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Sciatica, Gridhrasi in Ayurveda, is a Vata roga, charecterised by Sharp Shocking pain radiating from the Hip upto Thigh, Calf or the Toes in one or both the Legs. Numbness, Weakness, Tingling sensation & Discomfort along the path of the Sciatic Nerve are the results of Compression, Irritation & Inflammation of the Sciatic Nerve.
The most common causes are Lumbar herniated disc, Lumbar Spinal stenosis, Degenerative disc disease, Aging, Osteoporosis, Spondilitis, Pelvic Infections, Tumours, Diabetic neuropathies etc.
In the Later & Complicated stages of Sciatica, the gait of the affected person resembles that of an Eagle’s walk & the inflamed nerve appears like Eagle’s beak, hence the term GRIDHRASI.
Majority of these patients give a history of lifting heavy weights on their head or back, adopting improper spinal postures while sitting or bending forward, riding two wheelers on bumpy roads, female patients standing for a longer time in kitchens –these all contribute to the unbearable & excruciating pain called Sciatica.
Ayurveda believes that sciatica/Gridhrasi is caused by the aggravation of Vayu (the one which is responsible for the movement of the muscles & the sensation of the nerves) Sometimes the vitiation of Kapha (phlegm and the body fluids) along with Vata brings on the attack. At times constipation precipitates or aggravates an attack of sciatica.
AYURVEDA prescribes the perfect prescription for Gridhrasi. It includes:
1) Dietary Regimen
2) Life Style Regimen
3) Internal Therapy or the Medications &
4) External therapies or the Panchakarma / Rejuvenation Therapies.
Dietary Regimen: Pulses, beans, and fried foods should be prohibited. Curds and other sour substances should be avoided. Saffron, in small quantities, should be mixed with milk and given to the patient to drink.
Life Style Regimen: Gentle exercise of the leg is advised. Exposure to damp and cold should be avoided. Swimming in warm water is a good exercise for legs. The patient should use a hard bed and wear a lumbo-sacral belt.
Yogic exercises: like Halasana (Plow Pose -improves circulation of blood and lymph, stimulates the immune system and releases stress and tension in the lower back including the spine), Shalabhasana (Locust Pose -strongly strengthens the core body and the low back muscles. It also stimulates the endocrine, nervous and reproductive systems) and Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose- This posture develops the strength & flexibility in the spine and rejuvenates spinal nerves) may be undertaken after pain has subsided to prevent recurrence of sciatica.
Internal Medications: include many types of Ayurvedic preparations like Thailams, Grithams, Gutika, Pills, Lehyams, Churnams, Asavaaristams & Kashayas prepared from the herbs like Raasna, Aswagandha, Dasamoola, Satavari etc. are prescribed by a qualified Doctor after a thorough examination of the patient.
External Therapies: includes the famous Panchakarma & Rejuvenation therapies.
Abhyangam( A whole body massage with specific herbal oils, achieves deepest healing effects by naturally harmonizing Body, Mind, Soul and the Senses), Nadi Swedam(medicated steam bath), Elakizhi (herbal leaf bundle massage), Pizhichil (medicated oil bath), Kati vasthi(a treatment done on to the back to decrease spinal compression), Vasthi( medicated enema) Virechanam( purgation) and other Ayurvedic procedures are performed accordingly for a period of 7/14/21/28 days, thus treating the underlying cause of the disease without any side effects.
If you have SCIATICA and are suffering, donot get worried. HELP IS HERE…
Published in THE DECCAN CHRONICLE News Paper on 24th May, 2005. Written by Dr. R. KRANTHI VARDHAN, Chief Physician & Managing Director, THE KERALA AYURVEDIC CARE, Speciality Panchakarma Centre, Basheerbagh, Hyderabad-500029. Andhra Pradesh. INDIA. Ph: 092461 66636, 98666 66055
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