Sciatica refers to a painful sensation that begins in the hip and buttocks and continues all the way down the leg. It can happen for a clear reason such as a herniated disk or a bone spur on the spine that compresses part of the sciatic nerve. It then creates inflammation and pain. The sciatic nerve being the bigger nerve in our body, no wonder sciatica is so painful! In other cases the cause is unknown. We observe that excess body weight as well as a sedentary life are important risk factors, but I have seen many lean and active people get sciatica as well. Mild sciatica usually goes away by itself but it takes time and the pain and discomfort are often difficult to handle.
There is also a condition very close to sciatica that is called false sciatica or piriformis muscle syndrome or again “back pocket” sciatica. For example, when you constantly carry your wallet in your pants back pocket and sit on it, you are putting pressure on the muscles of the buttocks that in response are contracting and compressing the sciatic nerve. The symptoms are the same as in a sciatica but the causes, diagnostic and treatments are different. At least there is something you can do right away: just put your wallet somewhere else!
Fortunately homeopathy is pretty good at treating sciatica. There are many different medicines that you can use separately or together depending on your symptoms. They will help decrease the pain and numbness and help you heal faster, and also decrease the recurrence of episodes. More so, you will not have to deal with any side effects such as drowsiness or stomach-ache and so on, and they will not interfere with other medications that you might be taking for the sciatica or other conditions.
In addition to Arnica montana that you should always take, especially if the sciatica is following any kind of trauma, here are two interesting medicines that have a specific action on the nerves:
- Kalmia latifolia 30 C, 5 pellets two to three times a day. Kalmia is for a very severe, flashing pain, that follows the nerve pathway, going downward (down the lower limb, from the hip area to the calf).
The pain is usually worsened by movement and during the early part of the night.
- Hypericum perforatum 30 C, 5 pellets once or twice a day. This is also for a pain that follows the nerve pathway, but going upward. The patient suffers more when the weather is cold and damp.