Any type of pain and/or neurological symptom that is felt along the sciatic nerve is referred to as sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy in medical terms. The sciatic nerve is the longest and the largest nerve in the human body, about the diameter of a finger. It runs from each side of the lower spine through deep in the buttock into the back of the thigh and all the way down to the foot. It serves a vital role in connecting the spinal cord with the leg and foot muscles.
Sciatica is NOT a spinal disorder by itself but merely a symptom of a spinal disorder.
The most common symptoms include:
Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body. Often, the pain extends from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg.
Sciatica symptoms vary based on where the compressed nerve root is located and when more than one nerve root may be compressed, patients may experience a combination of the above symptoms.
For some people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating. For others, the sciatica pain might be infrequent and irritating, but has the potential to get worse.
Sciatica could be caused by a number of causes and knowing what is causing the pain in your specific case is what your physician does before he institutes treatment.
The most common causes of Sciatica are listed below:
Other things that may make your back pain worse include being overweight, not exercising regularly, wearing high heels, or sleeping on a mattress that is too soft.
Most often, sciatic pain can be controlled with home carelike bedrest, heat/ice therapy, warm baths, simple exercises and pain medication. However, if you have chronic sciatic pain it is important to ensure that the pain does not worsen over time. So we would advise you to eek the opinion of Competent medical practitioner in order to arrive at a proper diagnosis so as to treat the root cause of sciatica.
If your condition is diagnosed to be due to muscular problems, or if a slipped disc (intervertebral disc prolapse) is the cause, exercises, massage and application of medicated oil, Ayurvedic medicines or pain killers are often enough. If the pain does not get relieved with the above, Allopathic medical practitioners would advise an Epidural injection (Injection of steroids into the spine) or in some cases which are even more severe, surgery would be advised. This creates anxiety in most people due to the fear of complications.
Ayurveda offers a very good alternative option to you, if you want to avoid surgery and other invasive procedures. Ayurvedic treatment under competent Physicians comprising of Herbal medication, medicated oils, and Ayurvedic therapies like Podikkizhi (herbal powder massage), Ilakkizhi (Herbal leaf massage), Kativasthi (pooling medicated oils on the back), Kashaya vasthi (Enema with herbal decoctions), Ksheeravasthi (Enema with medicated milk) etc is very effective in relieving even severe and persistent sciatica without the need for surgery.