Adhesive Capsulitis Ayurvedic Treatment

Adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder is a condition caused by tightening and swelling of tissues in shoulder joint. Due to this, the person experiences difficulties to move the shoulder joint. The risk of developing adhesive capsulitis is more for those who follow sedentary lifestyle, have injuries or surgery to shoulder joint, suffer from diseases like diabetes, aged above 40 etc. The disease starts slowly and worsen over time, but most cases got relief over time. 

Adhesive Capsulitis Signs and Symptoms

Common symptoms are shoulder pain and stiffness which aggravates with rest and relieves with movement of shoulder, muscle spasm on neck and shoulders, restricted movements of shoulder joint, muscle weakness etc. The disease passes through 3 stages: freezing stage which lasts for 2-9 months (with shoulder pain and stiffness), frozen/ adhesive stage often lats for 4-12 months (stiffened joint without pain) and thawing stage (with slight joint mobility) that lasts for 5 months to 2 years. 

Adhesive Capsulitis Ayurvedic Analysis

Any disease characterised by pain, and impaired movement affecting bones, joints, muscles, nerves and associated structures is grouped under ‘vatavyadhi’ (disease caused by vitiated vata) in Ayurveda. Apabahuka is a disease in which the person feels difficulty to move shoulder joint due to reduced sleshaka kapha (that lubricates the joints) and increased vata in amsa sandhi (shoulder joint). 

Adhesive Capsulitis Causative Factors (Ayurveda)

Aggravated vata along with dhatukshaya (reduced quality of asthidhatu ie bone tissue) vitiates sira (blood vessels and nerves) in amsa sandhi and results in Apabahuka. Vata is usually aggravated by Abhighata (injuries), excess intake of cold/ dry/ bitter/ astringent food, eating very less food/ skipping of meals, excessive exposure to cold water (eg: swimming), lifting heavy weight (over shoulders), excessive physical activity that demands movement of shoulder, etc. Sedentary habit, day sleep, consumption of heavy/ oily/ fried/ cold/ sweet/ sour food excessively etc are the causes of kaphadushti (vitiation of kapha). 

Possible Complications of Adhesive Capsulitis Disease

Severe pain and stiffness make the person unable to perform daily activities and as a result mental distresses like depression develops. 

Other systemic diseases and precautions to be taken 

Consider health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases etc before planning treatment. 

Adhesive Capsulitis Disease Management with Ayurveda Treatment

If vata is the only dosha that has vitiated, go for snehana (internal and/ or external administration of lipid formulation of medicine), swedana (local or whole-body sudation therapy), nasya (nasal instillation of drugs) etc. Procedures like local bandaging, pichu (applying cotton soaked in suitable oil), lepana (external application of medicines) etc strengthen muscles and nerves. 

If there is associated kapha and pitta dushti, they should be managed first without provoking vata. Along with these, internal medicines are also provided for removing ama (dosha in immature stage).


Include food items that enables pacification of vitiated dosha, such as whole grains, green vegetables, sweet fruits and fruit juices, milk etc. Avoid the consumption of curd, Bengal gram, peas, sour fruits, cold/ dry/ oily/ heavy to digest food items. 


Mild to moderate exercises are recommended for daily practice. Yoga is another useful technique. 

Adhesive Capsulitis Preventive Aspects in Ayurveda

  • Maintain healthy body weight.
  • Avoid sedentary habit and day sleep.
  • Exercise regularly. 
  • Apply suitable oil all over the body and massage well before bath.
  • Practice nasya as per the guidelines of a physician. 
  • Manage health conditions like diabetes. 

Importance of Diet

Follow a healthy diet plan during and after treatment for fast recovery, as certain food items can worsen the condition by further vitiating vata


  • Control comorbidities like diabetes.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain healthy body weight.
  • Avoid excessive movement of shoulder joints, weighing heavy objects etc.
  • Reduce the consumption of vata vitiating food items (eg: cold and dry items). 
  • Avoid stress and limit the intake of alcohol.

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