[Guideline 'Non-specific symptoms of arm, neck and/or shoulders']

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2013;157(21):A6249.
[Article in Dutch]


Complaints of arm, neck and/or shoulder (CANS) constitute an important health problem. Over one third of Dutch adults reported CANS in the past year, and over a quarter were suffering from CANS at the time of interview. Over 10% of sick leave days are also attributed to CANS. At the end of 2012 a multidisciplinary guideline was published with recommendations for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, care pathway and work participation for patients with non-specific CANS. The purpose of this guideline is to improve the care process and necessary multidisciplinary cooperation while facilitating communication with patients. The guideline starts with an update of the CANS model, resulting in an extension of the list of specific disorders to 36 diagnostic categories. A care pathway has also been developed, aimed at optimal timing of diagnosis and treatment and multidisciplinary cooperation. Through better diagnosis, patients with specific CANS get targeted treatments sooner. Better insight into treatment results will lead to the choice for effective treatments in cases of non-specific CANS, resulting in more patients receiving the most promising therapies.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ergonomics / methods
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / therapy*
  • Neck Pain / diagnosis
  • Neck Pain / prevention & control
  • Neck Pain / therapy
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Occupational Diseases / therapy
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Shoulder Pain / diagnosis
  • Shoulder Pain / prevention & control
  • Shoulder Pain / therapy
  • Sick Leave
  • Treatment Outcome