This is a category taken from the full feed of Musculoskeletal and Arthritis news provided by ARMA's members.
  • The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) is the umbrella body for the arthritis and musculoskeletal community in the UK, and our mission is to transform the quality of life of people with musculoskeletal conditions. We have 40 member organisations ranging from specialised support groups for rare diseases to major research charities and national professional bodies.

Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health – GMUSC

News from the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health regarding – 

  • the transition to Berlin from the United Kingdom;
  • the change in leadership;
  • and the arrangements for the G-MUSC Symposium and Annual General Meeting:
    Venue: Berlin, October 22nd – 23rd 2017

For more details on these items, open the G-MUSC Update in pdf.

In early August, ARMA has published a Policy Position Paper titled:

‘Rationing’ Access to Joint Replacement Surgery and Impact on People with Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions [document opens in pdf]

It deals with the damaging nature of thresholds and scoring tools, the problems of waiting times and restricted access to surgery, and how patients with musculoskeletal conditions are affected.

The Alliance is drawing attention to worrying trends in treatment access and the paper makes clear the key outcomes we are seeking from CCGs and the NHS.

Sunday 22nd October – Monday 23rd October 2017,


“Integrated Care for Older People – The Path to Universal Health Coverage”
in partnership with the German Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation

After many months of planning, the Global Alliance For Musculoskeletal Health are happy to announce that the G-MUSC Symposium and Annual General Meeting will be held in Berlin from 22nd – 23rd October, 2017.

The meeting will be jointly held in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) with support from the Federal Ministry of Health of Germany and the Japan Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. The WHO Global Consultation meeting will have as its focus “Integrated Care for Older People – the path to Universal Health Coverage.”

The G-MUSC meeting will begin on Sunday, 22nd October. On the Monday morning G-MUSC delegates will participate with the WHO consultation group in a shared session. Monday afternoon content will include NAN-hosted workshops for the group to share experiences of collaborative working related to musculoskeletal health and ageing which will directly feed into the WHO Meeting.

As an outcome of our G-MUSC Symposium, at the request of the Federal Ministry of Health of Germany, we will be developing a ‘consensus document’ regarding the importance of musculoskeletal health and maintaining mobility over the life course and the role of integrated care in delivering this. As you know, maintaining mobility and a healthy musculoskeletal system is essential for quality of life and is particularly important in older people. This document will help to support the prioritisation of musculoskeletal health in the WHO Healthy Ageing work. We look forward to your input into the development and finalisation of this consensus document during October.

Please note that there will be an ICC Meeting on Saturday 21st October in the afternoon and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health will be held in the afternoon of Monday 23rd October.

Please MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW and register your interest by contacting

Further details will be provided shortly regarding venue, location and meeting agenda, as well as a call-out to all NANs for update posters.

Bone & Joint Action Week is our opportunity to highlight the importance of musculoskeletal health and the need to effectively prevent and manage conditions which affect it.

During this week there are dedicated days to highlight major rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions:

12 October: World Arthritis Day

16 October: World Spine Day

17 October: World Trauma Day

19 October: World Pediatric Bone & Joint Day

20 October: World Osteoporosis Day

The Bone & Joint Decade, the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, gives an overarching theme for the week as well as encouraging active support of the individual days.

World Arthritis Day (WAD) – 12th October 2016


EULAR are running a campaign for WAD on ”The Future In Your Hands’, encouraging people to share their stories about how they have taken action to live their life to the fullest with a rheumatic or musculoskeletal disease (RMD) and support others with RMDs.

Get involved via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and join the conversation with the hashtag #WADstory.
Find out more at

National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS) campaign:

NASS-2015-logo-square-smallSee the NASS campaign

Follow on Twitter with @NASSexercise.


Share Your Everyday campaign

aruk-2016-new-logoKicking off on World Arthritis Day this October, Share your Everyday will run for six weeks.

Following the same format as last year, the campaign will give people with arthritis an opportunity to share their experience of living with arthritis – we want to hear how they push back the limits of arthritis to make their everyday life better.


World Spine Day – 16th October


World Spine Day is an initiative of the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, coordinated each year by the World Federation of Chiropractic.

This year the theme is “Straighten Up and Move” which accords with evidence supporting optimum care for spinal disorders and the World Health Organization’s focus on physical activity as a way to combat a range of health disorders including cardiovascular disease, obesity and, of course, musculoskeletal disorders.

For information and resources about how organisations can get involved go to

World Trauma Day – 17th October


World Trauma Day began in 2011 in New Delhi with the purpose to set a day aside to consider the impact, prevention and treatment of traumatic injuries and deaths.

World Health Organization (WHO) research has shown that at least 50 percent of road deaths occurring in developing countries could have been prevented with effective intervention after trauma has occurred, including immediate pre-hospital care.

World Pediatric Bone & Joint Day – 19th October


World Pediatric Bone and Joint (PB&J) Day, developed by the multi-disciplinary Pediatric Specialty Group of the United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) features educational stories on important bone and joint-related conditions and their impact on children.

The USBJI Pediatric Specialty Group’s goal is to identify the primary areas of concern with regard to children’s musculoskeletal health and to develop programmes and activities through research, education and advocacy.

Share your event or the day on Facebook or via Twitter @USBJI.

bjd icon smallThe Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health is pleased to announce the first internationally-informed Framework for Developing and Evaluating Musculoskeletal Models of Care.  This has been developed by a team of Australian researchers in partnership with the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health. 

Models of Care are guides or policies that outline the principles of care for particular conditions and how to implement that care in a local setting.

The Framework is intended to help those tasked with planning, implementing or evaluating health services to achieve an optimal Model of Care and its sustainable implementation. While the World Health Organization has developed a guide to assist nations in assessing capacity for responding to the burden of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and lung diseases, this Framework assists nations specifically address musculoskeletal health challenges through Models of Care.

Led by Associate Professor Andrew Briggs (Curtin University, Australia), the Framework was informed by experts from 30 nations, representing high, middle and low-income economies, using a phased research approach. The USBJI was represented by Dr. Kelli Allen, co-chair, and Dr. Tom Best, member, of the USBJI Chronic Osteoarthritis Management Initiative Steering Committee. 

As Governments and other agencies worldwide recognize the immense burden of disease associated with musculoskeletal conditions, Models of Care will become increasingly important as a system-wide response. The Framework will help to support development efforts in Models of Care and offer an approach to standardizing evaluation.

Download: Executive Summary here  [copy attached]
Download: Full report here [copy attached]
Register your details here to receive updates about the Framework, other resources and opportunities to participate in further work related to the Framework.

BJD Framework for Developing and Evaluating Musculoskeletal Models of Care | ARMA Post, 4th July 2016

bjd document cover

The first internationally-informed Framework for Developing and Evaluating Musculoskeletal Models of Care has been developed by a team of Australian researchers in partnership with The Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health.

What are Models of Care?

Models of Care are guides or policies that outline the principles of care for particular conditions and how to implement that care in a local setting.

Who is the Framework for?

The Framework is intended to help those tasked with planning, implementing or evaluating health services to achieve an optimal Model of Care and its sustainable implementation. While the World Health Organisation has developed a guide to assist nations in assessing capacity for responding to the burden of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and lung diseases, this Framework assists nations specifically address musculoskeletal health challenges through Models of Care.

How was the framework developed? BJD-2015-square

Led by Associate Professor Andrew Briggs (Curtin University, Australia), the Framework was informed by experts from 30 nations, representing high, middle and low-income economies, using a phased research approach.

Why is it important?

As Governments and other agencies worldwide recognise the immense burden of disease associated with musculoskeletal conditions, Models of Care will become increasingly important as a system-wide response. The Framework will help to support development efforts in Models of Care and offer an approach to standardising evaluation.

ADWoolf-x200_nlby Professor Anthony Woolf, Chair of ARMA and Chair of the Bone and Joint Decade: A Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health

Musculoskeletal conditions continue to be the greatest cause of disability in the UK according to the Global Burden of Disease study [click for summary], accounting for 30%. Low back pain is the greatest specific cause of disability and osteoarthritis is increasing with ageing of the population and increasing obesity. We, the MSK community, have always known the impact these problems have on people and society but now policy makers cannot escape from the facts and have to come up with policies to prevent and manage them more effectively.

The drivers for political action are not just numbers of years lived with disability due to MSK conditions but the economic impact this has due to loss of work and independence. People are living longer and need to be able to work into older ages and maintain their independence. But with ageing physical function declines and people collect long-term conditions like children collected postage stamps. Society cannot afford to look after them. 

It needs to be recognised that musculoskeletal health is essential to general health and well-being and more invested in maintaining it. Promoting physical activity and ideal body weight is important but the gain for musculoskeletal health needs to be more transparent – people think it the main danger from obesity is diabetes but the risk of OA is just as great. We need other solutions to offer the policy makers to reduce the future burden. We know a lot of the “whats”, like early diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis, but we need more examples of the “how” to demonstrate how it can be achieved in a cost-effective way.

We also have to work as an MSK community as no individual person or group can deal with the spectrum of MSK conditions and deliver the integrated care many need. The burden of disease data along with the current political context gives us a great opportunity to present ourselves as a community with solutions to offer – at last policy makers are asking for this and we have to meet the need.

Findings of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, from the Lancet.
More about the Bone and Joint Decade, including recent posts.

BJD-bannerKey dates and activities during BJD Action week 12th to 20th October 2015 are:

Monday 12th October               World Arthritis Day (WAD)

‘It’s in your hands, take action’ – EULAR PARE are asking people to take action for WAD share virtual High 5s on social media, using the hashtag #WADHigh5.

Lots of other activities are also running, see for full details.


Friday 16th October                  World Spine Day

With back pain and neck pain one of the most common reasons for sick leave from work the focus of the day is helping people to maintain good spinal health and prevent workplace injuries. Take a photo of “your back at work” demonstrating a healthy spine habit and share using #spineselfie, #worldspineday.

See for more details and download these tips on how to keep your back healthy.


Tuesday 20th October             World Osteoporosis Day  

Show your support by wearing white on World Osteoporosis Day. The National Osteoporosis Society are also running a campaign to encourage people to buy special orange laces, put them in their trainers, walking boots and shoes, and to get active in order to keep their bones healthy and strong.

Find out more at and please share with friends, colleagues and family using the #laceupforbones. The charity are also running three free ‘Tie’ Chi events in Bath, Nottingham and Portsmouth which will include a flash mob of orange lace wearers.

BJD-squareThe Bone & Joint Decade is moving forward by renaming itself The Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health. This better represents what it is – organisations coming together in countries around the world to make musculoskeletal health a priority. It continues to be led by an International Coordinating Council with networks of organisations working together at a national level around the world. ARMA is the National Alliance for the UK and acts as an exemplar of what is needed in each country.

National Alliances such as ARMA are the formal voting members of the Global Alliance but regional and international organisations will be able to join the Alliance so that we can all work together on the common mission of gaining priority for musculoskeletal health. The first Annual General Meeting of the Global Alliance will be held in Oslo at the time of the World Network Conference, 8th and 9th October 2015. For further information see

world-spine-day-bannerEvery year on October 16th, people from around the world join together to raise awareness on World Spine Day (WSD) as part of the Bone and Joint Decade’s Action Week.


To raise awareness on World Spine Day and in accordance with the “Straighten Up and Move” theme, the BJD are asking people to take a photo of their spine and share via social media using #worldspineday, #spineselfie. Photo should be tasteful, creative and help to raise awareness for healthy spine habits. Photos can be shared on the World Spine Day Facebook, Twitter (@World_spine_day) page or via email

Spinal disorders, such as back pain, neck pain, scoliosis and disc disease are common, and they can have a profound effect on a person’s overall health, impacting a person’s ability to work, to enjoy everyday activities, even disrupting healthy sleep patterns.


Facts about spine disorders:

  • In recent Global Burden of Disease Study, low back pain ranked highest in terms of disability, and sixth in terms of overall burden
  • Up to 80% of people will suffer from back or neck pain during their lives.
  • 50% of the working population will experience back or neck pain symptoms at least once per year.
  • Age is one of the most common risk factors for spinal pain, and the greatest effects of population ageing are predicted in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Back and neck pain is one of the most common reasons for workplace sick leave.


The good news is that many of these common problems can be avoided!
For more information visit the World Spine Day website at

For more information about the Bone and Join Decade- Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health and the Action Week visit


Global burden of disease studyOf non-communicable diseases in the EU and EFTA countries, musculoskeletal disorders now show the largest increase on the health of people, and account for almost 30% of all disability.

This is according to the EU and EFTA Regional Results (released November 13th 2013) from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study. It shows that there has been an increase in NCDs for the EU and EFTA countries from 83.31% in 1990 to 86.14% in 2010, measured by DALYs.

BJD-squareRead the full EU and EFTA GBD Press Release, Nov 2013.

Read more about the UK data from the Global Burden of Disease study.

BJD-bannerWelcome to the first e-newsletter of the Bone and Joint Decade and the first update for 2013

2012 was another year of achievement; we continued to grow our relationships with the WHO, to develop our network and to encourage and support projects that raise awareness, priority and improve musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. The World Network Conference in Vietnam gave us an opportunity to build our regional activities in South East Asia including The Philippines and South Korea. There was also publication of the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study which has identified the enormous burden of disability caused by musculoskeletal conditions in all regions of the world.

The New Year brings changes to the Decade including a brand new website which aims to be a powerful vehicle to further our goal of raising awareness for musculoskeletal conditions. We are also spreading our news via Twitter and Facebook (find out how to join us below).

We will keep you updated with all of our news every 2 months. Please enjoy reading about our activities and future plans and inform us of any activities promoting the goals of the Decade which you would like to share with others.

Best wishes,
BJD Secretariat

2012 World Network Conference

This year’s world network conference held in Ho Chi Minh City centred on the theme of ‘Working Better Together’ with a focus on developing and implementing a multi-professional and multidisciplinary approach to the prevention and management of musculoskeletal conditions as well as advocacy in partnership.

Speakers from a wide variety of disciplines addressed the topic of “working better together”; the guiding principles of which were discussed and debated by delegates at an interactive workshop session.

Interaction is an important part of the culture of the Bone and Joint Decade and the interactive contribution from delegates and speakers alike was an important ingredient in the success of the conference.

To read the full report and have access to presentations given at the conference please click here

WHO Activities

The BJD has been invited to participate in a `Dialogue on Strengthening Self-Care of Non-communicable Diseases’ to be held at the World Health Organization, Geneva, on 3rd April 2013. The WHO has just completed its first evidence based guideline on Self-Care of Major Non-communicable Diseases. They believe that well informed and organised self-care could bring many benefits to individuals, patients, families, health workers, governments and society as a whole. Self-Care is particularly important for non-communicable diseases as most of them are long-term conditions that afflict people, sometimes for a lifetime. Self-Care helps people to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing by empowering them through access to information and counselling, through imparting of skills and through appropriate policy action.

The BJD is well positioned with its multi-professional membership to take a key role in these talks and intends to develop an Expert Group in Self Care and Management. As Self-Care is also on the agenda of the European Commission to cope with the growing burden of long term conditions, the BJD will stand in good stead to respond to the next Call for Action. Models of Self-Care that evolve from our Expert Group are intended for multi-national use and will be appropriate for implementation in less developed countries around the globe.

Disability and Rehabilitation
The BJD is currently participating in an online consultation for a disability-inclusive Post-2015 Development Agenda as part of the WHO’s preparatory process for the United Nations High-level Meeting on Disability and Development “The Way Forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond”. This will result in an action-oriented outcome document in support of the aims of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This meeting will take place on 23 September 2013 at the level of Heads of State and Government.

MSK Topic Advisory Group (TAG) for revision of ICD-10
Topic Advisory Groups (TAGs) serve as the planning and coordinating advisory body in the update and revision process of the International Classification of Disease (ICD). The primary charge of each group is to advise the WHO in all steps leading to the revision of topic sections of ICD in line with the overall revision process.

The BJD forms a major part of the TAG commissioned by the WHO to undertake a revision of the ICD-10 towards ICD-11 in the area of musculoskeletal conditions and is greatly supported by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association.

Global Burden of Disease Report

New data on the burden of musculoskeletal diseases has emerged from Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study. This new data delivers important ammunition in the fight to influence public health and decision makers.

Current results show that musculoskeletal disorders are the second greatest cause of disability globally and have increased from 4.7% in 1990 to 6.8% (global DALYs) in 2010. Low back pain is estimated to be the leading cause of disability (YLDs) in the world and is the 6th highest contributor to the global burden of disease overall (DALYs). Meanwhile, Osteoarthritis of the knee and hip are the most rapidly rising major conditions in the last 20 years.

These results are a stark demonstration of the large and continuing shift in global disease burden away from communicable to non-communicable diseases and away from premature death to years lived with disability. This rising burden from non-communicable diseases which include musculoskeletal conditions will impose new challenges on health systems.

Since its launch in 2000, the Bone and Joint Decade has worked to gain recognition for the burden of musculoskeletal conditions throughout the world. We all need to use this crucial new evidence of its enormous and growing burden to further underpin our campaign to make musculoskeletal conditions a public health priority.

The Global Burden of Disease 2012 Study is published in the Lancet please click here for more information.

If you would like to compare the data from the Global Burden of Disease and analyse the world’s health levels and trends in one interactive tool please click here.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is an EU Framework Program for research and innovation, running from 2014 to 2020 with an €80 billion budget, and is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe. One of the main aims of the programme is to strengthen the EUs position in science with a dedicated budget of €24,598 million. This will provide a boost to top-level research in Europe, including an increase in funding of 77% for the European Research Council. The European Parliament Leading Committee on the Horizon 2020 programme discussed the burden of certain chronic conditions, and explicitly mentioned rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions as an area in need of attention. This is a major development for the musculoskeletal community as MSC’s will now be prioritised in the next EU Research Programme.

To read more please click here

News from the Networks

Our National Action Networks (NANs) are the core of our organisation, bringing together all stakeholders at a national level. To improve communication and support between these networks the BJD will be developing country specific NAN pages where all NAN news and information can be displayed on the website. These pages can include links to websites, contact information, latest newsletters, relevant stories and anything you feel is important as a National Action Network. This will be an on-going process and we are very happy to receive news, newsletters and any other information you would like to have displayed on your page at any time.

To catch up on the latest news from NANs around the globe please check out the following links.

Bone and Joint Canada (BJC)
Click Here

The Pakistan Society for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PSRD)
Click Here

Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) UK
Click Here    

Bone and Joint Initiative USA (USBJI)
Click Here

Bone and Joint Australia
Click Here   

Bone and Joint Decade Thailand
Click Here  

NAN in focus: The Philippines

Following the World Network Conference in Ho Chi Minh, there was a meeting of the BJD National Action Network in the Philippines, with Professor Woolf to discuss how we can together gain priority for musculoskeletal health. The Philippines NAN has a broad involvement of stakeholders from orthopaedics, rheumatology, rehabilitation and patient organisations. Local initiatives were discussed, which focused on raising awareness, public knowledge, training healthcare workers, and prevention through exercise and avoiding road trauma.

Two of the programmes currently organised by this network are:

ARMS (Applied Rheumatology Made Simple) which is a learning module (lecture-workshop) for non-rheumatologists that aims to enhance efficient health care delivery for rheumatic disease patients, by promoting and strengthening partnerships and networking between the rheumatologist and primary care physician / non-rheumatologist.

Living Well which provides structured workshops for patients  (RA/ PsA / SpA/ SLE) and caregivers aims to strengthen active participation in the management of their condition and to enhance their coping mechanisms in various aspects ie physical, spiritual, psychosocial, emotional.

Opportunities for the Philippines to take an active role in some key activities of BJD Global were identified, including;

• Country Fact Sheet
• Health professional education and training, including specialist nurses as “patient coaches”
• Self-management programme
• Advocacy training
• Schools programme

We look forward to our future collaboration with this network.


BJD Global Initiative in focus

The UWEZO rheumatology training project is a collaboration between Kenya, UK and Sweden that is supported by the BJD. The project is a musculoskeletal health training initiative which aims to train expert physician and patient teams who work together in their region of Kenya to deliver musculoskeletal training to primary healthcare providers. It was funded by grants from ILAR and others.

Since the first training delivered in March 2012 the project has educated 19 trainers (10 doctors and 9 patients) who have delivered training to 411 health providers in 9 locations across Kenya.

The project has been very successful in making front-line health workers more aware of musculoskeletal conditions and their management. It has also contributed greatly to the up-skilling of an enthusiastic group of physicians and patients. For those individuals who have collaborated on the project it has been a unique opportunity to increase professional skills through the development of resourcefulness, improved teaching skills, greater awareness of working with limited resources and enhanced team skills.

With a second stream of funding just granted from ILAR the project hopes to continue the training across more regions in Kenya and expand the programme to include more specific aspects of self-management and self-care. The intention is to implement this programme into other countries where there is a severe shortage of kills in the management of MSC’s.

Please visit our website for more information about our dedicated Work Programme 2012-2015

Save the Date: WNC July 11-13, Rio de Janerio, Brazil

The worldwide musculoskeletal health and science community will gather in Rio between July 11-13 for the Bone and Joint Decade World Network Conference 2013. The conference will focus on how to effectively prevent disability by prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries.

• Symposium and workshops on how to improve the “trauma chain” from the point of injury to re-integration back into society.  Participants will share experiences of what are the best systems to ensure optimal outcomes for the injured person. This will be in collaboration with the WHO.

• Symposium on best practices to promote musculoskeletal health in the workplace, in partnership with Fit For Work.

• Symposium on best practices for the modern management of fragility fractures, including prevention of further fractures, in partnership with the Fragility Fracture Network of the Bone and Joint Decade.

• Summit meeting for key opinion leaders from Latin America and beyond from orthopaedics, rheumatology, rehabilitation, public health, patient organisations and others from relevant backgrounds to develop a joint action plan for advancing the agenda for musculoskeletal health in the region.

• Workshops for BJD National Action Networks to consider and agree how to work together nationally and regionally to advance the prevention and management of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries.

For more info please click here