The sciatic nerve is responsible for feeling and movement of most of the leg muscles. When this sciatic nerve gets compressed it produces symptoms of pain, numbness, weakness and tingling in the lower back or down the leg. This condition is called sciatica. Pain varies from dull ache to severe shooting pain so as to make it difficult to move. It usually involves one side of the lower body.
If you have pain in back and leg, then you need to know whether it is sciatica or is it referred from a joint pain. Sciatica is not a disease. It is the symptom of a disease.
5 different nerves on each side arise from the spinal cord and joins to form sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body; it begins in the lower back and runs through the buttock and down the lower limb to posterior aspect of foot. The sciatic nerve is responsible for feeling and movement of most of the leg muscles.
When this sciatic nerve gets compressed it produces symptoms of pain, numbness, weakness and tingling in the lower back or down the leg. This condition is called sciatica. Pain varies from dull ache to severe shooting pain so as to make it difficult to move. It usually involves one side of the lower body.
Various factors that puts pressure on the nerve: – The vertebrae of the backbone have cartilage discs between them. The discs consist of a circle of connective tissue with a central gel-like core. This makes the spine flexible. When the soft part of the disc bulges through the circle of connective tissue it is called slip disc or herniated disc and it puts pressure on the nerve. As the age advances spinal discs start to lose their water content. This makes them less flexible and more likely to rupture.
– As people age, the soft tissues and bones in the spine may harden or become overgrown. These degenerative changes may narrow the space around the spinal cord and result in spinal stenosis which in turn compresses the nerve.
– Injury or tumor in the lower back compresses the nerve.
– The lower part of the spine is connected to the thigh bone with a muscle called piriformis muscle. The sciatic nerve lies beneath this muscle. In certain condition when there is spasm of the piriformis muscle it produces pressure on the sciatic nerve.
How our postures affect us? If you are among those people who have a long sitting job and you are experiencing symptoms of pain, then you need to correct your posture. Our postures have a remarkable effect on our joints. The back bone is designed in such a way that it supports and stabilizes us. In straight position back bone does not have to do extra effort of balancing. But if we do not maintain good posture it results in stress on back bone and muscle strain. Repetitive stress and strain causes problems.
Homoeopathic approach: Homoeopathy has shown positive responses in treating sciatica. Before the prescription of homoeopathic remedy understanding its causative factors, characteristic symptoms, aggravating and ameliorating factors of pain should be considered. Therefore it is important to take the medicine from a doctor who is well versed in homoeopathy.
Some of the remedies that are given in sciatica pain are:
1. Colocynth: There are pains in the sciatic nerve extending the knee or to the heel, worse from any motion, and especially aggravated by cold. The pain is paroxysmal, followed by numbness and partial paralysis. Particularly right side is involved and there are stitches during walking.
2. Gnaphalium: It has intense neuralgic pains and numbness. The whole trunk and the main branches seem affected, worse when lying down, from motion, stepping and better whiles sitting in a chair. The pains extend to the toes.
3. Rhus toxicodendron: The pains are tearing and burning, worse during rest, alleviated a short time only during motion. There is lameness and dispositions to muscular twitching. It is rheumatic sciatica, the fibrous sheath of the nerve being involved. It is the best remedy for a combination of lumbago and sciatica. Sciatica arises from over-exposure to wet or from lifting, wrenching and over-exertion.
4. Ammonium muriaticum: Sciatica pain while sitting, somewhat relieved by walking and entirely relieved by lying down. Pains in the left hip as if the tendons were too short. Legs feel contracted. Painful jerks, feet feel as if asleep.
5. Nux vomica: It has lightning-like pains, with which twitching of the parts. Pains shoot down into the foot, the limb is stiff and contracted and the parts feel paralyzed and cold. Better when lying on the affected side and from the application of hot water.
Self care measures: Along with Homeopathic treatment some self care measures can help in relieving the symptoms of Sciatica: • Cold and hot packs. • Maintaining good posture. • Stretching and strengthening exercise. • Avoid sitting or standing for extended periods • Avoid wearing high heels.
As you have gone through this article, did you sit straight? If not, then try to avoid this and maintain good posture from now onwards and live pain free life. Mild degeneration is an age related phenomena, but we can avoid a lot with the help of exercises, yoga, practicing good posture and homoeopathy.