This study describes the validation and application of a comprehensive questionnaire (the shoulder pain score) in assessing pain experienced by patients with shoulder complaints. The shoulder pain score comprised six pain symptom questions selected from the literature, together with a 101-Numerical Rating Scale (NRS-101). The score was tested in a follow-up study of 101 patients with shoulder complaints. The coefficient for the internal consistency of the shoulder pain score was 0.82. A factor analysis disclosed two factors: one containing the NRS-101 with the "active" items of the shoulder pain score and another containing the "passive" items. The shoulder pain score gave a reliable impression of the pain experienced and proved to be a useful instrument for following the course of the disorder over time and giving an indication when a patient feels cured.