Sciatica is a common problem among adults in their 40s and 50s.
Studies show that the jury is still out on the question of gender playing a role in the diagnosis of sciatica. Almost 75% of people experience lower back pain at some stage in their life, irrespective of gender.
The truth is that the cause of sciatic pain is quite simple: compression of nerves inside the spine.
This compression results in sharp, shooting pains all over your leg. Sciatic nerve pain and sciatic syndrome are the two most commonly associated conditions with lower back pain.
Although sciatica can cause considerable pain, enough rest and sticking to a proper regime can make it more manageable.
We’ll look at the most prevalent causes of sciatica and how Ayurveda can aid in the treatment and healing of sciatic nerve problems.
Ayurveda is a system of medicine that has been used for thousands of years in India to promote wellness within the whole being. It works on the premise that illness in the body is a physical symptom of “dis-ease” in the mind.
A balance between the body and mind is necessary to achieve a healthy system.
Sciatica tends to only affect one side of the body, but in serious cases, both legs can exhibit symptoms. It happens when the sciatic nerve, which is one of the largest nerves in the body, gets trapped. Because the nerve runs from the lumbar region down the legs, the pain radiates down the leg.
Changes in your lower back, such as a disc bulge or a herniated disk, can cause compression of the nerve. Sciatica refers to the pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower extremities caused by an injury, or compression of the sciatic nerve.
To treat this pain effectively, we need to look at the underlying causes of sciatica.
Sciatica is always a result of some sort of compression on the nerve. There are several conditions that can contribute to sciatic pain though.
These are some of the most common causes of inflammation and irritation in the sciatic nerve.
A slipped or herniated disc can cause inflammation in the sciatic nerve because it puts pressure on the area around the nerve. In these situations, the compression of the disc causes inflammation.
A hernia is any protrusion of a portion of your body. It is typically formed from a tear in a muscle wall or from an abnormally high- or low-pressure area.
Spine Stenosis is commonly seen in patients with back problems and can contribute to extreme sciatic pain.
In layman’s terms, spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal. This is the canal that the nerves travel through. When it’s swollen, it can compress the spinal nerves, resulting in sciatic pain and numb feeling in these areas.
As we get older, all sorts of degradation begins to happen in our bodies. Our skin loses its elasticity, our hormone production changes, and our hair goes grey.
Degradation of tissue in the spine also takes place. This can cause other parts of the spine to become inflamed, putting pressure on the area and triggering sciatic nerve pain.
It’s a big word, but an easy diagnosis to explain. Small stress fractures develop in each vertebra as we move through life. These fractures can cause the bones of the spine to move forward, over each other.
If the disc space between the vertebrae collapses or if the displaced vertebra applies direct pressure to the nerve root, it will cause sciatic pain.
There are many reasons why pregnancy causes sciatic pain. There is an enormous amount of pressure happening in the lumbar region.
As the baby grows, the increased weight puts strain on joints that are already vulnerable. The uterus itself pushes the pelvic bones out of their usual alignment, which can also cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.
If you’re 10lbs overweight, you’re putting an extra 40lbs of pressure on the bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments of your spine. Obesity is a major contributing factor to experiencing sciatica pain.
Diet and lifestyle should form an integral part of the treatment plan for sciatica.
Recovery from sciatica also takes longer in people who carry extra weight.
Spending hours sitting at a desk, or in a car (or a bus, train, or taxi) can also cause irritation in the lumbar region, causing the sciatic nerve pain flare up.
Sitting applies a huge amount of pressure to the discs in the lower back, which can cause the discs to swell. This in turn compresses the sciatic nerve.
Ayurveda has many options to treat sciatica, all of which are less invasive than surgery and don’t require you to swallow handfuls of pills.
Cleansing herbs are used to eliminate toxin build-up from the body, while herbs that aid in digestion are given to restore balance to the system.
Compresses made with fresh or dried herbs are useful when placed over the affected area to ease the pain.
Ayurvedic massage uses the pressure points in the body to release the tension and inflammation around the sciatic nerve.
Warm, thick oil is collected over the affected disc area on back and the patient is left to rest on a massage table. This practice helps to alleviate the pain associated with sciatica.
Ayurvedic treatment offers a holistic approach that treats the mind, body, and soul, creating balanced wellness from within. Persistent sciatic nerve pain is a condition that is treatable. If the root causes of sciatica pain can be found, they can even be healed.
Consider booking an online consultation if you are suffering from sciatica symptoms. After an in-depth look at your lifestyle and health problems, your consultant will devise a treatment plan that is unique to you.
When you’re ready to live a life without pain, let’s chat about your sciatica treatment plan and the steps