5 Indications that You Should See an Orthopedic Doctor for Your Shoulder Injury

February 21, 2024 | By: Raleigh Orthopaedic Team

Shoulder injuries are not only painful but can also significantly impact your daily activities and quality of life. Whether you’re experiencing discomfort from a sports-related incident, repetitive strain, or a sudden accident, knowing when to seek professional help is crucial for effective treatment and recovery. Here are five indications that it’s time to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic doctor for your shoulder injury:

1.Persistent Pain: If you’re experiencing persistent shoulder pain that doesn’t improve with rest, ice, or over-the-counter pain medication, it could indicate a more serious underlying issue. Orthopedic doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating a wide range of shoulder injuries, including rotator cuff tears, shoulder impingement, and dislocations. Seeking timely medical attention can help identify the root cause of your pain and prevent further complications.

2.Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty moving your shoulder joint or performing everyday tasks such as reaching overhead, lifting objects, or getting dressed may indicate an injury that requires medical intervention. Orthopedic specialists can assess your range of motion, conduct diagnostic tests such as X-rays or MRIs, and recommend appropriate treatment options tailored to your specific condition.

3.Swelling or Bruising: Swelling, bruising, or noticeable changes in the appearance of your shoulder joint following an injury are signs that you should see an orthopedic doctor. These symptoms may indicate soft tissue damage, ligament tears, or inflammation within the joint. Prompt evaluation by a medical professional can help prevent further swelling and facilitate a faster recovery.

4.Instability or Weakness: If you’re experiencing shoulder instability, characterized by a feeling of looseness or a sensation that your shoulder may “pop out” of place, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly. Orthopedic doctors can assess the stability of your shoulder joint and recommend appropriate interventions, such as physical therapy, bracing, or surgical repair, to restore strength and function.

5.Difficulty Sleeping: Shoulder pain can significantly disrupt your sleep patterns, making it challenging to find a comfortable position and obtain restful sleep. Chronic sleep disturbances due to shoulder discomfort can impact your overall health and well-being. Consulting with an orthopedic specialist can help identify the underlying cause of your sleep disturbances and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to alleviate pain and improve sleep quality.

Remember, early intervention is key to preventing further damage and achieving optimal outcomes for shoulder injuries. If you’re experiencing any of these indications, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic doctor who can provide expert evaluation, diagnosis, and personalized treatment options to help you get back to doing the activities you love. Your shoulder health is too important to ignore!


The Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic board-certified, fellowship-trained shoulder surgeons bring together many years of experience to diagnose and treat even the most complex shoulder conditions for patients of all ages. The shoulder specialists at Raleigh Orthopaedic are dedicated to providing specialized bone, joint, and muscle care when you need it. Our providers are available to treat patients in six clinic locations across Wake County. We also offer urgent care hours without an appointment for acute orthopaedic concerns.

Shoulder doctor in Garner

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.