Dr Nikhil Juneja

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The sciatic nerve is largest nerve of the body it runs from the back of the pelvis through the buttocks and all the way through the leg ending at feats, like most other nerves it also performs two basic functions: the very first is, it sends signals to your muscles from the brain; and second one is, it collects sensory information from the legs and passes this back to your brain. Conditions such as sciatica that affect the nerve will alter these normal functions. This usually manifests as either weakness of these leg muscles, pain in the legs and thighs, or both.
What is sciatica?
Pain in the buttocks and lower back of the leg, occurring when the sciatica nerve is compressed or damaged.
- Risk factors depend upon the cause.
- Genetic factor is not significant
Sciatica is a form of nerve pain that may be felt anywhere along the course of sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerves are formed from the lower part of the spinal cord. They run from the base of the spine down the back of the thighs to above the knees, where they divide into branches that supply the soles and outer sides of feet. The pain of sciatic nerve is caused by compression or damage of the sciatic nerve usually where it leaves the spinal code. Most people have at least one episode of sciatica during the lives. In most of the cases the pain disappears gradually over about 1-2 weeks, but it may reoccur.
What are the causes?
In some cases the cause of sciatica is unknown, however in people between the age 20 and 40 the most common cause is prolapsed or herniated disk in the spinal column that presses on spinal nerve root. The prolapsed disk may occur often as a result of straining to lift heavy objects. In old people sciatica may be caused due changes in the spine as a result of various conditions, such as osteoarthritis. Pregnant women may develop sciatica during the last weeks of pregnancy because of the postural changes that cause increase pressure on the sciatic nerve. Tumor, abscess, blood clot or any sort of nerve disorder may also lead to sciatica.
Muscle spasm and sitting in awkward position for long period of time are relative common causes of brief episode of sciatica in all age groups.
Rarely sciatica may be result of an injection into buttock muscles that may mistakenly given too close to one of the sciatic nerve or due to any tumor of the spinal cord.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms could be mild or severe, with the spasmodic or persistent pain in the effected leg. Symptoms may include:
lower back pain that radiates down the buttock and back of one thigh
pain that extends from the buttock down to the foot
Pain that is made worse by coughing.
Tingling or numbness.
Muscle weakness.
Cramping sensation in the thigh.
Burning sensation in the thigh.
If sciatica is severe, you may have difficulty lifting the foot on the effected side because of muscle weakness, and you may be unable to stand upright. Some people may come across difficulty in walking.
Who is prone to developing symptoms of sciatica?
Sciatica can affect just about anyone, but it is extremely uncommon in young patients. Sciatica typically affects 30 to 50 year old patients. Often there is a sudden onset that may be attributed to over-exertion or a back injury.
How to prevent sciatica?
Prevent any damage to your lower spine.
Exercising regularly, this can strengthen back and abdominal muscles, thus preventing damage to your vertebral column.
Maintain a good posture while sitting and use an ergonomically designed chair which properly supports your hips and does not press upon your back of the thighs and knees while sitting.
Homoeopathy in Sciatica
Homeopathy as a natural system of medicine offers distinct advantages to the people who suffer from sciatica. The biggest advantage that homoeopathy offers is that it is able to treat the pain very effectively and is able to rectify the compression or irritation on the sciatic nerve.
Another great benefit of using homoeopathy is that along with the treatment of sciatica homoeopathy also aims at strengthening the patient's constitution in order to prevent further recurrences.
• Colocynthis
The most important remedy in sciatica, corresponding to the worst cases. The pain is paroxysmal, followed by numbness and partial paralysis. There is a sensation which has been described as if the thigh were bound with iron bands, or as though screwed in a vise. Particularly is the right sided and there are stitches during walking. There is a sense of constriction around the hip. The pains, too may come suddenly and leave suddenly, they may be sticking and burning, and all are worse from cold or damp and at night,when the patient can find no easy position for the limb. Colocynth typifies the sciatica due to nerve changes with no special inflammatory conditions attending it.
• Gnaphalium
This remedy is quite similar to Colocynthis. It is the best remedy in the absence of the other symptoms and many others consider it specific. It has intense neuralgic pains along the nerve, and numbness. The whole trunk and the main branches seem affected, worse when lying down, worse from motion, stepping and better whiles sitting in a chair.
• Arsenicum
With this remedy the pain is marked by complete intermissions; it exacerbates every night at a particular hour, and becomes unbearable; it is increased by vigorous and relieved by gentle motion. It is aggravated by cold, but relieved momentarily by warmth. Chamomilla should also be thought of in pure neuralgias of the sciatic nerve with unbearable pain.
• Rhus toxicodendron
This remedy typifies sciatic with muscular and ligamentous involvement. The pains are tearing and burning, worse during rest, alleviated a short time only during motion. It is a rheumatic sciatica, the fibrous sheath of the nerve being involved. It is a rheumatic sciatica, the fibrous sheath of the nerve being involved. 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 arising from over-exposure to wet or from lifting, wrenching and over-exertion. Great relief from warmth. Pain on first moving from rest. From exposure to cold or wet.
• Arnica is also a remedy for sciatica due to over-exertion. The acute pains are followed by a sensation as if bruised pain.
• Ruta is also a good remedy for sciatica
• Bryonia has shooting pains worse from motion and relieved by hard pressure. It is a valuable drug in the treatment of sciatica of rheumatic origin.
• Ledum also has sciatic pains mixed with rheumatism.
• Kali iodatum The pains calling for this remedy are worse at night, and from lying on the affected side, better from motion.
• Phytollaca could also be a good remedy for sciatica.
• Viscum album has the credit of curing a number of severe and long standing cases.
• Ammonium muriaticum Sciatica, with aggravation of 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.
• PulsatillaThis remedy typifies a sciatica due to venous stasis and is useful in the milder forms where there is a sense of fatigue and heaviness , flying attacks, aching in lions and hips.
• Aconite
The congestive variety of sciatica from exposure to colds, dampness and from suppressed perspiration indicates Aconite. there is much numbness, perverted sensation, pricking and a sense of coldness in the parts, especially toes. The pains are very severe and worse at night; the patient is restless, there is tingling along the affected nerve.
• Glonoine Hale recommends the 6th of this remedy in cases where there is much throbbing, numbness, heaviness and uneasiness.
• Belladonna
Here the inflammation is high and the pains come on suddenly. There is a neuritis, and the course of the nerve is sensitive; the pain is especially severe at night, the parts are sensitive to the touch, the least concussion or a draft of air aggravates. Relieved by letting the limb hang down, warmth and the erect posture.
• Nux vomica
From its action on the spinal cord, Nux is frequently the remedy in sciatica. It has lightning-like pains, with which twitching of the parts. Violent pains, has to change position; 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. Constipated bowels and sedentary habit.
• Plumbum has lightning-like pains and in paroxysms. Pains and cramps along sciatic nerve, and especially where atrophy is present.
• Coffea cay also be indicated where there is great hyperaesthesia of the senses and physical exhaustion and debility present.