SCIATICA, Gridhrasi in Ayurveda, is a Vata roga, characterized by Sharp Shocking pain radiating from the Hip unto 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, Tumors, 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. Sometimes the vitiation of kapha 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:
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, Shalabhasana, and Bhujangasana 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 are prescribed by a qualified Doctor after a thorough examination of the patient.
External Therapies: includes the famous Panchakarma & Rejuvenation therapies. Abhyangam, Nadi Swedam, Elakizhi, Pizhichil, Kati vasthi, Matra vasthi 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.
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