One of the common causes of lower back pain in modern days is Sciatica. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest spinal nerve in the human body, traveling from the buttocks into the legs. Sciatica is caused due to irritation to the sciatic nerve. It is neuropathic pain, and can occur due to injury, compression or dysfunction of this nerve. Sciatica 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 thirty and can go on aggravating as the personages. This pain is chronic and is difficult to cure with conventional medicines. While the pain can subside when painkillers are taken, Ayurveda offers the holistic management of chronic diseases by treating the underlying cause of the disease.
Sciatica is known as Gridhrasi in Ayurveda. (Gridhra means Eagle), like the gait of the affected person can resemble that of an eagle’s walk and the inflamed nerve appears like an eagle’s beak. Sciatica is typical of Vata imbalances. The Ayurvedic treatment of Sciatica consists of taking cleansing herbs that eliminate the toxic build-up, followed by digestive herbs that restore proper digestion. Along with this, toning and demulcent herbs (herbs rich in mucilage that can soothe and protect irritated or inflamed internal tissue) are also prescribed to nourish the nervous system and alleviate imbalanced body energies.