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

Tag: back pain

The 2020 Backcare Awareness Week runs from 5-9 October.
The theme for this year’s campaign is Back Pain in Nursing.

The campaign will, with the assistance of BackCare‘s flagship publication Handling of People (HOP6), prevent significant back injuries in the Nursing profession. Many nurses will benefit from training which is provided by the National Back Exchange organisation.

Display packs are now available to order from the BackCare webshop. The pack contents include:

  • Back pain in Nursing – New A5 booklet
  • Back pain in Nursing – New A3 Poster
  • Talkback Special Awareness Week Edition
  • Talkback back issues
  • Flyer on Facts
  • Link to free downloadable content
  • Balloons and leaflets for display

Visit the Backcare Awareness Week page on the BackCare website for updates.

NICE has published the final guidelines on Low back pain and sciatica in over 16s: assessment and management. Supporting evidence, tools and resources as well as all the stakeholder comments are available. NICE said the comments were invaluable in refining the guidelines. NICE produced an equality impact assessment too.

NICE included the recommendations of this guidelines in the NICE Pathway on Low back pain and sciatica in over 16s: assessment and management. There is an interactive flowchart which brings everything together from the guideline. There’s also brief information about the guideline for people using services, carers and the public at ‘Information for the public’.

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has worked with ESCAPE-pain and the Health Innovation Network to develop two e-learning resources, aimed at helping healthcare professionals and exercise instructors understand the principles behind the ESCAPE-pain programme – facilitating group education and exercise sessions for people living with chronic joint pain and learning how the programme may be implemented in their organisation.

What is the ESCAPE-pain programme?

ESCAPE-pain is an evidence-based and cost-effective group rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain. Designed to increase physical function and improve quality of life, the programme integrates education, self-management and coping strategies, with a personalised exercise regimen for each participant.

The ESCAPE-pain programme can be delivered in a variety of locations including outpatient physiotherapy departments, leisure centres and local community settings by healthcare professionals and exercise instructors.

To deliver either of the ESCAPE-pain programmes, professionals are required to attend facilitator training. The training is open to healthcare professionals and exercise instructors who meet the pre-qualification criteria.

e-Learning resources

There are two ESCAPE-pain programmes designed to support people living with chronic knee and hip pain, and people living with chronic back pain. The research, evidence and endorsements for each programme can be found on the ESCAPE-pain website.

The e-learning resources are aimed at:

  1. Helping interested providers determine how ESCAPE-pain may fit within their organisation and to begin the process towards implementation.
  2. Professionals who plan to deliver the programme and become ESCAPE-pain facilitators.

Each e-learning session takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete, with the aim of improving providers’ understanding of what the programme involves and to prepare for the facilitator training.

More about ESCAPE-pain

ESCAPE-pain was chosen by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) as one of seven programmes to support national implementation between 2018-2020. As the support cycle came to an end, this e-learning project was funded to increase awareness and allow potential providers from across the country, to access information and support for the programme.

The e-learning was commissioned by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and developed by Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare, in collaboration with ESCAPE-pain and the Health Innovation Network.

Please see the website for more information about the ESCAPE-pain programme and recommended reading.

Accessing the e-Learning

If you would like to know more about the programme, including access details to the e-learning sessions, please email the team at: for more information.

I’ve read a few things about how hard it is to get going after the festive break, or “blue Monday” part way through January, rumoured to be the most depressing day of the year. I’ve had a very different experience this year with a positive start to 2020. January has involved conversations and planning for our 2020 activities. Lots of positivity from members and stakeholders means I’m optimistic and looking forward to a successful year.

One of the things our members want to focus on is multidisciplinary working – how different MSK professionals can work better together, with each other and with patients. People with MSK conditions need us all, from skilled surgeons to support from others with the same condition. MSK health is all about teamwork. With the introduction of Primary Care Networks there’s a lot more focus on teamwork and networked services, so the wider NHS agenda is moving in the right direction. We just need to make sure that PCNs make MSK a priority.

One aspect of our work where multi-disciplinary working is vital is pain. One thing I’m proud of this month is the publication of the report from our roundtable on pain. Feedback so far has been very positive. ARMA has two angles on the subject of pain. We want to see people with chronic pain have access to biopsychosocial support. We also want to reduce the delays in treatment for conditions which cause pain, whether that’s timely access to joint replacement surgery or reducing delays in diagnosis of MSK conditions. Both sides of this will form part or our work plan this year.

We get very positive feedback about the resources we produce, especially this newsletter and our webinars. We are aware that there are many people working in MSK who don’t yet know about them. So if you know of colleagues who might benefit, please forward this newsletter, or share on social media. The more we come together, the stronger we become.

Designing care for people living with both mental health problems and persistent back and neck pain

by Jenna Collins, Marketing and Communications Manager, Q Labs, The Health Foundation

In September 2018, the Q Improvement Lab (part of the Health Foundation) and Mind embarked on a year-long collaboration to understand how care can be improved across mental health and persistent back and neck pain.

The Q Lab and Mind have recently shared the first insights from this work, drawing on the experiences of over 100 collaborators to give an overview of why this challenge warrants attention and promising opportunities to improve care. A small number of organisations are now developing and testing ideas and the findings will be shared later this year.

Read essays, learning and insights from the Mental health and persistent back and neck pain project.

NASS was delighted to launch the NASS Allies referral template, in conjunction with the Institute of Osteopathy and Royal College of Chiropractors, at the Primary Care and Public Health Conference on 15 and 16 May. The template was developed to help chiropractors and osteopaths in recommending referral for patients with suspected inflammatory back pain to rheumatology.

The template has been endorsed by the Royal College of GPs and Chartered Society for Physiotherapy. NASS is grateful to both the Institute of Osteopathy and Royal College of Chiropractors for their continued collaboration and wonderfully patient-centred approach.

Save Our Pools

NASS is working with a number of organisations, including several ARMA members, on developing a campaign to sustain and in some cases, save, hydrotherapy pools around the country. If you are interested in being involved, please email Please also sign and share the petition to save the pool at Bedford Hospital.


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

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.