Many of us suffer from aches (pain) and stiffness at some stage of our life, the most common disorder which affects movement, particularly in the most productive period of life is low back pain, out of which 40% of patients suffer from severe pain which comes under the umbrella of sciatica-syndrome. With the advancement of busy professional and social life, improper sitting posture, overexertion, jerking movements during traveling and sports; increasing tendency of computerization, and also because of increased body weight, mental stress creates undue pressure on the spinal column and plays an important role in producing low backache and sciatica.
Sciatica is defined as an inflammation of the supporting tissues of the sciatic nerves of the leg. This condition is characterized by 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.
In general, our unhealthy lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits are responsible for various joint disorders and other problems associated with our bones and muscles.
Sciatica is the largest and longest nerve (one reason the sciatica nerve causes so much pain) found in the human body, it starts in the lower back, and further, it is found in the whole lower limb till the foot. These are 2 in number and formed by the reunion of L4, L5, S1, S2, and S3 spinal nerves.
Sciatica is not a disease or a condition, although it is a bunch of symptoms that include pricking pain, numbness, tingling sensation, and weakness that starts from the lower back and radiated to the buttocks and lower limb to the foot.
Hereby sciatica is a general term for pain originating from the sciatica nerve. Thus, it is a symptom of a disorder that causes mild to sharp and sometimes excruciating pain.
Note – some research shows patients have described sciatica pain as mildly disturbing to burning, aching deep, and similar to a sudden bolt of lightning.
Etiological Factors of Sciatica Pain:
- Compression of the spinal nerve due to rupture of the vertebral disc in the spine region.
- Faulty posture such as slumping on a chair or sleeping in the curved position
- Injury that hurts the lower back region can be a triggering cause of sciatica pain.
- Contraction of the piriformis muscle (a small muscle located deep in the buttock region; a condition called piriformis syndrome) which may lead to strangulation of the nearby sciatica nerve.
- Severe low back pain condition causes sciatica, including….
- Bulging disc or herniated disc (most common cause)
- Degenerative disc disease (DDD, also called aging process disorder)
- Pregnancy (due to extra weight and pressure on the spine lead compression of the sciatica nerve)
- Spinal stenosis (space becomes narrow in the passageway of the sciatica nerve in the spine)
- Spinal tumors and spinal infections (very rare)
- Spondylolisthesis (vertebral slips cause a pinch in the sciatica nerve)
- Trauma (accidental like a pelvic fracture)
- Osteoarthritis and osteoporosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint.
Common Symptoms of Sciatica
- Chief complaint or symptoms is radiating pain from the lumber region to toe (foot), it may vary from mild to severe, and worsen on sitting, standing, and even in a lying position.
- Tingling and pricking needle-like sensation
- Muscular weakness
- Difficulties in leg and foot movement
Diagnosis can be done through physical examination, neurological testing, and patient history, medical tests include
- Blood Examination
- ESR Count
- X-ray, CAT (Computed Tomography)
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
- Abdominal – Pelvic Ultrasonography
- Urine Examination – Routine and Microscopic
- Physical Examination is Straight Leg Rising Test, the most applied diagnostic test, considered positive if the pain in the sciatic nerve is reproduced between 30 to 70-degree passive flexion of the straight leg.
Ayurvedic Concept with Management
In Ayurveda literature, Sciatica symptoms are known as Gridhrasi- Gridha means a Vulture- the way the patient walks resembles a Vulture walk. Sciatica is considered to be caused due to impaired digestion. A faulty digestive system causes the build-up of Ama (Toxins) that accumulate in the minute channels of the body.
- Ayurveda further added this ‘Ama’ becomes a responsible factor for aggravation of Vata Dosha (One of Principle Dosha in the Body, responsible for Movements and Function of the Body) and sometime Kapha Dosha (Responsible for Lubrication and Body Fluid) vitiation along with Vata Dosha (Called Vata-Kaphaj) also caused Sciatica.
- Ayurveda is specialized in treating Sciatica with the highest treatment success rate. It offers excellent Panchakarma therapies along with internal medicines for treating Sciatica.
- Treatment in Ayurveda is aimed at restoring the equilibrium through correction of the underlying functions in equilibrium. Ayurvedic treatments for Sciatica concentrate on bringing back the aggravated Vata and Kapha Dosha to the state of equilibrium and thereby to the state of health.
- At Pranava Kerala Ayurveda Clinic, Treatment comprises three approaches, Shodhanam (Elimination) of the accumulated toxic products of Digestion, Metabolism, and the Disease process, Shamanam (Pacification) and correction of the entities responsible for altered functioning, and Rasayanam (Rejuvenation) of the bodily tissue to regain and maintain natural strength and vitality.
- The strength of Ayurveda in the area of spine and joint treatments is globally appreciated. Since it addresses the root cause of the issue the results are fantastic.
- Pranava Kerala Ayurveda Clinic provide proper screening of patient and Therapies.
- Abhyanga (Medicated Oil Massage)
- Swedanam (Hot Fomentation)
- Pathrapottali Swedan (also called ‘Ela- Kizhi’ fomentation, sudation, steaming treatment)
- Sarvangadhara (Pizhichil, A rejuvenation and Revitalization Therapy)
- Vasti or Kati- Vasti (Kati Vasti involves specially prepared warm herbal oil being poured over the lower back and retained inside the black gram paste boundary for the required duration. This therapy alleviates lower back conditions like lumbar Spondylitis, Inter Vertebral Disc Prolapses, Lumbago (Low Back Ache), and Sciatica). The most important procedure in Ayurveda is to treat Sciatica Permanently.
- These Therapies are directed toward relieving the inflammatory changes and underlying causes of Sciatica, releasing the spasms and nerve compressions in the affected area, and strengthening and nourishing the entire spine & supporting tissues. Usually, the treatment period is 3 – 5 weeks according to the severity of the disease.
- Pranava Kerala Ayurveda Clinic has experienced the best treatment success rate in treating Sciatica cases including post-surgical recurrence.
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