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.

Treatments & Therapies

What everyone working with back pain needs to know about Cauda equina syndrome

Friday 21 February 2020, 12.30pm

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a rare condition that affects the nerves in the spine supplying the bladder, bowel and sexual function. Identification and subsequent urgent action is required to avoid permanent damage to these essential organs. Delays in diagnosis can have devastating and life changing consequences for patients and result in high cost negligence claims.

This webinar will be of interest to any health professional treating patients with low back pain, particularly those seeing this patient group in pre-surgical settings. We will cover:

  • Definition of Cauda Equina Syndrome
  • Presenting Signs and symptoms
  • Examination for CES
  • Evidence relating to CES
  • Pathways of Care
  • Medico-legal issues relating to CES

Who should attend:

Clinicians, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, nursing staff, in fact anyone likely to come in to contact with people with back pain.


Laura Finucane, Consultant Physiotherapist, Sussex MSK partnership
Chris Mercer, Consultant Physiotherapist, Western Sussex Hospitals Trust

The Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (MACP) is a membership organisation of physiotherapists who have reached a recognised standard of excellence in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. We work to support physiotherapists managing people with musculoskeletal complaints and conditions in a range of settings (NHS, private practice, sport etc.). Our members promote excellence in musculoskeletal health and offer specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapy practice across the UK, with many working as first contact practitioners given their skills and expertise.

For more information about the MACP and how to join visit

Register for the webinar here.

BASRaT registrar Ollie Coburn has produced a short video illustrating his profession.

Sport Rehabilitators aid people with musculoskeletal pain, injury or illness. They help people to maintain their health and fitness, recover from and prevent injury and reduce pain using exercise, movement and therapy.

The video “Sport Rehabilitation brought to life in 38 seconds!” can be viewed here.

Draft Scope Consultation

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has been asked to consider an appraisal of guselkumab for treating active psoriatic arthritis after inadequate response to DMARDs ID1658.

NICE invited organisations to take part in the consultation to discuss the draft remit and scope. The organisations selected as stakeholders are listed here and the draft scope that is being consulted on can be found here.

The consultation closes on Wednesday 18 December 2019. If you have any queries regarding this scoping exercise or would like to be involved you can contact Michelle Adhemar, Scoping Project Manager at  

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.

The Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine (SOMM) has produced a short paper mapping capabilities within the published ‘Musculoskeletal core capabilities framework for first point of contact practitioners’* to the Society’s course provision.  

The domains identified within the framework provide categories for the capabilities that underpin first contact practice. Practitioners can be signposted to appropriate modules to facilitate the development of the advanced skills required for their MSK First Contact Practitioner (FCP) role. The Society’s programme of courses already accommodates key capabilities that learners across a range of health professions need, to be able to develop as FCPs. The ‘Theory and Practice of Injection Therapy’ module is currently emerging as essential to support the FCP role and provision has increased to fulfil demand.

As with the Society’s other advanced modules, the injection module builds on the principles and practice of the musculoskeletal medicine approach, as taught through the Society’s educational pathway, but is suitable for all allied health professionals practising at an advanced level in MSK.

The ‘Capabilities (MSK Capabilities Framework) Mapped to SOMM Courses’ paper can be viewed here.

* Health Education England. NHS England and Skills for Health 2018.  NHS England Publications Gateway Reference: 082896

Last October, Moving Medicine was launched by the Honourable Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The free, evidence-based resources, available at support high quality conversations on physical activity across a broad range of chronic diseases including musculoskeletal pain, inflammatory rheumatic conditions and primary prevention, to mention a few.

The resources are all developed with experts, healthcare professionals and patients, and are endorsed by professional bodies and charities, including ARMA. Whether you have 1 minute, 5 minutes, or more minutes to speak with patients about physical activity, Moving Medicine will help support this. 

For further information visit, contact us, or follow us on social: @movingmedicine on twitter, or @movingmedicineuk on Instagram.

by Catherine Holmes, National Service Improvement Manager, Anchor

I was thrilled to read Sue Brown’s (CEO, ARMA) September blog and the proposed plan for an event on physical activity. The importance and benefits of staying active is already widely accepted and understood in terms of maintaining joint movement, bone and muscle strength and this is especially important for residents living in care homes. The challenge for care is to create opportunities for people with a wide variety and often multiple and complex health needs such as musculoskeletal, limited or a lack of mobility and living with dementia to keep engaged and active. I believe the solution may require us to rethink what constitutes activity and movement within the context of the individual and use alternative methods including technology, where appropriate, to create a sense of achievement and wellbeing.

If we do this, we first need to accept that some residents may not feel inclined, able or confident to join in energetic physical exercise sessions to the beat of ‘Tiger Feet’ or that they may feel distressed and anxious being outside of the care home. This in turn should challenge us to look more closely and creatively at what could work, considering musculoskeletal and wider health needs such as individual ability and capacity, together with guidance from healthcare professionals. This may mean that participation in gentle, seated stretching exercises possibly on a one-to-one basis might provide an initial starting point, and the NHS website provides clear guidance. Technology is often perceived as an expensive option, but it certainly has a place in encouraging physical activity, especially where mobility is restricted. In Anchor care homes we are using Memoride  – technology based on google maps where sensors are placed to a fitness device such as foot pedals or rollers to enable residents to move through familiar streets or countryside at their own pace. We’ve also invested in OMI Vista interactive projectors which project onto communal tables, floors or bed trays encouraging residents to stretch and move as they engage with quizzes, games and therapeutic activities; all which link with visually stimulating reminiscence and music.

AgeUK states ‘our bodies were made to move and it’s a myth that getting older means an end to being active,’ which is something I genuinely believe to be true regardless of where or how you live. Whether it’s taking a walk in the garden, reminiscing about the plants and seasons, or creating stimulating environments in hallways which invite and intrigue our residents to keep moving onwards, we should recognise, encourage and celebrate all that is active in whatever context individuals can achieve.

Arthritis Action has launched a new webpage featuring arthritis-friendly exercises using animated images (GIFs). These chair-based strength and conditioning exercises were developed in partnership with wellbeing organisation Oomph!,  mobilising different parts of the body.

The exercises were designed with the aim to recondition and build mobility and confidence in people who have not been keeping active. The can be viewed on the Arthritis Action website.