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Table 1 Collating of all reported symptoms, signs and instrumental assessment of signs of the 39 included studies on MSD case definitions

From: Diagnostic criteria for musculoskeletal disorders for use in occupational healthcare or research: a scoping review of consensus- and synthesised-based case definitions

MSD category Symptoms Signs Imaging
Non-specific LBP Acute ➣ Pain in low back [24, 26, 29, 38, 47, 48, 51] <  1 month [46] to < 12 weeks [36, 37, 39, 40].
➣ Muscle tension or stiffness in lower back [36, 39].
➣ Posterior irradiation not below the knee [46].
➣ No “red flags” (e.g. history of cancer, steroid use, fractures, infections) [24, 26, 36,37,38,39, 47, 48, 51].
➣ Neurological examination (Lasègue’s test and crossing Lasègue’s test) [40].
Not recommended [24, 26, 37,38,39,40, 48, 51].
Chronic ➣ Pain in low back > 12 weeks [28, 37,38,39,40, 43, 46]
➣ Recurrent: > 2 on an 11 point NRS for at least 24 h following a period of at least 30 days pain free [53].
➣ Muscle tension or stiffness in lower back [36, 39].
➣ Posterior irradiation not below the knee [46].
➣ No “red flags” (e.g. history of cancer, steroid use, fractures, infections) [36,37,38,39, 43, 48]
➣ Neurological examination (Lasègue’s test and crossing Lasègue’s test) [40].
Not recommended [37,38,39,40, 43, 48].
LRS ➣ Pain in low back [38, 39] <  1 month [46].
➣ Muscle tension or stiffness or weakness in lower back [39, 55].
➣ Posterior irradiation below the knee or anterior to the thigh [46].
➣ Radicular pain in 1 lower limb [25, 31, 55].
➣ One or more positive neurological test indicating nerve root irritation or neurological deficit (e.g. a positive Lasègue’s test at 60°) [25, 31, 38, 39, 55].
➣ Finger-floor distance of > 25 cm [55].
➣ Neurological signs (e.g. incontinence) [55].
Not recommended [39, 55].
SAPS ➣ Shoulder pain [7, 13, 20, 30] worsened by active elevation [7, 13].
➣ Weakness of shoulder muscles [20, 30].
➣ Stiffness of shoulder joint [30].
➣ Loose or unstable shoulder [30].
➣ Painful clicking, grinding or clunking in the shoulder [30].
➣ Positive (pain or weakness) on one or more specific tests (e.g. Neer’s sign test or Painful arc test) [7, 13, 20, 30].
➣ Retraction of tendon(s) to the glenoid rim, measured in either the coronal or axial plane, and/or ≥ 67% of the greater tuberosity exposed, measured in the sagittal plane, diagnosed either with MRI or intraoperatively [52].
Useful after 6 weeks of symptoms [13].
MRI [52]
CTS ➣ (Nocturnal) numbness of digits I, II or III [7, 22, 32, 33, 35, 49].
➣ Pain in hand, wrist and forearm [7, 49].
➣ Weakness/atrophy of thenar musculature [33].
➣ Tingling feelings in digits I, II or III [22, 49].
➣ Positive on provocative tests (e.g. Tinel’s sign or Phalen’s test) [7, 33, 35].
➣ Nerve conduction examination of the median nerve [22, 27, 35, 49]:
a. Sensitive neurography: > 8 m/s compared with ulnar nerve [22]
b. Distal motor latency: > 4.2 ms compared with ulnar nerve [22].
➣ Cut off > 8,5 mm2 of median nerve cross-sectional area [23].
NR
Elbow tendinopathy:
Lateral or medial
➣ Activity dependent pain around the lateral or medial epicondyle [7]. ➣ Local pain on resisted wrist extension (lateral) or on resisted wrist flexion (medial) [7]. NR
OA Hip ➣ Hip pain [41, 44, 50, 54].
➣ Restricted range of motion of the hip [50].
➣ Morning stiffness < 1 h in hip [50].
➣ Joint space narrowing [44, 50, 54].
➣ Kellgren-Lawrence grade ≥ 2 [41].
➣ Osteophytes [44, 54].
X-Ray [41, 44, 50, 54].
Knee ➣ Knee pain [21, 34, 41, 42, 44, 45, 54, 56].
➣ Morning stiffness < 30 min in knee [21, 34, 42, 54, 56].
➣ Crepitus in knee [21, 34, 42, 54, 56].
➣ Restricted range of motion of the knee [56].
➣ Bone enlargement or osteophytes [21, 44, 54, 56].
➣ No palpable warmth [21, 54].
➣ Joint space narrowing [44].
➣ Synovial fluid; clear and viscous; leukocyte count < 2000/ml [21, 34].
➣ Kellgren-Lawrence grade > 0 [45] or ≥ 2 [41, 42].
X-Ray [21, 34, 41, 42, 44, 45, 54, 56].
  1. Abbreviations: MSD (Musculoskeletal Disorder), LBP (Low Back Pain), NRS (Numeric Rating Scale), LRS (Lumbosacral Radicular Syndrome), SAPS (Subacromial Pain Syndrome), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome), OA (Osteoarthritis)