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Have you experienced Sciatica before?

This is a write up aimed for the students of Ayurveda interested in learning classical Ayurvedic Medicine.

The clinic is offering mentoring programs worldwide. Some of the common topics covered are consultation management, ayurvedic herbs, ayurvedic therapy, Panchakarma and lifestyle recommendations.

About Sciatica.

Sciatica is a nerve pain arising from the sciatic nerve. It can be produced by pressure on the nerve, where it passes through the buttock.

The sciatic nerve is a large nerve, formed from nerve roots that originate from the spinal cord. These nerve roots pass out between the disc spaces and join up to form the sciatic nerve. It passes from the spine into the buttock, then into the back of the thigh and leg.

The sciatic nerve controls sensation and function to the leg and foot. In sciatica, prolapsed or ‘slipped’ discs tend to bulge and press on the intervertebral nerve(s). This pressure irritates the nerve, causing referred pain. Sciatica can also be caused by narrowing of the nerve tunnel between discs due to osteoarthritis.

Definition of Sciatica according to Ayurveda:

Gridhra is the Sanskrit word for a vulture.

A vulture is fond of meat and has a particular way of eating meat. It pierces its beak deeply in the flesh causing severe pain. Similarily like this is the pain of sciatica this is why this name was given to this ailment.

Nidana / causative factors for Ghridrasi:

  • Vata aggravating factors.
  • Carrying heavy loads.
  • Improper posture.
  • Travelling long distances.
  • Trauma.
  • Improper food intake, too little, cold food, dry food.
  • Over exercise.
  • Staying awake at night.
  • Suppression of natural urges.
  • Resting in improper position.
  • Slipped disc.
  • Degenerative disc disease.
  • Pelvic injury or fracture.
  • Spinal stenosis.
  • Tumor.

Symptoms according to Ayurveda (Sanskrit and their meaning)

  • Ruk – persistent pain.
  • Toda – pricking pain.
  • Stambha – stiffness.
  • Muhu muhu spandana – intermittent twitching in the regions of sphik (waist), lower back, thigh, knee, calf and foot.
  • Restriction in lifting the leg.
  • Sciatica pain may get worse when standing or sitting, sneezing, laughing or coughing, bending backwards, walking long distance.

Ayurveda talks about two types of Sciatica M.N. 22/55-56.

  1. Vataja (caused by Vata).
  2. Vatakaphaja (caused by Vata and Kapha).

Important to remember that the initial treatment varies!!!

Gridhrasi, being a vatavyadhi, the general line of treatment of vatavyadhies can be applied to it.

Charak has advised dravyas having madhur, amla, lavana, snigdha, ushna properties.

Treatments like snehana, swedana, asthapana and anuvasana basti, nasya, abhyanga, utsadana and parisheka.

Among these he has praised asthapana and anuvasana basti as the best treatment for vata (Ch. Su. 20/13).

Useful basti formulation for Anuvasana vasti are:

  • dhanwantaram vasti pakam.
  • Pippalyadi anuvasana.
  • Sahacharadi vasti pakam.
  • Niruha vasti/ Asthapana vasti formulations.
  • Erandamuladi madhutailika vasti.
  • Vaitarana vasti.
  • Snehana is the first and most iportant treatment for Vataja Ghridrasi.
  • Snehana oleation can be done externally and internally.

Abhyanga is done with:

  • Kottamchukkadi thailam.
  • Prabhanjana thailam.
  • Cincadi thailam.
  • Sahacharadi thailam.
  • Kati basti threatment with, Murivenna / Karpooradi thailam or Murivenna /  Kayathirumeni thailam or Dhanwantharam thailam.

In Kaphaja Ghridrasi the first treatment is rukshana (drying therapy) and only then snehana therapy.

Rukshana can be done with lepam such as Kola kulatthadi churna or kottamchukkadi churna.

In the classical text Siravyadha (venesection) and agni karma is also mentioned.

The treatment principle are:

  • Kaphavruta vata chikitsa.
  • Vata anulomana.
  • Virechana.
  • Ushna veerya.
  • Nirgundi prayoga.

Classical Ayurvedic formulations such as Dashamoola, Panchamula, nirgundi and Sahacharadi kashayam are selected.

Eranda thailam is also very important in the treatment. 

I hope this is useful for all the Ayurveda Lovers. 

We wish you a beautiful day and we look forward to hearing about your experience in the treatment of Ghridrasi.

Warmly Karin.

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𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘮𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘎𝘈. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘨𝘯𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘺𝘶𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘯. 𝘞𝘦 𝘥𝘰 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘦 𝘯𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘺, 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘴.

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