Sciatica is a severe and location-specific pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. It causes mild to excruciating pain along the sciatic nerve. This pain concentrates on the lower back, the back of the thigh, and the rest of the leg. It really affects a person’s life because it makes walking, standing, driving, sneezing, coughing, and even household chores – all parts of everyone’s daily life – a very acutely painful experience. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body, and not only does the irritation of this nerve cause acute pain, but also a tingling, burning, numbing sensations, or muscle weakness.
It is caused by many reasons, out of which a bulging or herniated disc is most common. Sciatica is a common result of the aging process that affects discs called degenerative disc disease. DDD is a change in the disc shape and function, and it can result in a bulging disc or a herniated disc and pain. You can develop sciatica because of direct nerve compression from an outside force, because it causes physical trauma to the body. For example, you could be injured in a car accident, resulting in a pinched nerve in your lower back.
Ayurvedic treatment for sciatica has a high success rate, because it offers therapies along with herbal remedies for sciatica. Some remedies are detailed below:
Diet and lifestyle
It is extremely important that the digestive and excretory system are functioning at their optimal level. Including a lot of carbohydrates in the diet facilitates bowel movement,which in turn benefits the digestion. Adding green leafy vegetables means additional fiber that further enhances the removal of waste from the digestive system. Most health issues stem from poor digestion or food intake, so keeping a light diet makes it easy for your system to absorb the required nutrition and push the rest to waste. Bananas and apples should be your go-to fruits whenever you feel the craving for something sweet, or even otherwise. Make sure you always avoid a heavy meal, because this may cause pressure in the lower back due to strained digestion.
A little bit of light exercising, like a walk or a jog, can prove to be advantageous. But if the pain is too severe, do not indulge in the exercise at all.
Alternating a hot and cold compress in short durations on the aching spots along the sciatic nerve can provide immense relief.
Make a paste of a few cloves of garlic and some water, and then apply it to the affected area for pain relief. As an alternative, you can cut a clove of garlic and rub it over the affected area for a similar effect.
Juniper oil is of great assistance in relieving sciatic pain. Using this oil to massage the leg and thigh muscles with a firm pressure will reduce the pain.
Coarsely powdered jaiphal (nutmeg) mixed with sesame seed oil, and then fried till it’s a light brown, can be applied externally to the aching areas for pain relief.
Turmeric, and its phenomenal anti-inflammatory properties, is an effective and natural remedy for sciatica. The compound curcumin in turmeric helps reduce the nerve pain, too. A teaspoon of this magic powder added to a cup of milk does the work perfectly. You can also add a small bit of cinnamon. Boil this and sweeten it with honey. Drink it twice a day until you start to notice improvement.
Cayenne pepper contains an active ingredient called capsaicin that works as a natural pain reliever. It helps deplete the levels of a neurotransmitter called substance P, which transports pain signals. Apply it over the painful area about four times a day, for at least a week.
The Valerian root is a herb that works to relax chronic nerve pain. As an Ayurvedic medicine for sciatica, you can make a tea out of this by putting a teaspoon of dried valerian root in a cup of hot water. Consuming this herbal tea several times over the week will begin to show positive results.
Watch this video to know about how you can get treated from Sciatica with the help of Ayurveda
Through Ayurvedic treatment, sciatica pain can be eased with various therapies like Navarakizhi and Vasti, which relieve inflammatory changes and works resolving the underlying causes of sciatica. It releases the spasms and nerve compressions.
These therapies require 4-5 weeks of daily implementation in order to treat sciatica successfully.
If sciatica isn’t treated as soon as it is diagnosed, it can deteriorate over time and make the person crippled. It is important to take every precautionary measure required to prevent further affliction. Choosing Ayurvedic treatment for sciatica ensures that no side effects add to the body’s troubles and that every problem is addressed and treated naturally and is safe for the person, so as to not increase their suffering and help them lead a better life.
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Author of the Blog: Dr. Rajeshri Mehta
Expert Review By: Dr Smita Pankaj Naram
Co-Founder, Ayushakti Ayurved Pvt Ltd