This is a category taken from the full feed of Musculoskeletal and Arthritis news provided by ARMA's members.

Arthritis News

iO report into primary care MSK MDT management following osteopathic assessment.

The Institute of Osteopathy (iO) has published a new low back pain case study. The report investigates effective multidisciplinary team management and sciatica in a primary care setting, following osteopathic assessment.

Read more on the iO website.

NASP logoOctober saw the launch of a new National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP), to champion social prescribing and the work of local communities in connecting people for wellbeing. Its objectives include exploring new ways of sourcing statutory and non-statutory funding and brokering relationships between different sectors. Given the prevalence of MSK conditions, it is important that social prescribing has something to offer for MSK.

The NHS Long Term Plan includes plans to recruit over 1,000 trained social prescribing link workers by 2020 to 2021, with the aim of 900,000 people being referred to social prescribing schemes by then. In some parts of the country, patients with long-term conditions who have had access to social prescribing link workers have said they are less isolated, attended 47% fewer hospital appointments and made 38% fewer visits to A&E.

The Chair of the NASP is Helen Stokes-Lampard, who as a GP will be all too aware of the importance of MSK conditions to the NHS. ARMA will be working to raise MSK so that link workers understand the importance of MSK and the types of community support, including peer support from patient groups, which can help.

More information on the NASP website.

Bone and Joint Week in October helps get people thinking about one of the most widespread and pressing health issues of our times – musculoskeletal health and the role each person in improving it. This year ARMA’s member organisations, Public Health England, NHE England, NHS Confederation and many other organisations collaborated during the campaign using #Bonejointweek on Twitter to spread the message.

The daily infographics in this social media-led campaign were often retweeted, and we were pleased to be the most retweeted tweet on World Arthritis Day. The hashtag #BoneJointWeek was popular. Both NHS England and the NHS Confederation hosted blogs of Sue Brown, ARMA’s CEO. There were also popular vlogs from ARMA’s members. ARMA would like to thank its twitter followers for their huge support, its alliance members, policy, comms and social media officers it worked with, CEOs and everyone, which helped make the event a success.

ARMA joins Public Health England and the Centre for Ageing Better to make England the best place to grow old, because musculoskeletal health is vital to healthy ageing.

ARMA joined over sixty high-profile organisations in the UK’s health, housing, employment, research and voluntary sectors to launch a landmark shared vision on healthy ageing.

There are five key principles: prioritising prevention and public health; creating opportunities for people to contribute to society as they age; fostering accessible and inclusive homes and neighbourhoods so everyone can live where they want; narrowing inequalities in healthy ageing; and challenging ageist language, culture and practices.

This initiative is led by Public Health England (PHE) and the Centre for Ageing Better. We will work together with these and others because musculoskeletal health is vital to a good later life.

Find out more from the Ageing Better website.

In September, Public Health England published a report on their review of the scale, distribution and causes of prescription drug dependence, and what might be done to address it. This included findings on opioid use for non cancer pain. The report made recommendations for action to reduce the problems caused by dependency and stated that effective, personalised care should include shared decision-making with patients and regular reviews of whether treatment is working.

Long-term prescribing of opioids for chronic, non-cancer pain is not effective for most patients. PHE’s analysis shows that, in 2017 to 2018, 5.6 million patients were prescribed opioid pain medicines for non cancer pain and that there are large variations across clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). After a long increasing trend, the annual number of prescriptions for opioid pain medicines has slightly decreased since 2016. Prescribing rates for opioid pain medicines had a strong association with deprivation, being higher in areas of greater deprivation.

See the PHE website for more details of the report and the implications for patients.

NASS has just released a new series of videos showing how everyone living with axial spondyloarthritis (axial SpA) – including people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) – can fit some simple but very effective stretches into their daily life.

No Lycra. No trainers. No gym.

These videos were developed with with a group of specialist axial SpA (AS) physiotherapists from AStretch. They include stretches which patients can do in bed in the morning and stretches for while waiting for the kettle to boil, at the kitchen table and on the sofa to name a few. Everyone featured in the videos has a diagnosis of axial SpA (AS).

Watch them here.

NICE are developing Interventional Procedures Guidance: High tibial osteotomy using a magnetic rod device for insertion for precise alignment in early knee arthritis IP1762.

In medial knee osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the inner part of the knee joint wears away. This can cause the joint to become lopsided, which can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty bending and straightening the knee. In this procedure, a cut (osteotomy) is made in the top of one of the bones in the lower leg (tibia) and a magnetic nail is inserted into the bone. The nail can be rotated, lengthened or shortened using an external remote controller to adjust the shape of the leg. Once the bone is fully healed, the nail is removed. The aim of the procedure is to straighten the leg and relieve pain and maintain movement.

How to get involved:

Check the website to see how you can get involved. You may be able to help NICE in the following ways:

  1. Provide an organisations submission to share your views on the procedure by 22 January 2020
  2. Publicise the patient questionnaire with your network to encourage people that have had the procedure to share their individual views and experiences by 22 January 2020.
  3. Comment on the draft guidance – this will be made available on the NICE website following committee meeting one
  4. Publicise the public consultation, once open, on your website, social media streams, newsletter etc.

There will be two separate committee meetings to discuss this guidance. The first will be to discuss the evidence and produce draft recommendations, and the second will be to discuss the consultation comments.

Both committee meetings will be held in public. If you would like to observe these meetings then please register via the website.

About Interventional Procedures

NICE interventional procedures guidance covers two key areas:

  • the safety of the procedure or operation
  • whether it works well enough for use within the NHS

Recommendations about the use of interventional procedures are made to NICE by the Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee (IPAC). The Committee has 24 members, which includes two lay members, who are all independent of NICE.



Public Health England together with Keele University and Race Equality Foundation invite you to join us for the ‘Musculoskeletal Health and Inequalities’ webinar, on 14 November 2019, 10:00 to 11:00am.  

This webinar will discuss the findings from commissioned work looking at evidence on the differential effectiveness of PHE’s publication on return on investment interventions and what we know about their current level and patterns of provision and uptake. The webinar will then explore data sources to demonstrate these inequalities and discuss the evidence, quantitative and qualitative, on what MSK health inequalities exist for people with a Learning Disability and BAME groups. The webinar will draw on the qualitative informed conversations with BAME people living in England with MSK conditions, their families, and voluntary sector organisations who are supporting them.

To register for the event, please follow the Eventbrite link.

Please feel free to forward this invitation to your networks, colleagues and teams who share our vision to support the prevention of MSK.

 Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor George Peat, Clinical Epidemiology, Keele University
  • Justine Fitzpatrick, Head of Population Health Analysis, PHE
  • Donna Glover, Programme Manager, PHE
  • Jabeer ButtCEO, Race Equality Foundation