Shouldering the Pain

Sponsored by Stoughton Health

The inability to perform daily activities due to shoulder pain can be debilitating. At the OrthoTeam Clinic Shoulder Center in Madison and Stoughton, Dr. Ashish M. Rawal provides comprehensive shoulder care, identifying the cause of your shoulder pain and personalizing treatment to bring you relief and help you live your best life.

“Given all the things we ask our shoulders to do, it’s no surprise we see numerous injuries,” states Dr. Rawal, who is board certified in Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. “Overuse issues are very common.”

The ball-and-socket joint of your shoulder relies on a series of tendons, muscles and ligaments that allow you to do motions like raising your arm above your head, rotating your arm to scratch your back and throwing a ball. When an issue arises with any of the components that make up your shoulder, it can result in shoulder pain.

With older individuals, rotator cuff tears and arthritis can be the main shoulder issues.

Getting the Right Diagnosis

Dr. Rawal conducts a complete shoulder exam, and if needed, performs advanced imaging — an MRI or CT scan — to help confirm the final diagnosis. Listening to the patient, though, is crucial to an accurate diagnosis.

“In treating shoulder pain, the most important thing I can do is listen to my patient and let them tell me what has been bothering them. That helps me confirm my diagnosis,” says Dr. Rawal.

Got Pain? What to Try First

The first remedy to try is to modify activities and cease those that may be causing your shoulder pain. Anti-inflammatories like Advil or Aleve, ice and physical therapy are simple first-line measures to give a go before diving into involved tests or considering surgery.

Shoulder Surgeries

For most patients, shoulder surgery is elective. It can be done on their own timeline after weighing benefits versus risks and considering what happens if nothing is done.

“Once we have a diagnosis and we can safely say we’ve exhausted, in a reasonable way, all the conservative treatment options, that’s the point we can discuss if surgery is the next advisable step,” says Dr. Rawal.

“In the end, as a surgeon, I have to weigh all those different aspects and then help the patient make a good decision that works for them.”

Prevention Tips

“As you get older, one of the most important steps you can take is to properly stretch and warm up before performing recreational activities such as golf or tennis,” advises Dr. Rawal. Exercise programs should be balanced among all muscle groups to avoid potential injury.

When You Need Help

To restore comfort, strength and mobility to your shoulder, contact the OrthoTeam Clinic Shoulder Center. Stoughton Clinic: 608-877-3419 Madison Clinic: 608-231-3410

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