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.


Register for a new webinar

The next ARMA webinar is on ‘Addressing the burden of rheumatic and musculoskeletal foot and ankle pain.’

You can sign-up for free to this NHS England and ARMA webinar, to watch live or get a link to replay the recording when it suits your schedule.

Although foot and ankle pain affects an estimated 20% of the general population and this figure rises to around 90% in people with rheumatoid arthritis, they are frequently trivialised and overlooked. Podiatry and foot health services should, therefore, be a vital part of all MSK and rheumatology services but all too often that’s not the case.

This webinar will explore the role of podiatry in multidisciplinary rheumatology and MSK teams and provide examples of how foot health needs can be provided within clinical pathways.

The first presentation by Dr Mike Backhouse (University of York) will summarise the latest evidence regarding access to foot care services, update attendees on the latest guidelines, and provide examples of different models for delivering foot health services. Professor Cathy Bowen (University of Southampton) will then look at the early findings from a systematic review of guidelines for the management of foot health. She will discuss her recent analysis of the UK GP database of encounters and referrals for foot pain and arthritis. She will also present common themes emerging from interviews with GPs and commissioners, patients, and podiatrists and consider how foot health can be addressed in MSK pathways.


Dr Mike Backhouse has a background in podiatry having qualified from the University of Southampton, and over a decade of experience in applied clinical research. His research is highly multidisciplinary and ranges from large pragmatic clinical trials to imaging and mechanism of action studies, all of which aim to improve the lives of people with musculoskeletal disease and other long term conditions.

Professor Catherine Bowen has a specific education and research focus related to investigation and management of inflammatory and non-inflammatory arthritic manifestations within the foot and ankle. Catherine currently holds a UK NIHR Fellowship award investigating optimal models of foot care for individuals who have osteoarthritis (OA). As Professor in Podiatry at the University of Southampton and Honorary Lecturer at the University of Oxford, Catherine leads a multi-professional research partnership with a focus on MSK foot and ankle pathology.

Who should attend:

The webinar is aimed at commissioners and managers of MSK services and everyone involved in treating patients with MSK conditions affecting foot health.

Time for live webinar

10 May 2019, 12:30-1.30 pm

If you can’t join live, sign-up to get a link to replay the webinar recording at a convenient time.

Registration link:

Friday 29 March 2019, 3:00pm

The importance of integrating psychosocial care into the treatment of long term musculoskeletal conditions is well established. What would this look like in practice? Using the example of the 3 Dimensions for Long Term Conditions service at King’s Health Partners this webinar will cover why and how to provide and effective integrated service which benefits patients and works for clinicians. The 3 dimensions service is not an MSK service, but the approach would work equally well in supporting people with MSK conditions.

Depression is the most common co-morbidity among people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and the presence of depression can lead to a person’s pain and overall disability being worse. Yet in a recent survey of people with RA, 2 in 5 had never been asked by a healthcare professional about their emotional or psychological wellbeing. Twenty two percent had a diagnosis of depression, but 37% of these were not receiving treatment for that depression.

The webinar will cover why we need to integrate mental and physical healthcare, common psychological reactions and symptoms. It will describe an example of psychosocial integration using a stepped care approach and explore the challenges and successes of joint working.

Presenter: Dr. Lindsay Ip, Principal Clinical Psychologist at King’s Health Partners (KHP)

Who should attend: This webinar is for anyone involved in providing or commissioning services for people with long term musculoskeletal conditions.

Register for this webinar:

Managing women of child bearing potential living with chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease
Wednesday 3 April 2019, 2.30pm-3.30pm

This webinar will cover why it is important to appropriately plan a patient’s pregnancy journey, to minimise disease activity to ensure an optimal outcome for mother and baby, and how healthcare professionals can ensure they initiate conversations around family planning at an early stage.

Disease onset for patients living with chronic inflammatory disease (RA, PSA, axSpA and PSO), tends to overlap with peak female reproductive ages. Currently, many women receive inconsistent advice regarding family planning and treatment options during pregnancy. It is important to plan with patients early on and to initiate the discussions even if the patient is not currently planning to get pregnant.

High-disease activity and certain medications (such as NSAIDs and high-dose corticosteroids) have been shown to affect fertility. Active disease is also associated with an increased risk of complications. Adequate disease control before and during pregnancy is crucial to ensure the best maternal and foetal health. Patients who are well controlled during pregnancy are in an optimal position to prepare for birth and breastfeeding.

The webinar will cover:

  • Current challenges of family planning within this patient group.
  • The need to encourage earlier family planning discussions between patients and health care providers, even if the patient is not currently planning to get pregnant.
  • The importance of controlling the symptoms of disease/activity before, during and after pregnancy, to ensure optimal outcomes for mother and baby
  • Current guidelines and evidence-based medicine in the management of young women in their journey through to motherhood.

Who should attend:
Healthcare professionals with patients living with chronic inflammatory disease including rheumatologists, nurses, GPs, gynaecologists, obstetricians, midwives, pharmacists.

Register in advance for this webinar:

If you can’t join live, sign-up to get a link to replay the webinar at a convenient time.

ARMA webinars are free to access thanks to the support of our partners. We would like to thank UCB for supporting this webinar who have had no editorial control/input in its development.

Professor Peter C. Taylor MA, BM, BCh, PhD, FRCP, FRCPE, Professor of Musculoskeletal Sciences, Oxford University;
Professor Catherine Nelson-Piercy MA FRCP FRCOG, Consultant Obstetric Physician, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals Trust and Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital.

How to implement the National Back and Radicular Pain Pathway (NBRPP)

12.30 – 1.30pm Friday 8 March 2019

The webinar aims to support the implementation of the National Back and Radicular Pain Pathway. It will initially explain the pathway and present data from early implementers to help make the case for change in your local area. The physiotherapist who led the implementation of the NBRPP across Cheshire and Merseyside as part of the Walton Centre Vanguard Project will talk about her experiences, common barriers to implementation and strategies to overcome them.

Back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK, with lower back pain alone accounting for 11% of the total disability of the UK population as well as the largest cause of sickness absence.

The NBRPP is the product of a unanimous consensus of 29 stakeholders based on best evidence. Its objectives are to provide a streamlined care pathway for radicular pain and an effective, managed pathway for patients with low back pain. Value impact analysis has indicated substantial cost savings in early implementation in the North East. The Pathway is demonstrating improved clinical results in patient clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Who should attend: All professionals involved in the commissioning and delivery of spinal care.

Register in advance for this webinar:

Stephen Hodges, NHS RightCare
Samantha Davies, The Walton Centre

Sign up for the webinar rescheduled for 15 February 2019 at 12.30—1.30pm

The rescheduled webinar on Friday 15 February 2019 describes the set-up of the Telford Musculoskeletal Service and some of the problems encountered along the way, with the solutions used.

The Service is a single-point of access for rheumatology, pain, physiotherapy, orthopaedics and musculoskeletal services in the NHS within Telford. The service is a prime vendor type model with Shropshire Community Trust holding the main contract and sub-contracting to other NHS and Private providers in the locality.

The speaker is GP Dr Louise Warburton and medical lead for Telford MSK service, which sees a wide variety of patients with MSK and rheumatology problems. She has wide experience in a variety of roles related to MSK services including GP champion for Keele University working in Primary Care MSK research and dissemination. 

Who should attend? Commissioners, first contact practitioners, GPs, hospital consultants, physiotherapists, patients and patient organisations and charities.

The webinar is provided by ARMA and NHS England. Previous registrants do not need to register again.

ARMA webinars are free to access thanks to the support of our partners. We would like to thank Roche Products Limited and Chugai Pharma UK for supporting this webinar.

November has been a very active month for ARMA. Not just in the sense that we are doing a lot but also that a lot of it has been about physical activity, which seems to be exciting and uniting the MSK community.

The ARMA lecture featured three speakers with different perspectives on the subject. A wide range of people attended, bringing GPs into conversations with public health professionals, parkrun with sport therapists, pain specialists with the DWP, Sport England with Healthwatch. These are the sort of connections that happen at an ARMA event and the discussions continued long after the lecture was over. The following week we had a webinar on physical activity, with practical tools to help people with MSK conditions be more active. It proved the most popular webinar we have ever delivered.

There’s a lot of excitement around ARMA at the moment, not just about physical activity. We have a new strategy developed by the membership. It is clearer and more focused which should mean it delivers more impact. There’s a desire to focus on issues where we can be more effective working together than alone. We’ve had interest from potential new members, funders and people who want to work in partnership with us, so there will be no end of opportunities for us to collaborate in 2019.

We’re developing our workplan for next year, putting the strategy into action. It will be a balance between capitalising on opportunities and setting our own agenda. We will be working with NHS England and Public Health England, where MSK is now higher up the agenda, making sure the voice and expertise of all our members is heard. We will also be pursuing our own issues, one of which will be physical activity.

In my almost two years at ARMA I don’t think I have felt so much positivity. Policy change is slow, difficult and often frustrating. Collaboration can be the same. We often feel that things aren’t moving as fast as we’d like, that MSK doesn’t get the priority we know it deserves. Please do watch the lecture and the webinar. They express precisely how ARMA members’ activity, combined with that of external stakeholders, can make their different contributions, and work together to deliver something special.

I’m looking forward to working with you all in 2019. I hope to return after the Christmas break feeling as positive as I do now. There will be some exciting collaborations ahead and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve.

Get involved and help us find out.

A new way of delivering MSK pain service: Integrated Pain Assessment and Spinal Service

Tuesday 20 November 12.30

The webinar will describe the Integrated Pain Assessment and Spinal Service (IPASS) which started in 2016 in Berkshire West. It will describe the previous state of pain management in Berkshire West and the reasons for coming together as a system to develop IPASS. It will cover how joint working with a strong patient focus can improve outcomes, and outline the positive outcomes post IPASS which has been recognised by the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) for a Best Practice Award in 2016.

Dr. Antoni Chan
Consultant Rheumatologist and Associate Medical Director, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

Dr. Rupert Woolley
GP and CCG clinical lead for Planned Care

Anna Wylie
Operational service manager and Extended Scope Physiotherapist, Integrated Pain and Spinal Service

Register in advance for this webinar:

You can now see the video from our recent webinar in the Musculoskeletal Networks series:
Commissioning for Quality: Community-based Rheumatology Service

Presented by Erica Gould, Nurse Consultant at Community Rheumatology Service Modality Partnership, the webinar outlines how a community-based rheumatology service can provide effective management of rheumatology patients, with benefits both to the patients and the usage of clinical resources.

Findings from the pilot study demonstrated that patients requiring disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) can easily be managed in a community setting. A community setting with provision of the specialist skills provides patients with local, more convenient care and reduced disengagement. It also optimised the use of local resources – for example, moving some of the routine follow-up activity for rheumatology patients (such as drug monitoring) would undercut the tariff by 30%.

Visit the ARMA Webinars page to watch the presentation and discussion.