treatment of sciatica, yoga is perhaps the most popular of the methods in use. Several yogic asanas have been developed since ancient times to create comfort for sciatica pains. The most beneficial yogic asanas in relieving sciatica pains are given below:-

Supta Padangushthasana – Sit on the ground supported on your palms with your feet outstretched in front of you. Keep your back straight. Now lower your back on the floor. Gradually fold one of your legs so that the knee faces your chin. Clasp the folded leg in your hands. Release the leg and hoist it in the air. Maintain this stance for 20 to 30 seconds; then repeat with the other leg.

Bharadwajasana – This is the torso twisting asana. Sit on a firm straight backed chair or a stool with your knees slightly apart. Take a deep breath and twist your torso towards one side. Maintain this position for about 10 seconds; then gradually twist over to the other side. This is a very good sciatica exercise for the lower back.

Adhomukha Shwanasana – Come down on all fours. Keep your back extremely straight.

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Post Your Comments

Comment Script

Comments

Appreciate the valuable information and advice.
Would like to point out an error in the section- Reducing pains of sciatica.
You have mistakenly named Ibuprofen and Paracetamol as Antibiotics.
I am sure it is an oversight on your part and you intended to name them as Painkillers.
#1 - Indrajit - 05/18/2008 - 19:45
Hi Indrajit,
I think you have wrongly read the text. It is written avoid Antibiotics. So Ibuprofane & Paracetamol recommendation is not as antibiotic but as pain killers
#2 - Rajesh Kumar - 05/04/2009 - 13:06
I AM SUFFERING FROM (SCITICA)
CONGENETAL SCOLIOSIS AND NOW SINCE SEVEN YEARS HAVING STENOSIS SUE TO THAT I RECIEVED SEVERE STROKE 7 YEARS AGO..SINCE ONE YEAR I AM UNABEL TO WALK.. AND STAND FOR 3/4MINUTES....I HAVE SOMPRESSION AT T0 ND LUMBER 3/4/5 AND S1 IS FUSED....

THEREFORE, LOWER BACK IS NUMB BOTH FOOT AND LITLLE PART OF CALF..RIGHT FOOT...DROP FOOT...GOING THRU AYURVEDIC TREATMENT...AS SURGERY HAS NO GOOD RESULTS...ONLY HOPE IS AYURVEDA...THEY SAYS IT WILL BE CURED IN TWO MONTHS TINE..

KINDLY COMMENT...AND ADVICE FOR DIET...AND OTHER THINGS.

SINCE 7 YEARS I AM ON MEDICATION FOR THE STROKE...TAKING CLODREL ECOSPRIN150 AND FOLVITE...ANY TAKERS...?
#3 - HADI - 08/24/2009 - 11:32
Just in one word Wonderfull:-)
#4 - Vishal - 11/01/2009 - 11:07
I am also suffering to nurve pain since 2-3 year my left leg back to foot very civear pain my MRI L4,L5, S1,nurve compres to disc. so many time i am going to doctor , some Dr. suggest to surgery. but i am asking to you without surgery what is treatment.
#5 - pramodmalviya - 12/03/2009 - 03:44
Hadi,

I also had and have about the same problem. I had an Ayurved treatment and got in to the worse because the Ayurved medicine had LED in it. by not knowing I was taking this and I ended up in the hospital because my became very poisionus an became anemic. I was to given new blood. I could have gone in coma and could have brain damage too. so it is may be not the fault of the Ayurvedic dr but they have to check what is and how much things are used in the medicine. Nowadays many company use LED so it weight more per pound. even in chinese and homyopathy medicine. these kind of company may be not inspected enough.
#6 - Jigna - 07/07/2010 - 06:53
i am aged 45 years i have ben suffering from scatica pain from the last 22 years i am also having S1 L5 problem i have been taking ayurvedic medicine but still yet to relive from pain
#7 - umarani - 07/12/2010 - 19:00
i am 43 years old, from last 15 days i have been suffering from L5 S1 problem. i am facing numbness in lower part of left leg. please advise ayurvedic treatment for this problem
#8 - shyam - 01/18/2011 - 08:28
What ayurvedic preparations can you recommend for sciatica accompanied by constipation? I believe the sciatic condition is actually causing the constipation, not the other way around. I had sciatica first, followed several weeks later by chronic constipation, and had never been bothered by constipation before the sciatica set in.
Thank you.
#9 - Cecilia - 01/22/2011 - 10:53
I am suffering with scitica from last 1.5 year. the pain is in left leg from hips to leg fingers accompied with neck pain in left side too from last 4-yers. pls suggest ayu. medicines/ m[@]age from relief. i email is [email protected]
#10 - bhushan - 05/13/2011 - 02:22
Pls don't say that there is no cure for sciatica, All starts because we neglect what our grandmother and ancestors thought us.The oil m[@]age once in a week.My advice to those suffering from sciatica is that take oil bath regularly, take yogaraja gugglu and maharasnadi quath morning and evening regularly, and apply maharajaprasarini or pinda thailam to the hip and leg. Avoid vata aggravating food items.
#11 - dr.p.sivasankar - 07/22/2011 - 07:28
Dear Friends
I have been suffering from Sciatica and Slip Disc Problem for so many years but found out an Acupressure Doctor near my house. He is perfect Guy for the treatment. In case some one is suffering severely then you may contact Deepak Sharma, Ghaziabad, U.P., 09310552365, 09312345470 I have been cured permanently and i have seen several others being treated successfuly.
#12 - kamal anand - 11/03/2011 - 00:36
Hi,
Goodevening everybody
I had this left heel pain some two years back. I had antiinflammatory medicines for few days,pain subsided but not cured fully. Then the doc prescribed light steroid tab and asked to use soft footwear. Thank god the pain gone and i had forgotten it. But now after 2yrs the pain has come back in the same left foot and sometimes the pain radiates to the thighs and hip which makes a numb feeling for some time.
the doc prescribed ibugesic plus for 4 days and if it does not help he suggested steriod injection on the heel. Is there no alternative???
#13 - Uma - 11/19/2011 - 06:43
iam jst 14 yrs old and iam suferring from this problem so suggest me something else even it helped me yet i will try my best........
#14 - simran walia - 04/07/2012 - 11:14
Hallo,

I have hard that turmeric is good for inflammation.
Could it be used in sciatica, also?
#15 - Anders Hermander - 07/08/2012 - 13:55
I have a friend, he picked up something heavy, a few hundred pounds, turned his waist while lifting it, to set it down. He hurt his lower back for a few weeks, the pain left him. A few months later it came back. I dont know how long it has been. But the doctor told him it was his siatic nerve and it is bent,, now he cant even walk, it takes him an hour to walk a 20 minute walk. The doctor wants to give him surgery, He said something he wants to try acupuncture. I dont think he has ever seen a nature doctor. I dont understand these oils you speak of,,But do you think acupuncture and batural meds are good for this sort of acident?
#16 - Ann - 10/12/2012 - 13:30
Sir I have suffered sciatica pain from last 2 year and not proper solution for this disease.
#17 - mrs kiran - 06/09/2013 - 11:30
the above date 6.9.13 is wrong.because the runing month itself is july.
#18 - kantilal sanghvi - 07/05/2013 - 08:15
sir we r suffering from lower back & sciatica pain since two year . please me right diagnose .
#19 - anil kumar - 03/17/2014 - 23:37
Hello Sir

Please give me response that my father suffering SCIATICA lower back pain since 1.5 month and too much pain he feel so tell me the best medicine and exercise

thanks
#20 - Saurabh - 09/12/2014 - 00:42
I also suffered sciatica pain. It was terrible I was not able to walk or do anything. I suffered this pain for 6 months. Consulted 4 different doctors but they couldn't help. They just advised me some vitamins tablets n said " Don't worry eventually ur pain will go" a doctor from Apollo hospital. Then finally I met a lady from Nepal. She told me that she knows about this disease n the treatment. She said to m[@]age my leg i.e from hip to toe with kerosene oil. Shouldn't m[@]age hip to toe its lik let the pain go out through toe. M[@]age before going to sleep at night. Soon after m[@]aging stand n walk for sometime even it is for 1 min. Let me warn u first two three nights the pain will b more at night. Within a week u will be alright. Kerosene oil worked for me. She also told me that if ur pain is so old lik u r suffering from the pain for several months n if Kerosene doesn't work then m[@]age with Rifle oil. I have not yet seen rifle oil. Military people they will have rifles n there is some rifle oil. Rifle oil will surely work. I know this pain how painful it is.. I just wanted to help. Try n check. Do let me know if it worked. Ty
#21 - biva - 12/23/2014 - 03:21
I'm going to try
#22 - rehman - 01/18/2015 - 18:08
@biva- Are u sure it works?
#23 - kiran - 04/15/2015 - 09:05
ive sciatia pain for last 4yrs and taking medicine but not useful.please help
my [email protected]
#24 - bhagesh pillai - 06/25/2015 - 05:49
Hay muje bhi l4 -l5 ke bicha or left leg me pain ho raha he koi aayurvedik ke medication hoto help me 09737791707
#25 - Hitubha gujrat - 03/12/2016 - 05:32
i am suffering cervical pain and scitica pain too doctors adviced me for surgery please suggest me if any treatment with surgery PLEASE HELP
#26 - raje singh bisht - 05/30/2016 - 02:25
i am suffering cervical pain and scitica pain too doctors adviced me for surgery please suggest me if any treatment with out surgery PLEASE HELP [email protected]

m 9999297802
#27 - raje singh bisht - 05/30/2016 - 02:30
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