Sciatica

This term describes pain that is transmitted along the sciatic nerve, the principal nerve in the leg and is connected to nerves in the pelvis and spine. Sciatica pain in the distribution of the sciatic nerve may be felt in the thigh or buttock and below the knee. It is usually referred pain from the nerve root or from an abnormal joint such as degeneration of a disk from osteoarthritis (see page 196) or from a prolapsed intervertebral disk, or from spinal stenosis. Sciatic pain is exacerbated by bending, sneezing, or coughing. SELF-HELP Osteopathy, physiotherapy, or acupuncture may relieve the condition. Rest the back well by lying flat on a fairly hard mattress with a firm pad 2-3 in (5-7 cm) thick beneath the head. Try placing a hot-water bottle on the affected area. Learn how to lift and carry heavy objects correctly. Swimming may be beneficial.

outside the body, processes the information received, and then sends instructions in response to that information via the rest of the nervous system to various parts of the body. As a result of the complexity of the nervous system, nerve

SPECIFIC AILMENT PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS

Headache that comes on suddenly

Headache caused by drinking too much alcohol

Pain may feel like a tight band around the head Head may feel full and heavy as though the brain is being pushed out through the forehead Possible pulsating pain in the head and teeth Possible hot, bursting pain that is worse on the left side

Head may feel as though it has been beaten Dizziness

Possible pain in the back of the head as though the skull is going to burst Possible violent, jerking pain or dull, shooting pain in the left side of the brain

Headache that is worse on the right side of the head

Throbbing, blinding headache

Headache with tearfulness

Pain on the right side of the head Sensation as though the temples are being screwed into each other Pain made worse by concentration Possible dizziness

Headache preceded by numbness and tingling in the lips, nose, and tongue Head feels stuffy, and as though the brain is being hit by tiny hammers, possibly with dizziness Pain over the eyes and on top of the head

Head feels as though it is about to burst Pain starts in the right temple Possible weeping of the right eye Bruised sensation in the forehead

Sciatica that is worse when sitting

Sciatica that is worse in cold, damp weather

Sciatica that is relieved by heat and movement

Difficulty straightening the affected leg because of contractions of the hamstring Hip pain as though the tendons are too short Tearing pain along the front of the thigh Lopsided walking style

Shooting pain down the right leg to the foot Possible numbness and weakness in the leg Muscles are contracted Cramplike pain in the hip

Tearing pain • Cramps in the calf Numbness and tingling in the leg Pain extends down the back of the affected leg when passing stools cells are vulnerable to damage and have little capacity for self-repair. Disorders of the brain and nervous system range from slight nerve twinges to traumatic events such as a stroke (see page 187). Serious ailments require immediate conventional treatment, but there is a role for homeopathy's mind-and-body approach, especially during recuperation.

Homeopathic treatment will follow exploration of imbalances within the body, and analysis of constitutional type (see page 176). The prescribed remedies will treat the nervous system by calming the mind, thereby encouraging healing processes, as well as by addressing specific symptoms.

PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS

SYMPTOMS BETTER

SYMPTOMS WORSE

REMEDY & DOSAGE

• Apprehension

• In fresh air

• In stuffy rooms

Aconite

• Fear of the future and of death

• For warmth

• For cold and drafts

(see page 32)

• Fear of crowds

• For rest

• For a shock or fright

30c every 10-15 minutes

• Restlessness and impatience

• For perspiring

• For light or noise

up to 6 doses

• Feeling of despair

Mental dullness Extreme irritability Overcriticism of others

For warmth

For applying firm pressure to the head

For washing the hair or applying cold compresses to the head For being alone in the evening

In cold, dry, or windy weather Between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. For taking stimulants For eating

For physical or mental exertion For noise

Nux vomica

(see page 63) 6c every 10-15 minutes up to 6 doses

Lack of confidence Apprehension

Memory appears to be failing Lack of concentration Sudden outbursts of anger

Rejection of sympathy Desire to be left alone Symptoms associated with grief Tendency to dwell on unpleasant memories

Tearfulness Timidity

Desire for sympathy and reassurance

For loosening tight clothing For movement In cool air

For hot foods and drinks At night

In fresh air

For applying cold compresses to the head For fasting For lying down

In cold, fresh, open air For gentle movement For crying

For wearing tight clothing For overeating In stuffy rooms

For warmth For movement In stuffy rooms For grief

For warmth For rich or fatty foods In the evening During menstruation

Lycopodium

6c every 15 minutes up to 10 doses after first signs

6c every 15 minutes up to 10 doses after first signs

Pulsatilla

6c every 15 minutes up to 10 doses after first signs

Melancholia Apprehension

Desire to cry but inability to do so Discontentment

Irritability • Embarrassment Symptoms associated with anger, especially if suppressed Anguish but no desire to talk

Great restlessness Apprehension at night Anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and tearfulness

In the open air

For rapid movement

For bending over when walking

When lying down

For sleep

For applying firm pressure to the affected area

For bending down • For heat For rest or gentle movement

For heat

For continuous movement For rubbing the affected area For stretching the limbs

For walking around Between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. In the evening When sitting down

In cold, wet weather For emotional stress 1 When lying on the pain-free side At night

For rest • On moving for the first time after rest For cold and damp After midnight

Ammonium mur.

(see page 123) 6c hourly up to 10 doses, or half-hourly if acute

Colocynthis

(see page 52) 6c hourly up to 10 doses, or half-hourly if acute Rhus tox.

(see page 162) 6c hourly up to 10 doses, or half-hourly if acute

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