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kativasthi treatment

Kativasthi: Ayurvedic Treatment for Lower Back Pain and Stiffness

Kativasthi is a specialized Ayurvedic treatment for the lower back area covering the Lumbo-sacral and Sacro-iliac joints. The word, ‘Kati’ means lower back or waist, and ‘Vasthi’ means to contain or retain something. Hence, Kativasthi can be described as a pain-relieving therapy performed by pooling warm medicated oil over a compartment constructed over the lower back for a certain time duration.

According to the Ayurvedic principles, disease treatment or management is performed in two forms – palliative and purificatory. The Kativasthi treatment is based on the basics of the purificatory form of treatment. Hence, it is also given as one of the preparatory procedures before Panchakarma therapy.

The Kativasthi Ayurvedic therapy can be performed to prevent the chances of developing many other ailments and to offer relief and cure from chronic and acute back pain, sciatica, lumbar spondylitis, prolapsed disc, and osteoporosis.


Kativasthi Ayurveda treatment is generally performed early in the morning as that’s the time when the Kapha symptoms like stiffness are dominant in the lower back. It is done in the noon when there is inflammation or burning sensation, which is a characteristic of Pitta dominance, and in the evening, if Vata symptoms like pain are predominant.

As the individual needs to lie down on their belly during the procedure, they are advised to come to the therapy on an empty stomach. After the individual is comfortably positioned, the Kativasthi compartment is prepared.

To prepare the Kativasthi compartment, finely grounded black gram flour is put in a bowl followed by warm water. It is then kneaded well to prepare a bolus which will be used to prepare the compartment in a way that it can accommodate the lumbar vertebrae, the sacroiliac joints, and the tailbone.

The compartment constructed on the back is now sealed with wet flour and a small amount of warm and medicated oil is poured onto it to see if there’s any leakage. Once it is confirmed that the oil isn’t leaking, more oil is added to fill the space within the compartment.

The oil used for Kativasthi isn’t heated directly. Instead, it is taken in a small bowl and placed over a vessel containing hot water. During the procedure, the oil needs to be at a uniform temperature, so, the oil from the compartment is taken out at intervals and replaced by the oil that is being warmed over hot water.

In the end, the compartment is removed and a gentle massage is given.

Duration of the treatment

The entire procedure takes about thirty minutes.

Oils used for the treatment

Ksheerabala tailam, Ashwagandhabalalakshadi tailam, Pinda tailam, Mahamasha tailam, Mahanarayana tailam, Balashwagandhadi tailam.


  • Chronic Backache
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatic arthritis and osteoarthritis of the hip
  • Lumbar spondylosis
  • Degenerative spine changes
  • Compressed discs and spinal nerves
  • Degenerative spine changes


  • Fever
  • Pregnancy
  • Acute Sinusitis
  • Acute alcohol intoxication
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome

Kativasthi Benefits

  • Alleviates pain and inflammation
  • Cures degenerative diseases
  • Reduces pain from sciatica, spinal disc herniation
  • Helpful in the treatment of disorders of the vertebra and chronic backaches
  • Recommended for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, disc bulge, and lumbosacral strain
  • Strengthens the nerves as well as the bones, muscles, and ligaments
  • Improves blood circulation in the lumbosacral area
  • Lubricates the joints and ease muscle spams

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