Frozen shoulder is one of the most common disorders. It is secondary to inflammation of parts surrounding a joint, a condition named as periarthritis, of the shoulder. The pain can be felt exactly above shoulder joints which slowly radiates on the outer part of arm towards the back of arm constantly increasing in severity.
In Ayurveda, frozen shoulder is termed as "Ababahuka." It is a pure form of Vata Roga. In Ayurveda, the Vata Dosha tends to absorb fluids also called as "Kapha" of joints resulting in "Ababahuka". Vata dosha vitiated due to certain reasons locates the root of shoulders, contracts the veins (Siras), and results in Apabahukam which causes loss of motion of arms. This is a distinct specialty of Ayurveda treatment.
Frozen shoulder can be caused due to heart or lung problems and also diabetes, especially in people aged over 40 years. It is more common in women.
Other factors include a history of prior injuries; excessive exercises; over consumption of foods that are dry and salty; staying awake in the night, fasting; problems with digestion, and other factors related to stress. It might also be caused as a result of synovitis, tear of the capsule or lesion in the muscle complex around the joints, especially the supraspinatus muscle. A history of trauma may also be a causative factor for Frozen Shoulder along with immobilization of arms in a certain position for prolonged period of time.
Heart or lung conditions and cardiac procedures may also cause frozen shoulder. Diabetes can also cause frozen shoulder.
Stiffness and pain with gradual limitation of motion, worsening with time. Pain is often worse at night and tends to wake up an individual from sleep. Pain is also worse when trying to lie down on the affected arm. Patient has difficulty with normal daily tasks. It usually occurs on one side and can spread to the other shoulder. The pain usually comes down after some time but the stiffness becomes more severe so that there is inability for the affected individual to lift his or her arm.
People affected with frozen shoulder generally try analgesics steroids, anti-inflammatory medications, etc which relieves the pain for some time but is not a definitive cure of pain as a result of which there is recurrence of pain on a frequent basis. Because of this, the affected individual resorts to using injections and tablets repetitively and hence instead of eliminating the main cause of the pain and relieving the symptoms, it actually increase them in severity.
The main aim of Ayurvedic treatment is to eliminate root cause of pain. Permanent relief from symptoms is the definitive cure for this disease.
Treatment with use of Ayurveda includes use of herbal medications like Kashayas, Aristas, use of oils both internally and externally and Purgation in order to remove the offending toxin permanently from the body. The Panchakama treatment entails use of oil massage also called as Abhyanga, doing steam bath called Swedanam along with Nasyam and Narangakizhi, which is a unique Panchakarama treatment usually done in the Indian state of Kerala. It is recommended to do at least 10 days of Panchakarma therapy at a minimum followed by a 7 day period of rest.
If the cause of frozen shoulder is due to a secondary group, then Panchkarma as well as Kerala therapy seems to be quite effective. Ayurveda treatment aims at balancing the vitiated vata.
Pizhichil, a widely accepted Kerala therapy in which medicated oil is squeezed in the body using a cotton cloth. This is done along with massage.
Elakizhi is a well known herbal massage with Pizhichil which strengthens the muscles and facilitates mobility in the shoulder.