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Article: Gridrasi (Low-Back Ache/Sciatica) | Low Back Pain Treatment

GRIDRASI (LOW-BACK ACHE/SCIATICA): CURE AND CARE BY AYURVEDA 

Author:
Dr. Imlikumba  

B.A.M.S, M.D (Panchakarma), KRTC (Jamnagar)  
MO (Ayur) Bokajan PHC  
Chief Consultant @Health Naturally Clinic  
Kevijau Colony Dimapur  
Email: imlikumba@gmail.com  
Ph: 09483328411  

Article published in the leading newspaper of Nagaland, Nagaland Post, on 16/July/2017  

Back pain is like youth leaving the body.

Gridrasi (Sciatica) is a disorder characterized by low back pain that spreads through the hip, to the back of the thigh, and down the inside of the leg. It is often caused by inflammation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which carries impulses between nerve roots in the lower back and the muscles and nerves of the buttocks, thighs, and lower legs. Compression of a nerve root usually occurs due to damage to one of the discs between the vertebrae. Sciatica pain is severe, sharp, and shooting, often accompanied by numbness, tingling, weakness, and sensitivity to touch. While low back pain is common, true sciatica occurs in about 5% of cases and is more prevalent between 30 and 50 years of age. The intensity of pain in sciatica can make walking difficult, disrupting daily routines.

Ayurvedic Approach

Basti: Basti, a crucial component of Panchakarma, is highly effective not only for Vata disorders but also for correcting morbid Pitta, Kapha, and Rakta. Charak considers Basti therapy as half of the treatment for all diseases, while some authors view it as a complete remedy for all ailments. Gridrasi is characterized by piercing pain and stiffness beginning from the hip region and gradually radiating down to the back, thigh, knee, calf, and foot regions (due to Vata). Systemic symptoms such as heaviness, drowsiness, and anorexia (due to Kapha) accompany these symptoms. Sciatica resembles Gridhrasi described in Ayurvedic texts. Despite advances in modern science, the management of sciatica remains a medical challenge, with no permanent medical treatment available except for some palliative measures. Ayurvedic treatment is crucial to fulfill expectations in managing sciatica.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Signs: Tenderness in the lumbosacral area, positive SLR test, positive Lasagne’s sign.
  • Symptoms: Dragging pain radiating from the lower back region to the limb, associated with numbness, tingling sensation, and limb heaviness.

Treatment

  1. Snehana (Oleation Therapy): Internal and external oleation therapy is vital for Vata conditions. Pada Abhyanga/Sarvanaga Abhyanga instantly relieves roughness, immobility, dryness, fatigue, and numbness, while increasing the strength and steadiness of the feet, preventing conditions like Sciatica.
  2. Kati Basti: Topical application of warm medicated oil to the sacral or lumbar region helps reduce pain by increasing blood circulation and oxygenation at the site of the lesion.
  3. Swedana (Sudation Treatment): Repeated sudation treatment alleviates pain, stiffness, and heaviness, the cardinal features of Gridhrasi. Different specialized Panchakarma procedures like Kayaseka, Patra Pinda Swedana, and Shashtika Shaali Pinda Sweda provide simultaneous oleation and sudation.
  4. Basti (Therapeutic Enema): Niruha Basti containing herbal decoction, medicated oil, honey, rock salt, and herbal powder is administered, with variations based on the patient's condition.
  5. Raktamokshana (Bloodletting): Provides immediate relief in Gridhrasi pain by eliminating doshas from the blood vessels.
  6. Agnikarma (Cauterization): Effective in conditions where other treatments fail, it is done at specific sites with caution.

Shamana Aushadi (Palliative Medication)

A variety of medications like Dasamuladi kwatha, Sephalika Daladi kwatha, Panchamula Kashaya, Rasnadi Guggulu, Triyodasanga Guggulu, and others provide palliative relief.

Preventive Measures

  • Hard Bed: Proper sleeping surface helps prevent Gridhrasi.
  • Matra Basti: Enema therapy for preventive care.
  • Proper Posture: Maintaining correct posture during daily activities.
  • Pada Abhayanga: Foot massage for preventing conditions like Sciatica.
  • Dinacharya and Ritucharya: Following daily and seasonal regimens.

Conclusion

Gridhrasi is a Vata disorder with varying symptoms and specifications. Treatment varies based on the patient's condition, with emphasis on correcting Vata imbalance. Ayurvedic treatment aims to restore coordination of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha for holistic healing.

Note: Ayurvedic treatments should be administered under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic physician. The drugs mentioned are for informational purposes only and should not be used without consultation.