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Traditional Ayurvedic Management of Frozen Shoulder (Avabahuka) with Nasya and Taila Therapy(an ayurveda treatment for adhesive capsulitis)

Exploring Ayurvedic Approaches to Frozen Shoulder: Understanding Avabahuka and Ayurveda Treatment

Are you experiencing persistent pain and stiffness in your shoulder joint? It could be a case of frozen shoulder, also known as avabahuka in Ayurveda. In this comprehensive guide, we delvelop into the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda to understand the intricacies of frozen shoulder, its ayurvedic explanations, and the effective treatments that Ayurveda offers. Discover the power of nasya, taila, and other ayurvedic terms that play a crucial role in addressing adhesive capsulitis. Join us on this journey to explore the natural, holistic approach that Ayurveda takes towards the treatment of frozen shoulder, providing insights that go beyond conventional medicine.

Ayurvedic Insights into Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, or avabahuka in Ayurveda, is a condition where the tissues around the shoulder joint tighten, leading to pain and restricted movement. Ayurveda attributes this disorder to the vitiation of vata dosha, one of the three fundamental energies governing the body.

Avabahuka is a disease of amsa sandhi (shoulder joint) and it has been  described  under  eighty types  of  vata  vyadhi  by  Acharya  Sushruta. Being a disease of shoulder joint, which has the greatest range of motion, is of vital importance to the activities of daily routine and work, this disease is a hindrance in ones productivity by causing prolonged immobility or reduced mobility. The clinical presentation and pathogenesis of Avabahuka is almost similar to Frozen Shoulder.


Understanding Ayurveda's unique viewpoint on the causes  of frozen shoulder is crucial for adopting the right approach to its treatment

Causative Factors for includes 

·         Injury

·         Overuse or repetitive movement, office jobs, physical labor, etc.

·         Diabetes or stroke

·         Secondary condition caused by rheumatoid arthritis or degenerative disorders

·         Excess bitter and astringent foods

·         Exposure to wind and cold

·         Incorrect sitting or sleeping position

·         Excess foods or activities that aggravate vata


Ayurvedic Treatment Modalities

Ayurvedic treatment for frozen shoulder involves a holistic approach, incorporating herbal remedies, massages, and lifestyle changes. The general line of treatment mentioned for avabahuka in Ayurvedic texts includes

Snehana (oleation both internal and external with medicated oils)- it involves the application of medicated oils, ghee and herbs to the body internally and externally for three to seven days. Snehana is crucial as it loosens ama, or toxins, and doshas in the body.

Pizhichil is streaming of hot oil, along with simultaneous massage.

Pichu -cotton bags are soaked in warm herbal oils and applied to the affected shoulder joints.

Swedana (sudation with steam made from vatashamaka drugs).

Patra potali swedana is an herbal poultice prepared with vata balancing herbs such as Castor leaves, Dashamoola etc which are tied in a cloth and dipped in warm herbal oil and applied over the shoulder joints.

Saastika pinda swedana is especially useful in degenerative conditions. First Abhyanga is done, and then a rice pack made from cloth is dipped in prepared kashayam and is applied over the affected area of the shoulder.

Choorna pinda swedana  is a mixture of herbal powders tied in cloth linen bags and dipped in oil and applied over shoulder joint.

Basti (decoction or oil given through anal route like enema)-is a treatment to support vata energy. An enema prepared with oil and fat, which are the sharp properties of vata, will help to reduce kapha, eliminate ama toxins.

Agnikarma –According to Ayurveda, Agnikarm is a superior para surgical procedure. This procedure aims at management of various afflictions by inflicting burns on the tissue surface directly by using different materials known as ‘Dahanopakaranas’(tools of cauterization). Its  is ideal for curing ailments such as sprains, heel pain, headaches, sciatica and periarthritis. It is usually done for 2 to 3 minutes.It subdues the Vata and Kapha dosha that is responsible for Avabahuka. The Agnikarma in Avabahuka has a promising effect.


Nasya (medication given through nasal route) – Nose, is the best opening for conveying the potency of medicines to the cranial cavity. The  drugs administered  will  reach  the Shringataka  marma and  spread  through  the  opening  of the shiras of the  eyes,  ears,  throat, and  so on,  to the head.  Shringhataka  marma,  is  a sira  marma,  situated  at  the  site  of  the  union  of  the siras, supplying to the nose, ear, eye, and tongue. Nasya drug usually acts through absorption by the Shringataka marma. After  absorption of the drug, it acts on the diseases  of Skanda, Amsa,  and Greeva and  the doshas are  expelled from  the shira pradesha.  The Nasya karma especially exerts its effects on the urdhvajatrugata pradesha.


Products for Internal Support like Prasaranyadi Kwatham ,Rasnairandadi Kwatham ,Ashta vargam kwatham.guggulu preparations ,lasunadi rasayana  etc

Yogaaasana like surya namaskara etc.

Bahu parivartanam (shoulder exercise or physiotherapy).

While Ayurveda offers unique treatments, it also recognizes the benefits of physiotherapy in addressing frozen shoulder. Ayurveda therapy works in the healing level which thus nourishes or repairs the tissues internally, physiotherapy is helping to reduce the pain and inflammation and to restore the normal biomechanics by strengthening the weak muscle or enhancing the compensatory mechanisms internal or external splints and alliper etc

Marma Therapy: Unlocking Energy Points for Shoulder Relief

Its  a traditional Indian practice, involves the manipulation of energy points on the body. Stimulating  marma points near by ansa sandhi gives promising results and even it can be practiced life long without any side effects.Ama and Vata cause rigidity, leads degeneration and produces stiffness. The Marma therapy clears aggravation of Ama and reduces vitiation of Vata thus relieves symptoms of Avabahuka.

Adhesive Capsulitis: Unraveling the Causes and Effects

Adhesive capsulitis is commonly called frozen shoulder. This occurs when the joints in your shoulder are inflamed. The inflammation leads to scar tissue. This prevents you from being able to move your shoulder in all directions without pain. Your shoulder can become stiff, and it may be difficult for you to move it at all.

Shoulder is made up of three bones that form a ball-and-socket joint. They are your upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). A tissue around shoulder joint that holds together called Shoulder Capsule. With frozen shoulder, the capsule becomes thick and tight which makes hard to move shoulder. Medically known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition affecting connective tissue surrounding shoulder joint causing inflammation, stiffness, restricted movements and chronic pain. Even simple movements like raising the arm, wearing the dress, combing hair become nearly impossible to perform.

Ayurveda consider this as Vata increase at the joint due to over activity. This causes reduction in the lubricating fluid in the joints and thereby dehydrating the soft structures. This leads to inflammation and thickening of the capsule. When this condition is not managed, it eventually ends up in complete hardening of the capsule leading to loss or limitation in the joint movement

Ayurvedic Home Remedies

·         3-4 crushed garlic cloves in half a glass of boiled milk can also be consumed Or try having a teaspoon of sesame oil mixed with warm water every morning.

·         If your condition is a result of high blood sugar, Turmeric and amla powder may help regulate the sugar levels.


Frozen shoulder is a condition that can be effectively addressed through the holistic principles of Ayurveda. By understanding the unique insights provided by Ayurveda, incorporating traditional treatments like nasya, taila, and marma therapy, and complementing these with modern practices like physiotherapy, individuals can embark on a comprehensive journey towards shoulder health.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Consult with a healthcare professional




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