Frozen Shoulder Ayurvedic Treatment

Dr.Ajay Krishna B.A.M.S

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a common condition causing stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. The symptoms start slowly, worsen over time, and then gradually improve.

The shoulder joint is formed by three bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), the shoulder blade (scapula), and the collarbone (clavicle). Around this joint, there’s a tissue called the shoulder capsule that provides support. In frozen shoulder, this capsule becomes thick and tight, making movement difficult. In Addition to that, the joint loses its lubricating fluid called synovial fluid, is also one of the reason

Ayurvedic Treatment for Frozen Shoulder: Causes

According to Ayurveda,Frozen Shoulder can be correlated as Avabahuka. Avabahuka is primarily caused by an imbalance in the Vata dosha, which is categorized as a Vatavyadhi. As the condition progresses, Kapha dosha can also become involved. The causes of Avabahuka can be divided into three main groups:

Abhighatajam (Trauma)

Injuries or trauma to the shoulder region, specifically the amsa marma (shoulder area), can lead to stiffness in the shoulder.

Aaharajam (Dietary Factors)

Consuming unwholesome foods that are bitter, pungent, astringent, low in quantity, dry, or too hot can aggravate the Vata dosha, contributing to Avabahuka.

Viharajam (Lifestyle Factors)

Improper lifestyle choices and activities can also play a role. These include excessive physical exercise, sudden emotional stress like fear, and tissue depletion due to these factors. Other contributing factors include:

  1. Swimming for extended periods (more than 40 minutes)
  2.  Carrying heavy loads.
  3. Engaging in wrestling with a stronger opponent.
  4. Maintaining improper sleeping postures.

According to the Modern view,Cause of Frozen shoulder was idiopathic means it developed without a clear reason.On the other hand, a secondary frozen shoulder can be linked to various factors:

Systemic Diseases: Conditions like diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism are systemic diseases that can contribute to secondary frozen shoulder. These underlying health issues may increase the risk of developing a frozen shoulder.

Extrinsic Factors: Several external factors can lead to secondary frozen shoulder-like problems in the cervical spine, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and even a previous humerus bone fracture. These conditions can indirectly affect the shoulder and trigger a frozen shoulder.

Intrinsic Factors: Certain factors originating within the shoulder itself can also be responsible for a secondary frozen shoulder. These include issues like rotator cuff tears, rotator cuff tendinitis, biceps tendinitis, calcific tendinitis (the formation of calcium deposits in tendons), and arthritis in the acromioclavicular joint. These intrinsic problems can directly impact the shoulder joint and lead to frozen shoulder symptoms.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Frozen Shoulder: Symptoms

According to Ayurveda,The Cardinal features of Avabhahuga are as follows,

  1. Bahu Praspandita haram ( impaired or loss of movement of the upper limb)
  2. Amsa Bandana Sosham  (Muscle Wasting ) 
  3. Shoola  (pain) 
  4. Shoulder Stiffness 

Modern perspectives of Frozen Shoulder 

  • Slow Onset of Pain 
  • Pain at Deltoid Insertion: Pain is felt where the deltoid muscle attaches to the shoulder, often a common location for shoulder issues.
  • Inability to Sleep on the Affected Side: Discomfort or pain prevents sleeping on the affected shoulder side.
  • Atrophy of Supra and Infraspinatus Muscles: Wasting or loss of muscle mass in the supra and infraspinatus muscles, which are part of the rotator cuff.
  • Minimal Local Tenderness: There may be slight tenderness when pressing on the affected area.
  • Restriction of Active and Passive Range of Motion (ROM): Limited ability to move the shoulder, both actively (by your own effort) and passively (with external assistance).
  • Painful and Restricted Elevation and External Rotation: Pain and limited movement when raising the arm or rotating it outward.
Ayurvedic treatment for frozen shoulder: Symptoms

Ayurvedic Treatment for Frozen Shoulder: Stages


Mainly it has 3 stages,

  • Freezing stage
  • Frozen stage
  • Thawing stage 

Freezing stage

The patient has been experiencing constant shoulder pain for 10-36 weeks, especially at night. And then gradually losing their ability to move their shoulder comfortably.

Frozen stage

This stage lasts for 4 – 12 months, Here the pain may get better, but the stiffness in the shoulder can get worse.

Thawing stage

stage last for 2 years range of moments begins to improve.

Theory and Ayurvedic View on Ayurvedic Treatment for Frozen Shoulder

In Ayurveda, there are two main types of treatments, Shamana Chikitsa (conservative management) and Shodhana Chikitsa (purification therapy).First, we focus on Shamana Chikitsa like correcting your digestion and improving your metabolism. then followed by Sodhana Chikitsa like External panchakarma treatment.

Samana Chikitsa (conservative management)

With the proper assessment of the physical condition of each individual patient by experienced doctors, authentic Ayurvedic formulations are prescribed. The main objective of treatment is to pacify the vata and kapha doshas.

  • Nidana parivarjanam ( avoid causative factors )

Deepana and Pachana

  • Kashaya   (Decoction)

Decoction obtained by boiling course powder or Dried Drugs

  • Gulika     (Tablets)

In tablet form, they are made by rolling medicinal pastes into balls and drying them with the use of a drier

  • Choornam  (Powder) 

Choorna is obtained by Herbal drugs cleaned properly made dry and then powdered and steved it 

  Shodhana Chikitsa (purification therapy)

The general line of treatment for vatavyadhi (Avabhahuga) as mentioned in classical ayurveda text 

  • Vamana
  • Virechana
  • Basti
  • Nasya 


It is one of the panchakarma. Ideal and best for the elimination of Kapha dosha.


It is one of the panchakarma.  Ideal and best for the elimination of pitta dosha. Orally administered medicine acts on internal physiology and expels the toxins and wastes that occur as the bowel passes multiple times.


Basti (enema) treatment is considered to be a prime treatment among the Panchakarma. In which the drugs are administered through the anal route.


Administration of medicine or medicated oil through the nose is known as Nasya, Here in the case of Avabahuga nasal installation of medicine which is the most important procedure 


  • Marsha
  • Pratimarsha

At the time of Nasya Karma,

  • Avoid exposure to cold breeze 
  • Avoid head bath ( prevent you from getting cold)
  • Avoid dairy products (to reduce Kapha)
  • Avoid cold things 
  • Use hot water for drinking

Other external body treatments like,

  • Snehana 

Sneha means oily substances and the therapies or medications to give an unctuous or oily effect in the body are called Snehana. It is done in two ways, internally by oral intake of medicated oily substances and externally by abhyanga.

  • Swedana

Sweda means sweat. therapies done using steam or heat for cleansing of the body through perspirations is called Swedana.

  • Dhara (Dhanyamlam)

Medicated water which is prepared by fermentation of cereals is poured on your body to reduce inflammation.

  • Lepanam

Application of medicated paste on the affected shoulder joint for some time which reduces Pain, Stiffness, and tenderness.

  • Elakizhi 

A cloth bundle filled with herbs that balance Vata, and is dipped in warm, medicated oil and placed on the affected area which reduces pain and inflammation.

  • Podi Kizhi

A cloth filled with herbal powder is dipped in oil and then placed on the affected area. To alleviate symptoms of vata dosha

  • Pichu 

Medicated oil is soaked in cotton with a little warm and then placed on the affected area.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes for Ayurvedic Treatment for Frozen Shoulder

Wholesome Diet and Habits:

  • Diet Based on Digestive Power: Choose foods that are easily digestible and suitable for your individual constitution.
  • Warm and Unctuous Foods: Favor warm and moist foods as they are gentler on the digestive system. Incorporate foods with natural oils and fats to promote internal balance.
  • Warm and Moist Cooking: Prepare your meals using methods that retain warmth and moisture, such as steaming, boiling, or stewing. Avoid excessive frying or baking.
  • Proper and Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity that suits your health condition and fitness level. Consult a healthcare professional if necessary.
  • Warm Water for Bathing: Use warm water for bathing, excluding the head. Warm baths can be soothing and relaxing.
  • Maintain Correct Posture: Pay attention to your posture while sitting, standing, and walking. Maintaining correct alignment can prevent musculoskeletal problems and discomfort.
  • Regular Relaxation Breaks: If you use gadgets like laptops and smartphones extensively, take regular breaks to relax and stretch your muscles.
  • Yoga Asanas: Practice yoga asanas (poses) that are suitable for your condition. Yoga can improve flexibility, strength, and overall well-being.

Unwholesome Diet and Habits:

  • Avoid Junk and Spicy Food: Stay away from junk food and overly spicy dishes. These can contribute to digestive issues and inflammation.
  • Limit Sugar Intake: Reduce the consumption of excessive sugar, as it can lead to the accumulation of toxins (ama) in the body and disrupt the balance of the three doshas (tridosha).
  • Heavy Exercise: Avoid strenuous exercise that may be too taxing on your body, especially if you have underlying health concerns. Opt for a balanced and moderate exercise routine.
  • Improper Positions: Be mindful of your sitting, standing, and sleeping positions. Improper posture leads to musculoskeletal problems and discomfort.

Cure Prospective of Ayurvedic Treatment for Frozen Shoulder

Receiving appropriate treatment, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and consistently following up with therapy and medication can significantly increase the likelihood of a successful recovery and improved health up to an extent. However, it’s important to note that the degree of assurance of a complete cure can vary depending on the specific medical condition, its severity, and individual factors.

In any case, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate rest, can significantly contribute to your overall well-being and treatment success.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Frozen Shoulder: Prevention

  • Regular Shoulder Exercises: Perform simple shoulder exercises to maintain your shoulder’s range of motion. You can do exercises like arm circles or pendulum exercises to keep your shoulder flexible.
  • Strengthen Shoulder Muscles: Include shoulder-strengthening exercises in your routine. Focus on the rotator cuff muscles and deltoids to provide stability to the joint.
  • Proper Posture: Maintain good posture to reduce stress on your shoulder. Sit and stand up straight and avoid slouching.
  • Avoid Overuse: Be mindful of repetitive shoulder movements and heavy lifting. Take breaks during activities that strain your shoulder.
  • Warm Up Before Activity: Always warm up your shoulder with gentle movements before engaging in physical activities or exercises.
  • Lift Properly: When lifting heavy objects, use proper lifting techniques. Lift with your legs and not your back or shoulders to prevent strain.
  • Pain Management: Don’t ignore shoulder pain or discomfort. Seek medical attention promptly to address any issues before they worsen.
  • Manage Chronic Conditions: If you have diabetes or other medical conditions that increase the risk of frozen shoulder, work with your healthcare provider to manage them effectively.
  • Avoid Immobilization: Try not to keep your shoulder still for extended periods, especially after surgery or injury. Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for rehabilitation and recovery.
  • Regular Check-ups: If you’re at risk or have a history of frozen shoulder, consult with a healthcare provider or orthopedic specialist for guidance on preventive strategies tailored to your situation.

Recommended Yoga Poses for Frozen Shoulder

Along with the treatment practice of yoga has a crucial role in management of frozen shoulder by reducing symptoms like pain, and stiffness and also restore the range of movement of shoulder joints. Here are some yogasana that which you can practice.  

  • Salabhasana (Locust Pose): This pose helps strengthen the muscles around your shoulder blades and upper back. 
  • Makarasana (Crocodile Pose): This pose can help relax and stretch the shoulders.
  • Ardha Baddha Hastasana (Half Bound Hands Pose): This pose can gently stretch and improve flexibility in the shoulders.
  • Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations): A series of yoga poses that can help improve overall flexibility and circulation.
  • Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose): Warrior poses, especially Warrior II, can help stretch and strengthen the shoulder and upper back muscles.
  • Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose): This pose involves interlocking your arms behind your back, which can improve shoulder mobility and flexibility.

All these yoga asanas should be practiced under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor. 

Frozen Shoulder Ayurvedic Treatment at Dheemahi Ayurveda

Dheemahi Ayurveda is dedicated to prioritizing patient health and well-being through a rich tradition of Ayurvedic wisdom passed down through five generations. Our team comprises expert doctors who are committed to your health journey. Dheemahi Ayurveda Is an authentic and traditional Ayurveda Hospital.

With daily consultations we provide more reliability as by doing physical examinations, doctors can get more findings about the condition of the patient.

For chronic diseases – routine follow-up check-up is also an essential requirement which cannot be ignored. In the case of therapies needed for the relief of the symptoms the supervision of a doctor is very much important.Dheemahi facilitates supervision of our doctors in every Panchakarma therapies with exact documentation of your treatment schedule.

Get a free online medical consultation with an expert doctor, before booking

The unique approach involves a series of discussion during your initial decision-making process to make sure that we will be able to match your expectations with our treatment. Based on the discussions with you our team of expert doctors will design the best treatment package personalized for your needs.

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