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Sciatica

During the disorder known as sciatica a person with a lower-back pain suffers from the pain radiating into one of the buttocks all the way into the leg. These sudden shooting off of the painful sensation usually occurs in the individual when he or she is involved in lifting some heavy weight, and that involves an awkward, or twisting motion, this strain triggers the pain to shoot down into the legs. It becomes very difficult to sit down or move about as the excruciating pain radiate into the legs. The symptomatic pain is also aggravated by physical actions such as coughing or sneezing bending oneself over in a normal fashion. Immediate medical attention is required where muscular coordination is affected or if numbness is present, in such a case the problem is a serious requiring a doctor's examination.

A slightly different form of sciatica is commonly present in older people. In this type of the disorder the pain and the nagging sensations are persistent while the development of the painful sensation itself is gradual. Sitting down and resting for some time brings a great deal of relief to the individual and the most difficulty is experienced when the person walks downhill or in the general downward direction.

A compressed nerve is the cause of the sciatica, mainly because of this the nerve is either irritated or an inflammation occurs along the sciatic nerve. Very serious physical problems can come about because of this nerve disorder, which itself commonly occurs because of a strain or spasm of the muscle, or due to the presence of a slipped disk. Particularly where the muscles of the back and the neck are weak, this condition most commonly comes about because of the wrong application of muscles or an improper lifting technique while lifting heavy boxes or other heavy objects.

A collapsed vertebra in the back can also lead to the continuous irritation of the sciatic nerve and this is the common cause of sciatica in many older people. Impaired and poor muscular support is the reason for this collapse of the vertebra in such individuals. The risk of sciatica is increased by the presence of other disorders like arthritis. This condition can also be triggered by physically over exerting oneself or because of a chill. The inflammation of the nerve as in neuritis or a susceptibility to it, can be caused by the presence of internal problems or pathogens, like viral infections and all types of toxins or because of a deficiency of the B-vitamin. These events can complicate life for the individual afflicted with sciatica.

Supplements and herbs

Healing and recovery from the effects or symptoms of sciatica can be achieved through the use of supplements given here and this supplementary support is directed mainly at the nerves. Supplemental sublingual tablets of the essential B vitamins are recommended and should be taken regularly. Because the spasmic contractions often contribute to the intensity of the pain, try alleviating their effects through supplementation with calcium and magnesium. The oil of the evening primrose herb is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent and can help in the cases of milder forms of sciatica and during recurrences of chronic cases. This oil is abundant in the essential fatty acids and helps in the nourishment and restoration of nerves.

The herbal remedies given below can help with the alleviation of the tension and the intense pain and associated with an attack of sciatica attack in no time.

To relax and soothe the irritated nerves, the affected region of the leg and back can be rubbed using the oil of the St. John's wort herb diluted in some olive oil, this treatment can be carried out before bedtime. Acute sciatica can also be alleviated through the use of a hot bath made from the stinging-nettle herb; this is a traditionally proven remedy to deal with the pain. To prepare the herbal bath use some cold water to soak four cups of the leaves of the stinging nettle and let the leaves lie in there for up to twelve hours. After the twelve-hour soaking, warm the liquid and strain the mixture adding the clear herbal liquid to your bath water, prepare the herbal as often as you wish. During bathing with the herbal bath water, the chest of the patient should be above the water inside the tub. Let the patient stay this way for up to twenty minutes and when he or she comes out, the person must not use a towel to dry away the liquid, let him or her don a cotton-terry robe and allow themselves to sweat while lying in bed for an hour to complete the treatment. The smooth muscle tissue of the body is calmed and healed through the beneficial abilities of the chamomile herb. This herb may be consumed or used in a topical remedy, a herbal tea can be made or ten to twenty drops of herbal extract added to a cup of liquid can be taken on a daily basis during the treatment regimen, the herbal tincture can be used as an external soothing application. The horsetail herb helps in the building up of the connective tissue within the body and aids in its restoration. The dosage regimen for the consumption of this herb is similar to that for chamomile. Emotional stress and anxiety can cause a lot of tension to develop in the individual, in order to relieve this use the following herbs as indicated. Herbal teas of the borage, the lemon balm or the valerian and the St. Johns wort thrice every day of the treatment regimen times, these soothe the nerves and reduce the levels of emotional stress and tension in the individual. To soothe the irritated nerves, use a juice maker if you have one to mix together a tbsp. of fresh herbs such as the yarrow, the borage or celery and the horsetail, these herbal juices can be consumed daily, they are also effective supporters and boosters of the adrenal glands and its performance. The blood circulation in the individual can be relieved and the pain can be alleviated through the external use of hot moistened packs onto the affected areas of the body. External applications can also be made form herbs such as the hayflower, or white or black mustard seeds, from the chamomile and from the horsetail. Because of its ability to add to the irritation of the skin, do not use a mustard seed pack on a single area of the body for more than ten minutes at a time. Try a flax seed pack instead if you are particularly vulnerable to irritation from the mustard seed pack. Prepare any herbal seed pack in this way, crushed seeds must be placed into a small cotton sack, this sack must be soaked in hot water for ten minutes before the start of the application. In cases of a bad attack of sciatica, the inflammation is reduced through the consumption of garlic milk. To prepare this garlic flavored milk use a quarter of a cup of milk and add to this two crushed raw garlic cloves, mix it or stir it well. While the raw garlic is the most potent application, if you feel the smell of the garlic is extreme heating the mixture to boiling and letting it cool off before drinking can reduce it. Half a cup of the garlic milk taken once a day is effective.

Homeopathy

The given homeopathic remedies can be used at a 30th potency dose every hour or as and when necessary, select and use the most convenient remedy for acute cases of sciatica. Dosages can be increase from one to three doses in the case of chronic conditions every day and will be effective in alleviating the symptoms of the disorder.

  • Ammonium mur.
    Ammonium mur. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals with chronic cases of sciatica where the painful sensations generated seem to shoot and tear into tips of the toes as they radiate down into the legs. Physical symptoms like pain in the heel is also present. The muscles seem to feel as if they are shortened and there is a backache that the person can describe as having a vise like grip, these occur along with contraction of the hamstrings. The condition of the individual greatly worsens at nighttime and when the person is walking erect or sitting down or lying down in bed. The patient also suffers these attacks on the left side of the body. The painful sensations worsen when resting for too long or when moving too much. The condition of the patient also improves when lying down for a short while, if the person is massaged or rubbed, when he or she takes a warm bath, or when undertaking stooped and limbering movements. The presence if one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Ammonium mur. as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the person afflicted with sciatica.
  • Arsenicum
    Arsenicum is to be used in the treatment of individuals afflicted with sciatica in which the symptoms can include the development of burning pain, that shoots down like hot needles into the legs from the back. These painful sensations travel all the way into the toes of the person. The heels of the patient typically ache during the attack. The person also suffers from sensations that feel as if the tissue is being boiled. Physical symptoms include weakness and exhaustion along with restlessness. This type of sciatica is also triggered by cold weather. Psychological symptoms include the presence of anxiety and the person may fear death. Chills also affect the person. The condition of the person greatly worsens around midnight and affects the right side of the body more than the left; the symptoms are also aggravated after strenuous physical exertion, and in cold and damp conditions of weather. The condition of the patient greatly improves in warm places, when undertaking gentle and slow walks and on the application of a hot compress onto the affected area of the body. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Arsenicum as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the person afflicted with sciatica.
  • Chamomilla
    Chamomilla is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals affected by extremely intense symptoms of sciatica, the heels may experience numbness and the tearing pains shoot down from the buttocks to the heel. The patient may be forced out of sleep because of the severity of the pain. The feet of the person suffer from a burning sensation. The limbs of the patient are affected and they become heavy and weak. Other physical symptoms include the presence of spasms, and cramps in the calves, in addition the person may suffer from hot sweats at all times. Other symptoms of this form of sciatica are stiffness in the legs and restless legs at night. The person becomes very irritable. The condition of the patient can greatly worsen at nighttime and when lying on the less painful side, when stretching the body, or during heightened psychological states like intense anger, warm weather and conditions can also aggravate the symptoms. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Chamomilla as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the person afflicted with sciatica.
  • Colocynthis
    Colocynthis is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals afflicted with sciatica in which the symptoms of the disorder include neuralgic phases, and the presence of shooting pains, which can go radiating into the knees, and into the heel of the affected person. Intense spasms also occur alongside these symptoms accompanied by vice like cramps in the back of the person. The person may be forced to walk in a limping motion because of these intense pains. Other physical symptoms are the presence of a tingling sensation in the affected region of the body. The condition of the patient greatly worsens on damp and cold nights and when undertaking any strenuous movements, these symptoms are also aggravated by heightened psychological states like anger or rage. The person gets no relief from lying down in any position and suffers throughout the night. The condition of the person greatly improves on the application of any pressure or heat, when he or she bends the leg, and when he or she lies down on the painful side of the body. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Colocynthis as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the disorder.
  • Dioscorea
  • Phytolacca
    Phytolacca is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from sciatica in which the symptoms of the disorder can include the generation of sudden and aching pains, that shoots down one leg or along the external surface of the thighs. The person also suffers from a great deal of stiffness and pain. The other physical symptoms are the presence of aching heels and contracted hamstrings. The person is almost always exhausted and suffers from a great deal of weakness. The condition of the person worsens from moving about too much and he or she is very restless at all times of the day and night. The cramps come and go and they have a knotting sensation about them. The condition of the patient can greatly worsen when faced with cold and damp weather, when undertaking strenuous motions, when rising up. The condition of the patient greatly improves when the patient is lying down and is kept dry and warm. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Phytolacca as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the person afflicted with sciatica.
  • Rhus tox.
    Rhus tox. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of sciatica afflicted patients in which the symptoms can include attacks that are painful and come accompanied by burning and tearing sensations. This form of sciatica can occur after some strain or physical activity, or from the overuse of a muscle in the body. The patient also suffers from radiating and painful sensations traveling down along the back of the thighs. The physical symptoms can also come out to the patient who may feel his or her legs are wooden and stiff, they may feel very dead or unmovable to him or her. The other physical symptoms are intense cramps that develop in the legs. The condition of the patient greatly worsens from overexertion and when the person is suddenly moving after sometime spent staying still or after rest, the condition is also aggravated in damp and cold weather and at night. The condition of the person improves when the painful and affected areas of the body are rubbed or stretched and when heat is applied or when the person keeps moving. The person suffers in general from a lot of restlessness. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Rhus tox. as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the person afflicted with sciatica.

Additional things you may do

A measure of relief can be obtained from the painful sensations through the application of hot and moist clay poultices to help with the stiffness induced by the sciatica. Sore muscles and nerves will be relaxed and aided through gentle massage of affected areas. The pain can also be dealt with through gentle stretching and muscle strengthening exercises especially after the sudden pain of an initial attack abates.

Usual dosage

  • Evening primrose oil, 2x 500 mg capsules thrice a day.
  • Vitamin B12, 100mcg.
  • Vitamin B complex, 50 mg thrice a day.
  • Magnesium, 500 mg.
  • Calcium, 1,000 mg.

Other beneficial herbs

Comments

From Paul Maclachlan
I have had very good results treating sciatica in horses with the vitamins suggested. I tried it on dogs as well and it worked well for them also.
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