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


A new paper published [24 October 2018] in the Lancet highlights regional imbalances in health and reveals the huge burden of disability linked to long-term conditions such as low back and neck pain, anxiety and depression, highlighting the need for health services to adapt to managing these conditions. 

The study uses GBD 2016 data on mortality, causes of death, and disability to analyse the burden of disease in the countries of the UK and within local authorities in England by deprivation quintile.

Changes in health in the countries of the UK and 150 English Local Authority areas 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

Read more and download this paper from Lancet website.

Arthritis Action has released the findings from a nation-wide questionnaire-based study looking into the life impacts of arthritis on people of working age in Great Britain. The research, carried out by YouGov, surveyed 2074 people to reveal the effects that the condition can have on personal well-being, life satisfaction, and mental health.

It highlights the true impact of arthritis on the millions of people living with it every day, affecting all aspects of their lives, from their mental health to their family life, work, social activities, and physical health.

Read the report here (pdf).

Public Health England has commissioned the National Guideline Centre (NGC) to produce an evidence review of the literature on dependence, short term discontinuation and longer term withdrawal symptom from prescribed medicines, and their prevention and treatment.

The NGC is inviting stakeholders to submit research data or reports on two key areas to inform the review:

A) Collations of patients’ experi ences of the harms caused by prescribed medicines and ability to access and engage in treatment specifically relating to dependence, short term discontinuation or longer term withdrawal symptoms from the following prescribed medicines: opioids for chronic pain (excluding end of life /palliative care/cancer pain), benzodiazepines, Z-drugs, gabapentin and pregabalin (excluding epilepsy treatment), and antidepressants. (In England only).

B) Effectiveness and cost effectiveness of current examples of health/social service delivery models that prevent or treat dependence and the short term discontinuation or longer term withdrawal symptoms (opioids for chronic pain (excluding end of life /palliative care/cancer pain), benzodiazepines, Z-drugs, gabapentin and pregabalin (excluding epilepsy treatment), and antidepressants). (In England, as well as health service delivery models in other countries that might inform provision in England).

See details below of the requested information and the formats that will be accepted.

We would like:

  • Information published between 2008 and 2018.
  • Unpublished information related to research carried out between 2008 and 2018, including any ongoing research.
  • Reports which summarise / collate patient experiences e.g. organisational reports or internal evaluations of projects or services (the views, experiences and opinions of individual professionals, researchers, commentators or patients will not be able to be included, however).


We are especially interested in the following outcomes for part b:

  • Reduction/cessation in prescribed drug use
  • Successful withdrawal
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Use of healthcare resources
  • Health related quality of life
  • Patient / staff satisfaction
  • Social outcomes e.g.  employment, relationships, parenting
  • Reduction in disability


Sending information

For published information, send only the details (to include author/s, title, date, journal or publication details, including volume and issue number, and page numbers). Do not send a pdf/Word document or paper copy.

For unpublished information, send:

  • a link to any relevant trials registered with the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, or with the US National Institutes of Health trials registry
  • paper or electronic copies of other relevant unpublished information.

Highlight any confidential sections (unpublished research or commercially sensitive information) in unpublished information.

Email these forms with any relevant information by midnight on Tuesday 23 October 2018.

The NGC looks forward to receiving information and thanks you in advance for your help.

The Q Improvement Lab brings together organisations and individuals from across the UK to pool what is known about a topic, uncover new insights and develop and test ideas. The Q Lab and Mind have just started a 12-month project focusing on improving care for people with a long-term physical and mental health problem, specifically looking at the experiences of people living with both mental health problems and persistent back and neck pain.

Further details about the project can be found here.

The project is currently in the research and discovery phase where Q Lab is trying to get a better understanding of the topic and unearth the challenges and opportunities within this space.

The Insight Manager for this project, Hannah Patel, is seeking any research or materials linked to the topic of mental health problems and persistent back and neck pain which could support Q Lab in this phase of work. They are trying to gain as broad an understanding of this topic as possible, seeking multiple perspectives on the issue. Please contact if you can help.

Help us guide future research about problematic knee replacements

The British Association for Surgery of the Knee (BASK) is running a Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) in partnership with the James Lind Alliance (JLA). The aim of this process is to bring patients and carers together with a range of healthcare professionals. We want all groups to highlight uncertainties relating to the assessment, management and rehabilitation of ‘patients with a problematic knee replacement’. We will thereby identify future research questions and ultimately publish a list of ‘top 10 research priorities’. This will guide funders for future research.

What can you do to help?

If you have experience of problematic knee replacements as a patient, carer or professional: Tell us the top 3 questions you would like to see answered by future research at The survey goes live on Monday 10 September 2018 and we are hoping to get as many responses within the first month as possible.

For any queries or please email

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy launches a summer campaign which aims to tackle the growing issue of physical inactivity across the UK.

‘Love Activity, Hate Exercise?’ addresses the emotional as well as physical barriers millions of people with long-term conditions face in being more physically active.

The campaign is aimed at people aged 40-70 years old that are living with conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease, after research from the CSP found that more than 30% are completely inactive each week.

It was developed through a series of focus groups and research with patients and physiotherapists, and is designed to raise awareness of the expertise the profession has in getting people with long-term conditions more active.

CSP assistant director Sara Hazzard said: “We wanted to develop something that harnessed the expert knowledge our members possess to ultimately promote Physiotherapy and its unique role to improve the health of the nation.”

“Our research found that patients see physios in a really positive light but that they aren’t always associated with physical activity. So unlike campaigns that are often aimed at the general public, ours has been designed to reach the people who can be – or are already being – helped by their advice. It aims to take an empathetic approach and build on the trust that the public has for the profession.”

The CSP has developed digital content that is built around the specific barriers that were identified in the insight phase, along with practical advice on how those concerns can be overcome. Additionally a series of case study interviews will aim to inspire conversations between physiotherapists and their patients about activity levels.

For more information visit or join in the conversation on Twitter using the #loveactivity.

The MSK physio-themed review is now live.

Moving Forward – Physiotherapy for Musculoskeletal Health and Wellbeing  highlights evidence from the National Institute for Health Research and others on why research in this area matters, assessment and matching patients to treatment, restoring musculoskeletal health and maintaining musculoskeletal wellbeing.


It features:

  • 37 published studies
  • 25 ongoing research projects
  • Questions to ask your physiotherapy musculoskeletal services


You can download this review from the National Institute for Health Research website.

As part of our Clinical Networks Project, ARMA wants to find out what is happening to improve MSK services across England in order to see how we can best target our support for improvements. Please let us know what is happening in your area by completing this short questionnaire, which should take only five minutes to complete. The information is anonymous and we won’t name individual CCGs or STPs.

The report on the findings will give a national picture of what is happening and help all those working to improve services better target their work. Thank you for taking the time to respond to this survey. The information you provide will be used to help to improve services for people with musculoskeletal conditions.