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Sciatica and Cervical Radiculopathy

Dr.C Manoj Kumar,Chief Physician, Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Centre Kalady, Kerala


This is a condition where the patient feel moderate to severe pain along the path of sciatic nerve. The pain is usually triggered by compression at the origin of the sciatic nerve by either a herniated disc or a bone spur at the neural canal, leading to inflammation of the nerve. The pain starts at the lower back and radiates through the buttock, back of the thigh, calf muscle all the way up to the foot. Based on the severity of compression, pain can be excruciating associated with burning sensation, numbness, weakness of the leg and can even lead to urine and stool incontinence. This condition usually affects one side.

In Ayurveda,sciatica is correlated to Grudhrasi. It is a Vata type of disease associated with Kapha and Pitta. The malfunction and aggravation of Vatalocated at the pelvis leads to dehydration and degeneration of the hard and soft structures in and around the lumbo sacral spine. This results in irregular shape of vertebrae, wear and tear of disc, protrusion, extrusion and sequestration of discs. This can also lead to displacement of vertebrae and stiffness of the strong ligaments aroundthe spine. This eventually leads to the aggravation of Vata at the grudhrasi nadi (Sciatic nerve ) creating all symptoms right from excruciating pain, tingling sensation, numbness, burning sensation, loss of sensation, weakness of the leg etc.

Sciatica can also be happen due to reasons like Disc degenerative diseases, canal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and piriformitis.

Initially the condition is treated for reducing the inflammation by performing various therapies. Massage of the whole body with selected medicated oils, massage with herbal powder bag (podi kizhi) heated in the appropriate warm medicated oil, massage with herbal leaf bag (ela kizhi) dipped in warm medicated oil, pouring medicated oil all over the body (pizhichil) , cooked medicated rice bag massage (njavara kizhi), keeping medicated oil pool on the affected area (kati vasti), application of the herbal paste on low back, bandage of the low back with medicated oil. Panchakarma therapies like enema with herbal decoction and/or medicated oil are the procedures usually performed in the management of these condition. Integrated with physiotherapy modalities, treatments will give remarkable relief from the complaints of Sciatica. Cases referred for surgical interventions can also be cured with a well-planned treatment protocol.

Nagarjuna has speciality medicines for the treatments of such conditions.  When the same happens at the back of the neck, it is called cervical radiculopathy. Almost the same line of management is adopted in this condition too. Medicines might differ depending upon the site of manifestation. Nasyam or nasal administration of medicines in drops in a major panchakarma procedure performed to manage this condition. Nagarjuna R&D has come up with two speciality products to handle these conditions. Spondylon for the neck and Sciatilon for the back.

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