Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala for Sciatica
Perhaps by now you have already tried everything that you could - pain killers, ice, physiotherapy and even steroid injections. So it may be hard for you to believe that staying at an ayurveda hospital and undergoing a course of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for sciatica could go beyond giving you temporary relief and actually eliminate your debilitating, excruciating pain that's now affecting every domain of your life.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is the pain that's radiating on one side of the body, from the lower back to your buttocks, thighs and down the legs. Sometimes only pain is experienced, but often it progresses to more symptoms like weakness, numbness, electric shock like sensations, burning sensation etc. Walking or sitting for some extended time could cause pain, thus making the person dependent on others for day to day tasks. Ayurvedic treatment for sciatica in Kerala can offer a permanent solution to this problem by addressing the underlying cause of the pain.
What are the different triggers for sciatic pain?
Sciatica is most often caused by a herniated or degenerated disc. A sudden trauma like a road accident, lifting heavy weights, a compression fracture etc. may cause vertebral injury, disc prolapse or piriformis muscle spasm. Abnormal bony outgrowths from age related degeneration is another common reason for sciatica. Narrowing of the spinal canal (stenosis), tumors and diabetes are the other not so common causes. All these factors - injury, spasm, herniation or inflammation - could irritate or compress the sciatic nerve which goes through the leg, causing radiating pain along its course. Ayurvedic treatment for sciatica in Kerala begins with a thorough assessment to determine the root cause of the condition.
What is the ayurvedic understanding of sciatica?
Various diet and lifestyle factors like improper posture, over exertion, physical trauma like accidents or falls, ageing etc. lead to disturbances in the dosha balance of an individual. Such dosha disturbance - especially an increase in vata dosha - is the underlying reason for sciatica. When vata is aggravated, it has a tendency to lodge in vertebrae and cause degeneration of bones, which in turn lead to problems like herniation, prolapse etc. Ayurvedic treatment for sciatica in Kerala therefore attempts to pacify the vata dosha, thereby relieving the symptoms like pain and restoring the functional ability of the individual.
How successful is the Kerala ayurvedic treatment for sciatica?
Kerala Ayurvedic treatment for sciatica has the following benefits:
Relieve inflammation and pain: The first step in the ayurvedic treatment for sciatica is reducing inflammation with specific ayurvedic medicines as well as external rookshana therapies like choorna pinda sweda, dhanyamla dhara etc.
Address disc related problems and spasms: Therapies like kativasti, patra pinda sweda (massage with bolus containing medicated herbs), nadi sweda (a type of fomentation) etc. are used to address herniation, degeneration, muscle spasm etc. These therapies help arrest degeneration, lubricate the area and widen the space between the vertebrae thus reducing compression of the sciatic nerve root
Nourish sciatic nerve and strengthen its functions: A key therapy used in ayurvedic treatment for sciatica in Kerala is vasti. Vasti has nourishing and rejuvenating properties and is very effective in pacifying vata dosha, reducing pain and other symptoms as well as in strengthening the sciatic nerve and its functions.
Address the specific symptoms of sciatica: Depending on the severity of the condition certain unique procedures like siravyadha (blood-letting) and agnikarma (cauterization) may be advised to cure your sciatica problem. Agnikarma may be done over the low back area to reduce the nerve irritation. Siravyadha may be done anywhere along the course of the sciatic nerve down the leg, to remove the obstructions to vata movement.
What are the expected results of Kerala ayurvedic treatment for sciatica?
For best results, ayurvedic treatment for sciatica requires 21 to 28 days of inpatient treatment at an ayurvedic centre in Kerala. Treatment relieves radiating pain, numbness etc and restores the functional ability of lower limbs. You will be able to stop using steroids and painkillers that offer only symptomatic relief. Underlying problems such as degeneration, disc prolapse etc. will also be managed during the treatment course to prevent complications in the future. Sustained long-term relief and freedom from sciatica may be ensured by complying with the ayurvedic physician’s discharge advice and lifestyle recommendations.
AYURVEDIC DIET AND LIFESTYLE ADVICE
What is the diet recommended as part of the ayurvedic treatment for sciatica?
In a person with sciatica, vata dosha is disturbed, therefore the dietary recommendation is to reduce foods that aggravate the disturbance and include foods that help restore its balance. Freshly prepared, warm, moist and easy to digest foods are considered the best. You may use spices like cumin, asafoetida, turmeric, ginger, ajwain etc. as they are vata pacifiers. Use of dried vegetables and meat, frozen and canned foods, dried pulses and legumes etc. should be restricted or avoided completely. Instead, include fresh fruits and cooked vegetables and fresh meat or vegetable soups in your diet. Foods that are rich in vitamin B12 like low fat milk or yogurt, and magnesium rich items like brown rice, dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale etc should be included as they have essential nutrients for nerve regeneration and also help reduce inflammation. Do not skip meals as it aggravates vata dosha. Following these dietary guidelines will help you enjoy the benefits of ayurvedic treatment for sciatica in Kerala for a lifetime.
What is the lifestyle recommended as part of the ayurvedic treatment for sciatica?
Strengthening exercises is an important part of the recommended lifestyle, so make sure you learn the stretches and exercises appropriate for you from your ayurvedic physician. Maintain correct posture at all times - while lying down, sitting, standing or walking. If you need to stand for long periods, rest one foot from time to time. Avoid long drives and carrying heavy loads as it can aggravate vata and worsen the symptoms. Avoid exposure to cold as much as possible and quit alcohol and smoking as it inflames the sciatic nerve further. Most ayurvedic treatment centres in Kerala have trained yoga specialists who can teach you yogasanas that help relieve and heal sciatica.
Sciatica is very common these days, and its prevalence is growing among the young. Physical therapies and steroids might help you symptomatically but often fail to address the condition completely. A course of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for sciatica that lasts 21 to 28 days can significantly help in eliminating the condition. Apart from symptomatic management, ayurvedic treatment for sciatica also attempts to rectify the underlying cause such as disc prolapse, degeneration or muscle spasm. Specific therapies that include oleation, fomentation, therapeutic massages, kati vasti, therapeutic enema, siravyadha, agnikarma etc. chosen according to your condition and various formulations in the form of pills and decoctions help in relieving the distressing symptoms related to sciatica. A pain free comfortable life by restoring the normal functional ability of sciatic nerve is what ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for sciatica offers.
Can ayurvedic treatment for sciatica help in cases where surgery has been advised?
Yes it could. Ayurvedic treatment for sciatica in Kerala has helped many patients obtain relief and avoid surgery, so it is wise to consult an ayurvedic physician before you go in for a surgery.
What are the chances of recurrence after completing a course of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for sciatica?
The chances of recurrence is almost nil if you abide by the diet and lifestyle rules given to you at the time of discharge. In addition, you may have to take the follow up medicines too for the prescribed time period - for about 3 to 6 months. In very rare cases, it might manifest on the opposite side after some years if there is age related degeneration but early diagnosis and ayurvedic treatment can arrest its progress then too.