African American patient sitting on examination couch and complaining on shoulder pain to doctor in clinic

Do You Need to See a Shoulder Specialist?

Shoulder injuries are extremely common. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, shoulder injuries account for about 2.5 million doctor visits each year in the United States alone. Many people suffer from shoulder pain and don’t even know it, because the shoulder is a relatively “hidden” joint. The good news is that most shoulder injuries can be treated without surgery, but you may need to see a specialist to get the best care.

Deciding to see a shoulder specialist can be a difficult one. When you have shoulder pain, it can be hard to determine if seeking professional help is necessary or not. Here are some tips on how to know when it’s time to consult with a shoulder specialist:

Persistent Pain:

Your symptoms persist over time. If your shoulder pain has been present for more than a few days and is not improving with home treatments, it could be time to seek professional help. Pain is not something that you have to live with forever!

Everyday Discomfort:

Your pain is affecting your everyday life. If you’re having difficulty completing everyday tasks due to shoulder discomfort, then seeing a shoulder specialist may be the best option.

If you have shoulder pain that radiates down your arm, or if the pain is accompanied by numbness or tingling, it’s important to seek professional help. These are signs that you may have a more serious shoulder injury that could require surgery. Don’t try to tough it out – getting the proper treatment is essential for a speedy recovery!


You’ve experienced an injury. Whether your injury seemed small or large, if the pain does not go down in a few days, you may have done some damage that requires the help of a specialist. Shoulder injuries such as dislocations, fractures, or sprains can be very serious and require the attention of a shoulder specialist.

Doctor Recommendation:

Your doctor has recommended one. If your primary care physician suggests seeing a shoulder specialist, you should consider making an appointment.

By consulting with a shoulder specialist, you will receive an accurate diagnosis of your shoulder pain. The specialist will also develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific condition.

This could include medications, physical therapy exercises, stretching, lifestyle modifications, or even surgery if necessary. Seeing a shoulder specialist can help you manage your shoulder condition in the short term and prevent long-term complications.

The ultimate decision to see a shoulder specialist should always be made alongside your healthcare provider. They will provide guidance and advice on whether consulting with a shoulder specialist is needed or not. If you think you need to see a shoulder specialist, be sure to speak with your doctor first.

By taking the time to research and understand what a shoulder specialist can do for you, you will be able to make an informed decision on whether this type of consultation is right for you. With the help of a healthcare professional, you can get an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan to manage your shoulder pain.