Sciatica is a painful condition of lower back, buttocks, thigh and lower leg. It stems from irritation and compression of sciatic nerve. Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It originates from the base of spine, extends downwards through the buttocks down to the back side of thighs and the lower legs. This painful leg condition is one sided.
Sciatic pain may range as dull aching to severe electric like shocks. It makes life miserable. Due to pain the patient has to restrict his movement and thus his daily routine activities are hampered.
Although considering its severity, sciatica pain can be managed with conservative treatment at home. The pain resolves in few weeks. In rare cases, patient may require surgery to relieve pressure.
Main Symptoms Of Sciatica
Sciatica may occur independently or with low back pain. It can be of sudden onset or gradual. Sciatica is always one sided. This means only one leg is affected.
- Severe muscle pain in the buttocks, which may radiate to the thigh and calf muscles, is the main symptom.
- The pain can be severe like electric shocks. It is a radiating pain.
- Weakness of the calf muscles.
- Inability to stand due to crippling pain, disappearance of the pain on bed rest and return on extra exertion or slight injury.
- The pain is often aggravated by sneezing, coughing and laughing.
- In severe form, additional symptoms such as numbness, tingling and feeling of pins and needles are felt. While walking the sandals may separate from the foot without the knowledge of the patient.
- In extreme cases, associated symptoms may include loss of bladder and bowel control.
What Are The Causes Of Sciatica?
- Compression of sciatica nerve at its roots due to any injury to the spine is the root cause.
- Osteoarthritis of the lower spine, ruptured disc, infection or toxic material near the area of the nerve may result in this disease.
- Prolonged standing or sitting, running, riding a bicycle, exposure to cold and dampness, pregnancy, tumors of the pelvis, deformities of the lower spine are other factors.
- The real cause is however the direct outcome of excess acidity.
- Obese people are also prone to suffer from sciatica.
Herbal Remedies To Relieve Sciatica Pain
- The patient should remain confined to bed rest on a firm mattress for a few days.
- Patient should adhere to a raw juice diet for at least 5 days and later onto a restricted diet for 7 days.
- Eat a balanced diet consisting of various nutrients.
- Nutmeg is an effective home remedy from nature’s basket for treating sciatica. Mix nutmeg powder in gingili oil. Warm it for some time. After the oil becomes cool, apply it on the painful area.
- Garlic has natural properties to reduce inflammation and pain. Eat one or two cloves of garlic with a cup of milk. Alternately, mix one teaspoon of garlic juice with one teaspoon of honey and take it two times in a day.
- Aloe is another natural remedy which is helpful for relieving sciatica pain.
- Due to its alkalinity, intake of lemon juice has proved beneficial in treating sciatica.
- Mix chamomile oil with coconut or olive oil. Rub it over the affected painful leg in gentle manner. Regular massage for few days has positive effect for curing sciatic pain.
- Cold hip baths in the morning and hot and cold hip baths at night have proved effective too.
Yoga, sun baths every alternate day, dry friction bath every morning and sleeping on firm mattresses are other helpful measures.