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 33 member organisations ranging from specialised support groups for rare diseases to major research charities and national professional bodies.


Last year, ARMA members helped Glykeria Skamagki, the senior lecturer in Physiotherapy at Coventry University, with the first stage of a study into chronic musculoskeletal conditions and their management at the workplace. The results were very interesting and now to follow-up the researchers are conducting a survey to identify the strategies that older employees use to manage chronic musculoskeletal conditions at the workplace.

The aim is to understand the problems highlighted at the interview stage, explore the opinion of the larger population, and ultimately to help people work better. All these become especially important since the changing of the retirement age and state pension age.

An introduction to the research project is available here, and you can participate in the ‘Survey on chronic musculoskeletal disorders’ via this link.

IMplementation of Physical Activity into routine Clinical pracTice in Rheumatic Musculoskeletal Disease

The IMPACT-RMD study aims to raise awareness on the importance of physical activity in people with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs). The goal is to help and support managing healthcare practitioners to understand more about physical activity as well as incorporate/include physical activity advice in clinical consultations.

Physical activity has multiple different benefits for RMDs, including better quality of life, better fitness and sleep, less fatigue and pain while it can also reduce inflammation. We believe it is necessary that alongside medication, physical activity is used to better manage symptoms.

There is a team comprised of research experts and patient organizations from across seven countries, with support from the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and the EULAR People with Arthritis and Rheumatism (PARE) organizations.

You are invited to participate in the study by filling-in the survey questionnaire.

The is survey, which takes no more than 10-15 minutes to complete, requests information on symptoms and the affect the have every day, as well as questions on physical activity.

Your feedback is important to us and will be used to develop a proposal and recommendations on specific interventions that will be centred on the patients’ needs.

Participation is entirely voluntary. The IMPACT-RMD has also developed the questionnaire in such a way that all the data you provide are anonymous. There are no correct or wrong answers, since your personal view on the topic is requested.

This project will provide useful information that will improve significantly clinical management and disease symptoms for RMDs. Email any questions directly to the principal investigator: or the researchers that will be responsible for the data collection and analyses: and  

A team of researchers and clinicians from the University of East Anglia’s School of Health Sciences and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are looking for contributors/partners to help in their next project. The project would involve an application for NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (tier 3) funding.

Their aim is to develop a computerised tool to support physiotherapists and patients working together in a more holistic and patient-centred way. Their intention is to work together to improve the outcomes that are important for patients.

Please contact Rachel Chester [] PhD, Lecturer in Physiotherapy or Helena Daniell [], Research and Practice Development Lead Physiotherapist.

The ARMA Alliance with Versus Arthritis and the British Orthopaedic Association voiced its concerns previously about rationing of joint replacement surgery for people with MSK conditions. ARMA published a position paper on this in 2017.

So what does the latest data tell us about hip surgery? In June, Deborah Ward and Lillie Wenzel from the policy team at The King’s Fund published a blog post: ‘A new trend in elective hip surgery’. They examine the trend in hip replacements, health gain and health gain reported by patients and interpret these trends. Are the trends symptoms of a service under pressure?

Read their article in full via the King’s Fund website.

Exploring the perspectives of young patients with chronic, inflammatory arthritis on patient-reported outcome measures

Having completed Phase 1 of the YoungPro project (focus groups in four different European countries with young people with inflammatory arthritis and the first Task Force meeting), EULAR has developed a survey to be spread across Europe to gather additional information around this topic.

The European League Against Rheumatism Task Force aims to incorporate the perspective of young people with inflammatory arthritis in patient reported outcomes (PROs). To reach this goal, we intended to identify common themes that are important to young people with inflammatory arthritis and to explore if they are covered by the most commonly used PROs. Questionnaires and rating scales are referred to as patient‐reported outcome measures and are completed by patients to reflect their individual perspective. They have become an integral part in assessing disease activity and the impact of disease on individuals and by that influencing treatment decisions, ideally taken together between the patient and the physician.

The study team consists of international rheumatology researchers, health professionals and patient research partners. Currently used patient-reported outcome measures (such as those looking at pain, fatigue and physical functioning) may not capture everything that matters to young people with arthritis.

For this reason, the survey is designed for young people (aged 18 to 35 years) with inflammatory arthritis (including juvenile idiopathic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, spondyloarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and Still’s disease). Those having been diagnosed with one of these conditions are welcome to take part in the survey. Those above the age of 35 are also welcome to take part in this survey. This information will then be compared to the younger age group.

This survey consists of two parts:

  1. A section asking general questions about you and your health;
  2. A second part, asking about personal experiences with patient‐reported outcome measures.

In order to maximise the reach and overcome the language barrier, the survey was translated in 7 languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Russian).

It takes about 15 minutes to complete the survey and EULAR is sincerely thankful for your support in spreading the survey to reach as many people as possible!

Find the questionnaire here:

On 8 May, Versus Arthritis published a new policy report looking at the impact of home aids and adaptations for people with arthritis, and the barriers that people face when trying to access them. Read the full report here, which includes powerful stories from people with arthritis who benefit from aids and adaptations.

We found that aids and adaptations – from perching stools and grabbing tools, to grab rails and stair lifts – can help people with arthritis, and related conditions such as back pain, achieve a better quality of life and maintain their independence in the home.

60% of all people with arthritis, across all genders, ages, and severity of condition, used an aid or adaptation. Of those, 95% felt that these products had a positive impact on their lives. However, too few people are aware of the support available to them. 

The report makes recommendations to both local and central government that would help widen access to these vital services.

Action is needed to tackle £646 million burden of bone, joint and muscle problems, a new ARMA report says.

construction-work-related-pieIndustry leaders called for action to tackle the huge burden of bone, joint and muscle conditions on people in the construction industry, in a report released today (30/05/2019). Physically demanding work means the construction industry has one of the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorders costing £646 million every year – accounting for over three-quarters of all occupational ill-health costs.

The report from the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) followed a roundtable meeting of industry leaders. The key issues identified were:

  • Prevention – requires proactivity and understanding people’s motivations to change behaviour.
  • Early support helps bone, joint or muscle disorders, but people first need to feel comfortable talking openly about them, not as a sign of weakness and without fearing job loss.
  • SMEs – In construction, small companies employ many workers, including transient workers. Solutions could include building control officers, who go on every site, flagging issues with smaller companies, or larger employers influencing supply chains to prioritise this.

report document coverAdrian Shah-Cundy from VolkerWessells UK, a speaker at the roundtable said,

VolkerWessels UK are proud to be lead sponsor on this initiative. We recognise the need to refocus efforts on the continued issue of MSDs in construction, as part of our responsibility to maintain a workplace free from injury and ill-health. This is a challenging subject due to the physical nature of our activities but, as the figures demonstrate, as an industry we still have a way to go to practically improve working practices and preventive measures. We welcome the opportunity to work with, and learn from, a diverse range of stakeholders for the betterment of health and wellbeing.

Industry leaders concluded that all employers needed:

  • a musculoskeletal disorders action plan, developing awareness of bone, joint and muscle problems beyond just manual handling;
  • awareness of MSDs and to encourage open conversations and support when employees are struggling;
  • routine monitoring of employee musculoskeletal health and wellbeing.

The full report, Musculoskeletal Conditions in the Construction Industry, is available here from 30 May 2019.

VolkerWessels banner

io logoIn March, the Institute of Osteopathy posted two case studies on the MSK Hub. These two impact reports constitute research relevant to osteopathic practice and would be of interest to osteopaths and other allied healthcare professionals and potential patients.

Effectiveness of osteopathy in an occupational health setting
This impact report demonstrates that integrating osteopathic care into an occupational health setting effectively reduced the number of work days lost to sickness absence and strongly indicate that osteopathy is a cost effective approach in this setting.

Osteopaths in secondary care spinal unit: impact report
To determine whether inclusion of osteopathic practice in a multimodal NHS service within a secondary care spinal unit (Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham (QMC)) is safe, effective and what the patient experience of such interventions is.