Frozen Shoulder Ayurvedic Treatment

People with frozen shoulder present symptoms like pain and stiffness around shoulder joint. Reduced movement of shoulder joint is the common cause of this condition. Shoulder dislocation and injuries are the major risk factors of developing frozen shoulder. It has a slower onset and then become worst. Most individual got relief from symptoms over the time.

Frozen Shoulder Signs and Symptoms

The disease starts with painful and restricted movements of shoulder (freezing stage). After few months, pain reduces but the joint become more stiff (frozen stage). Following some years of stiffened joint, the person becomes able to move the joint slightly (Thawing stage).

Frozen Shoulder Ayurvedic Analysis

When the sleshaka kapha (kapha that lubricates joints) reduces and vata increases in Amsa sandhi (shoulder joint) it results in a vatavyadhi (disease caused by vitiated vata) named Apabahuka. It is characterised by restriction of movements in shoulder joint. 

Frozen Shoulder Causative Factors (Ayurveda)

Apabahuka is caused by vitiation of sira (nerves and blood vessels) under Amsa sandhi (shoulder joint) due to aggravated vata. Dhatu kshaya (reduced quality of asthi dhatu/ bone tissue) is the main contributing factor. 

The causes of vata dushti are abhighata (injuries) and other factors that result in aggravation of vata- such as consumption of excessively cold food/ drink, increased intake of pungent/ bitter/ astringent tastes, taking less amounts of food, swimming in cold water for long period, bearing heavy weight over shoulders, indulging in activities/ sports that demands shoulder movements etc. Kapha dushti (vitiation of sleshaka kapha) is caused by eating heavy food, oily food, fried items, lack of physical activity/ exercise, day sleep, increased consumption of sweet and sour food etc. 

Possible Complications of Frozen Shoulder Disease

The person with frozen shoulder feels difficulty to move the shoulder joint as per wish which results in inability to perform day- to- day activities (like wearing dress). Mental distress is often associated in such individuals. 

Other systemic conditions and precautions to be taken

People with frozen shoulder often have associated diseases like diabetes, hyper/ hypothyroidism, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease etc. Consider these health condition before planning treatment and medication. 

Frozen Shoulder Disease Management with Ayurveda Treatment

The management is decided by assessing the state of dosha, age, occupation, place of residence, co-morbidities, prakruthi, mental stability, physique and lifestyle of patient. If only vata is vitiated, the treatment protocol will be snehana therapy (internal and/ or external), swedana (local or whole body depending on patient’s condition), nasya etc. Local bandaging, pichu, lepana (external application of medicines) etc helps in muscle and nerve strengthening. In associated vitiation of kapha and pitta (with inflammation), they should manage first without causing further vata dushti. Medications for removing ama (dosha in immature stage) are prescribed along with treatments. Some patients need additional medication to manage associated diseases like diabetes. 


Take light food that enhances the action of medicines and treatment during the hospital care. Avoid spicy, heavy food with lot of oil, meat, cold food items, curd, processed and junk food and those items which will worsen the co-existing health conditions like diabetes. Always follow the physician’s advice while fixing the menu. 


Along with medication and treatment, indulge in mild exercises that ensure movement of shoulder joint. Assisted yoga therapy and physiotherapy are beneficial in restricted movements and stiffness. 

Frozen Shoulder Preventive Aspects in Ayurveda

Exercise regularly so that the shoulder joint gets enough movement. Maintain healthy body weight as injuries and dislocations of the joint (major risk factor for developing frozen shoulder) are common among people with over-weight and obesity. Nasya (nasal instillation of medicated oil/ ghee) on a daily basis improves strength and health of shoulder joints. Daily oil massage over body is a good remedy for preventing diseases due to vata. Avoid sedentary habit, day sleep and mental stress. Include all the six tastes in food to maintain a balanced state of Tridosha. Control diabetes, as it is the major risk factor for developing frozen shoulder. 

Importance of Diet

A well-planned diet can make a person healthy without causing much vitiation of Tridosha. Wise selection of food and drinks are the key to maintain health even after completing the treatment course in order avoid recurrence or further complications of the disease. 


Control diabetes and other systemic diseases. Stick on to a healthy diet, exercise regularly, avoid food and activities that cause vitiation of vata, maintain healthy body weight, avoid bearing heavy weight over shoulders/ head, ensure adequate sleep, avoid stress, quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.

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