Objective: Interventions such as physiotherapy and ergonomic adjustments play a major role in the treatment of most work-related complaints of the arm, neck, and/or shoulder (CANS). We evaluated whether conservative interventions have a significant impact on outcomes for work-related CANS. Study Design and Setting: A systematic review was conducted. Only (randomized) trials studying interventions for patients suffering from work-related CANS were included. Interventions may include exercises, relaxation, physical applications, and workplace adjustments. Two authors independently selected the trials, assessed methodological quality, and extracted data. Results: We included 26 studies (in total 2,376 patients); 23 studies included patients with chronic nonspecific complaints. Over 30 interventions were evaluated and 7 main subgroups of interventions could be determined, of which the subgroup "exercises" was the largest one. Overall, the quality of the studies appeared to be poor. Conclusion: There is limited evidence for the effectiveness of exercises when compared to massage, adding breaks during computer work, massage as add-on treatment to manual therapy, manual therapy as add-on treatment to exercises, and some keyboards in people with carpal tunnel syndrome when compared to other keyboards or placebo. For other interventions no clear effectiveness could be demonstrated.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2006.05.006, hdl.handle.net/1765/36323
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Verhagen, A.P, Karels, C.H, Bierma-Zeinstra, S.M, Feleus, A, Dahaghin, S, Burdorf, A, & Koes, B.W. (2007). Exercise proves effective in a systematic review of work-related complaints of the arm, neck, or shoulder. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology (Vol. 60). doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2006.05.006