Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance
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.

Publicity

Throughout April, the Institute of Osteopathy has been promoting their #LoveYourHealth social media campaign, showcasing key health and wellbeing messages with the public. The focus of the campaign was to provide practical advice and tips to help people make informed decisions to improve their health.

#LoveYourHealth, which was centred around International Osteopathic Healthcare Week, showcased new patient-facing resource pages that the iO has recently developed around a number of key themes:

  • Getting active
  • Healthy aging
  • Sleeping better
  • Health at work
  • Understanding persistent pain

The focus of the social media campaign was to promote the positive role that osteopathy plays in supporting the health of our patients.

You can access the resources at www.iosteopathy.org/osteopathy-for-health and support the campaign by using #LoveYourHealth on social media. We would like to thank sincerely the members of ARMA who supported this campaign and shared #LoveYourHealth messages with their followers.

See #LoveYourHealth on Twitter.

On 20 March 2018, Arthritis Research UK hosted its first parliamentary event of the year, sponsored by Andrew Bowie MP. The drop-in event attracted almost 50 MPs, alongside MP researchers, who came to find out how they can support constituents affected by arthritis.

Thank you to everyone who took our e-action in advance of the event, and asked their MP to attend. It certainly made a difference, with some MPs saying they only knew about the event because their constituent had raised it with them. If you’d like to support our work in this way, you can join our campaigner network.

MPs from across the UK spoke to people living with arthritis, learned about the services we offer, talked with our research team about our current projects and success stories, and discovered how many people in their constituency are affected by arthritis. Attendees also had the opportunity to try on our arthritis gloves which simulate the mobility restrictions arthritis can cause in hands.

Read the full article here.

 

In celebration of International Osteopathic Healthcare Week, in April the iO will be running a month-long social media campaign entitled #LoveYourHealth. During this campaign, the iO will be sharing with members of the public, key life style messages to help them make informed decisions around how they can better look after their health.

Data from the National Council for Osteopathic Research, Patient Reported Outcome Measures study has found that 50.4% of people who visited an osteopath had been experiencing symptoms for 13 weeks or more (61.1% were seen within three days of requesting an appointment.)

About #LoveYourHealth
Today’s society places ever-increasing demands on the time of our patients, from the pressures of juggling a career, household chores, and caring for loved ones, we appreciate that it can be difficult for patients to find time to concentrate on their own health. It is often only when a person’s health begins to suffer, and their body forces them to slow down that they then seek osteopathic treatment.

The aim of our #LoveYourHealth campaign is to highlight to members of the public that by simply taking some time for themselves every day – to eat healthily, drink more water, exercise and focus on their wellbeing – it will ultimately reduce their risk of developing a more serious health condition in the long term.

Osteopathy focuses on creating an environment that supports the health of our patients and we have created #LoveYourHealth, with its focus on positive messages for overall optimal patient health, to align with our osteopathic principles. Osteopaths are ideally placed to provide health advice and guidance to aid people in making the changes proposed by our #LoveYourHeath campaign, and it demonstrates to members of the public that osteopathic practice is about far more than treating bad backs.

The importance of physical activity
Around two thirds of men and around half of women in the UK meet the minimum recommended national levels for physical activity. Our #LoveYourHealth campaign will focus on how much physical activity people should do, how they can get started or become more active and the positive influence that physical activity can have on their health.

Sleep
Did you know that 1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by insomnia? Everyone knows the feeling after a bad night’s sleep, from irritability to unproductivity, but longer lasting sleep disruption can have a much more significant effect on our patient’s mental wellbeing and physical health. The #LoveYourHealth campaign will provide useful information and tips to patients to help them improve their sleep and reduce their risk long term of serious health problems.

Managing long term conditions
Pain, whilst unpleasant, can be a very useful sensation to have. Short term – or ‘acute’- pain helps us learn from our experience, to protect us from future injury. In some circumstances, however, pain may persist even after healing has finished. Our #LoveYourHealth campaign will provide informative hints and tips to patients who maybe struggling with chronic or persistent pain or have a long-term condition such as Arthritis or Osteoporosis.

Heathy eating
We know that being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight can also affect your health too. Whether your patient wishes to lose weight and improve their health, reduce their reliance on sugar or get the balance of their diet right, our #LoveYourHealth Campaign with positive heathy eating messages can support them in making long term life style changes.

Heathy aging
Everybody gets grey hair and wrinkles as they get older. In the same way, it is normal for our muscles, bones, joints and associated tissues to change as we age. Our #LoveYourHealth campaign will focus on ways of keeping active, preventing common problems such as falls and managing conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatic pain and osteoporosis.

Osteopaths! We need your help to promote this campaign, here’s how can you get involved:

  • Follow the Institute of Osteopathy on social media and share our #LoveYourHealth posts with your followers.
  • Create your own health messages using the hashtag #LoveYourHealth and encourage your patients too as well.
  • Display the #LoveYourHealth centre fold poster in your clinic
  • For patients who are looking to make improvements to their health why not ask them to visit www.iOsteopathy.org/LoveYourHealth

ASone wins European Award

NASS is delighted to announce our ASone website is the inaugural winner of the EULAR Young PARE Youth Award.

In summer 2017 NASS launched ASone, a platform aimed at young people with AS. It’s a community where young people can share their thoughts, feelings and experiences. ASone covers a range of issues including studying, relationships, managing AS and exercising.

Read more about ASone from the NASS website.

 

Axial Spondyloarthritis Seminar

NASS welcomed 40 osteopaths and chiropractors to our inaugural Axial Spondyloarthritis Seminar on 21 February.

Hosted by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the programme included talks from Dr Karl Gaffney (Consultant Rheumatologist), Mandy Rush and Andrea Lucchetti (Chiropractors), Zoe Clark (Osteopath) and Sally Dickinson from NASS.

All of the talks were met with enthusiasm and Dr Gaffney led a lively discussion around the most recent developments in AS and the issues that the groups of healthcare professionals face in referring people with suspected AS to a rheumatologist.

Read more about the event here.

The January edition of The Hypermobility Syndromes Association e-news is available here.

The HMSA will continue raising funds for their ‘Giving GPs the Tools’ campaign (outlined in the December ARMA newsletter) until 31st May 2018. The campaign, which will help people with heritable disorders of the connective tissue, and other hypermobility related health problems access appropriate care more easily, is allowing the HMSA to develop new information and a resources guide. The funds will also assist with the continuing development of professional training in the conditions we support. We have new plans, based on the ‘HMSA Kent Model’, which will make it far easier to transport to other geographical areas, you’ll find more about this in the next HMSA Journal, due in late Spring.

If you would like to read more, visit this post on the HMSA website.

The annual #HMSAware campaign will be largely focused on the ‘GP Tools’ campaign this year. You can follow this on twitter at #HMSAware and also see the #HelpUsHelp feed.

On 28 November 2017, the UK Gout Society joined forces with Welsh Assembly Members, doctors and other charities to help raise awareness of gout in Wales.

Speaking at the Welsh Assembly, Rhun ap Iorwerth AM, the Plaid Cymru Health Spokesperson who hosted the event, said: “The impact of musculoskeletal conditions in Wales is huge and we have a big job to limit that impact. Working together to raise awareness of gout must play a part. We know that gout is often seriously undertreated and greatly misunderstood.”

Arthritis Care Wales and the UK Gout Society called for the British Society for Rheumatology’s recent guidelines for managing gout to be fully implemented in Wales.

High profile parliamentary attendees included the Chair of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee; the Minister for Social Care; and the Leader of Opposition and Welsh Conservatives.

Two leading gout experts also spoke about the burden of gout and diagnosis and treatment: Professor Ernest Choy, Head of Rheumatology and Translational Research, Cardiff University; and Dr Martin Bevan, Lead Clinician, Consultant Rheumatologist, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg UHB. Two people living with gout also talked about how gout affects their everyday lives and the importance of seeking help and support from a health professional.

#shoutaboutgout

UK Gout Society’s Friends newsletter

Logo-for-UK-Gout-Society

Take a moment to see the January 2018 edition of the UK Gout Society’s ‘Friends’ newsletter, which includes articles on:

  • New Year Charity Symphony Orchestra raises gout awareness on BBC South Today TV
  • Gout and Diet – how certain foods containing quercetin can reduce your uric acid levels
  • Meon Valley Orchestra – 10 March 2018, Fundraising concert in Portsmouth

Click here for the newsletter in PDF.

There are many reasons for organisations working in collaboration with others. Over the years I have worked to influence health and care policy I have seen many changes which could never have happened if organisations had not worked together on issues of common concern, even where opinions may differ on other issues.

Bone and Joint week 2017 in October showed how, with a bit of co-ordination, we can work together to speak louder than any one organisation alone. Bone and Joint Week is an international opportunity to raise awareness of issues related to all things musculoskeletal. It also contains days for arthritis, spinal, paediatric bone and joint conditions and osteoporosis. There was a lot of planned activity by different ARMA members.

ARMA co-ordinated social media activity to raise awareness of the week but also to amplify members own campaigns. NHS England and Public Health England got in on the act, publishing a blog post from ARMA Chair, Tony Woolf, to launch the week, and supporting the activity on twitter. By sharing our plans, ARMA enabled small organisations without much social media capacity to take part in celebrating the week and organisations with their own plans to reach a bigger audience. Everyone benefits from the increased impact.

We can see what a difference working together made. Compared with last year’s BJA week we saw around 30 times more reach, more people clicking through to our information, more retweets. But it doesn’t stop with one week. Across the whole year, ARMA will be working to enable our members to support each other and enabling increased debate and profile for musculoskeletal issues.

Why not get involved? Here are three things you can do:

Get involved – there’s strength in numbers.

On Wednesday 11th October, NRAS launched its new report, Work Matters, following a survey of over 1,500 people with rheumatoid arthritis.

The launch took place in Parliament and was attended by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work- Penny Mordaunt MP, who spoke about the importance of work as a health outcome. The findings from this report will form much of NRAS’ campaigning going forward.

You can read the report here and can also order a hardcopy from this link.

World Arthritis Day

To celebrate World Arthritis Day and the ‘Don’t Delay, Connect Today’ campaign, we launched a new video to raise public awareness about the importance of early recognition, diagnosis and treatment in RA. The video was done in collaboration with Sandoz and the Oxford Academic Health Science Network. You can view the #AngryHand video on the official website.

The National Osteoporosis Society has a busy few days in the run up to this year’s World Osteoporosis Day on 20th October generating lots of activity in the local and national press on the charity’s social media channels.

The day was also used to highlight progress of the charity’s A Message to My Younger Self Campaign after President Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall’s own message was reported in a number of newspapers including The Daily Telegraph and Woman & Home magazine.

In addition, the charity also secured coverage in a number of local newspapers and radio stations as support groups in Portsmouth and Conwy lit up local landmarks in National Osteoporosis Society brand orange.

In a message to her younger self, she counselled eating a healthy diet with lots of vitamin D and taking plenty of exercise to ward off the bone-weakening condition.

The Duchess said that as a young woman she had been “blissfully unaware” of the causes and devastating effects of osteoporosis, but warned that it is too late to attempt to build up bone strength beyond the age of 30.

One of the challenges of promoting musculoskeletal health is the lack of profile in policy and amongst the public. This is where ARMA can really come into its own. By using the strength of our combined voice to amplify our key messages we can make more of an impact. You can join this combined voice and make us even more powerful.

It was great to see how many ARMA members supported the CSP’s initiative for older people’s day focused on falls prevention. By retweeting their animations we all helped to increase the reach. Another older people’s day initiative by a group of ARMA members and Public Health England pulled together five key messages around living well for longer, combining our efforts to have a louder voice.

I would encourage all readers of this newsletter to help with our next initiative – Bone and Joint Week, running 12–20 October. Many ARMA members have their own campaigns, alongside an ARMA twitter campaign throughout the week with infographics to illustrate key messages. Just follow @wearearma and use #boneandjointweek2017. NHS England and Public Health England are also supporting the week. If every reader of this newsletter were to tweet during the week our reach would be enormous, helping to raise the profile of MSK.

This isn’t just about making our voice heard on twitter. We can combine forces to influence policy as well. One example is concerns about rationing of joint surgery. The ARMA session at this year’s BOA Congress heard that 73 CCGs have policies on access to joint replacements that bear “little or no resemblance” to NICE guidelines. The audience was enthusiastic about surgeons and the BOA, joining forces with ARMA to raise this with politicians and the media. There are many other issues where a strong ARMA with involvement of members could make a real difference.

Unfortunately, in a world of scarce resources, it is often those who shout loudest who get priority. ARMA is here to make sure that your voice is loud enough.

NRAS will be launching its work report, Work Matters, in Parliament on 11th October. We are delighted that the Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt MP, will be joining us at the event. You can follow the proceedings live on twitter by following @NRAS_UK. The report will then be available to order or download from the NRAS website.

Upcoming NRAS events

The Cambridgeshire RA information evening will take place on 19th October from 7pm to 8.30pm (refreshments from 6.45pm) with the support of the rheumatology team at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust. This free event takes place at The Cass Centre on the Cambridge University Press Site (CB2 8BS). The meeting is open to anyone living with RA as well as their family members, carers, and health professionals.
If you wish to attend, please email groups@nras.org.uk or call Kim or Gill on 01628 823 524.

Rheum for You comes to Swindon and Wrexham

On World Arthritis Day, NRAS will be holding its first Rheum for You conference of the year at Wrag Barn Golf Club in Swindon. The next one after that is in Wrexham on 8th November. At both events we will have representatives from the local rheumatology teams as well as NRAS staff giving a range of excellent talks. 

For more information call Emma on 01628 823524 or email membership@nras.org.uk

NRAS Christmas Cards now on sale!

Our NRAS Christmas cards are now on sale! Featuring seven delightful designs including our new JIA card designed by Eilidh Milne, aged 8, who has JIA. Packs are still just £4 for 10 cards and delivery is still free of charge! Order yours today here!

Older People’s Day is celebrated on 1 October across the UK to coincide with the United Nations International Day of the Older Person (UNIDOP).

The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance is proud to join people across the world on Older People’s Day in celebrating the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society.

The CSP has assembled a page of Older People’s Day promotional material, presentations for healthcare professionals containing falls data and custom exercises for older people, and resources to help set up your own OPD event.

You can follow Older People’s Day on Twitter via @OlderPeoplesDay and #OlderPeoplesDay.