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  • 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.

Tag: Bone and Joint Action Week

Bone and Joint Week in October helps get people thinking about one of the most widespread and pressing health issues of our times – musculoskeletal health and the role each person in improving it. This year ARMA’s member organisations, Public Health England, NHE England, NHS Confederation and many other organisations collaborated during the campaign using #Bonejointweek on Twitter to spread the message.

The daily infographics in this social media-led campaign were often retweeted, and we were pleased to be the most retweeted tweet on World Arthritis Day. The hashtag #BoneJointWeek was popular. Both NHS England and the NHS Confederation hosted blogs of Sue Brown, ARMA’s CEO. There were also popular vlogs from ARMA’s members. ARMA would like to thank its twitter followers for their huge support, its alliance members, policy, comms and social media officers it worked with, CEOs and everyone, which helped make the event a success.

Bone and Joint Week is over for another year, and what a fantastic week it was, thanks to the support of our members and key stakeholders. It’s a one week blitz of MSK messaging on social media, raising awareness and prompting action. This year we had an even bigger reach than ever. But it doesn’t end there.

We need to keep raising the profile of MSK for the other 51 weeks of the year. During the week there were ARMA blogs on the NHS England and NHS Confederation websites explaining the importance of MSK health to the NHS. MSK health isn’t just about osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, back pain, etc. It affects general health, prevents people being active, makes it harder for them to come home after being in hospital, means managing other conditions, taking medication are more difficult. The NHS might not count these costs as resulting from MSK, but they are; and it’s ARMA’s role, all year round, to keep reminding people of this fact.

We will keep talking about the importance of waiting times for joint replacement, the delays to diagnosis and effective treatment that many people with less common MSK conditions experience, the lack of mental health support and effective pain services. If you have diabetes, for instance, you will almost certainly have access to psychological support with anxiety and depression through an IAPT service locally. If you have an MSK condition, you probably won’t. Our recent webinar showed how to deliver a good IAPT-MSK pain service, presented by people who have done it, with lots of advice about how to go about it. If you don’t have one in your area, ask why not and signpost to the webinar.

ARMA is here to champion the cause of MSK health 52 weeks of the year. We can see it rising up the agenda – look at the profile of MSK in the Prevention Green Paper, for instance. There’s still a long way to go, but increasingly I find people are listening. The wide range of support for Bone and Joint Week and the increasing number of stakeholders who contact ARMA for advice or support is evidence that people are taking notice.

If you supported us in Bone and Joint Week, please keep supporting us. You can help make sure our resources, like our newsletter and webinars have a wide reach. You can keep talking about the importance of MSK in every forum. You can make sure no one forgets that there is no health without MSK health. Not just in Bone and Joint Week.

We are now very close to Bone and Joint Week, which begins on 12 October. It’s a chance to remind everyone of the fundamental importance of MSK health. Today I learned that there is some evidence that people with hip and knee arthritis who don’t receive treatment may die early due to cardiovascular conditions. It makes sense. If you are in too much pain to be active your general health will suffer. Add to this the impact of depression, isolation and loneliness, all of which also affects physical health. So, whilst the pain of the condition may not be fatal, the knock-on effects can be.

This is why we should all be paying more attention to long term MSK conditions like arthritis. The disabling impact of pain and reduced mobility is bad enough. But we must also remember the indirect impact when weighing up the priority to give to MSK health.

A lot of effective treatments exist. For severe osteoarthritis of hip and knee we know that joint replacement is an effective intervention. For rheumatoid arthritis, rapid access to the right therapies makes a big difference to long term outcomes. Being active, a good diet and maintaining a healthy weight will promote good MSK health for everyone.

So why does MSK get so little attention? It could be because we think it’s all about older people and only to be expected in later life. Not true. People of all ages get MSK conditions and ARMA is discussing what we might do to highlight the needs of children with MSK conditions. It could be because we think people can just take a painkiller and all will be well. Not true. The impact of MSK pain can be significant and disabling. Most of all I think it’s because we take MSK health for granted and don’t recognise it for what it is – the underpinning framework for all other health. There can be no health without MSK health.

This Bone and Joint Week ARMA members will work together to raise awareness of the importance of MSK. I am asking you to support us and do one thing to prioritise good musculoskeletal health.

This Bone and Joint Week, 12-20 October 2019, what can you do to promote MSK health? Whether you’re a commissioner, transformation lead, GP or health professional, find resources on this page for improving musculoskeletal health.

Everyone –
Sign up to our free, monthly e-newsletter; check out the recordings of our webinars; See the documents, Musculoskeletal health: 5 year prevention strategic framework, Musculoskeletal health: Applying All our Health, and Public Health England’s website for infographics.

If you work for a CCG, STP, ICS, PCN –
Ensure you commission the ARMA core offer to meet the requirements of the long term plan for MSK. Watch the ARMA/NHSE Good practice webinars. See the National Back Pain Pathway.

MSK healthcare professionals –
Support good self-management by asking about psychological wellbeing at every appointment and making sure patients know about peer support from patient groups.

GPs and other non MSK specialist healthcare professionals –
Ask about bone and joint health, reinforce preventative messages and know the signs of less common MSK conditions. See the resources e.g. RCGP e-learning modules, and toolkits for less common MSK conditions.

If you work in Public Health – make MSK health a priority in what you do. See the document Musculoskeletal health: 5 year prevention strategic framework and Public Health England’s website for infographics.

Employers
Business in the community/Public Health England/ARMA toolkit.

Bone and Joint Week 2018
#BoneJointWeek
12-20 October 2018

Musculoskeletal conditions: the elephant in the room?

Conditions of the bones, joints and muscles are a big problem in the UK; with over 17 million people living with a musculoskeletal condition, more people suffer with disability from musculoskeletal conditions than anything else.

Good health of bones, joints and muscles underpins living life well. Musculoskeletal conditions affect nearly everyone at some point in their life. They can cause pain, fatigue, restricted mobility and activities of daily living. They impact people’s lives, their work and even people’s other health conditions. Conditions of the bones, joints and muscles represent a significant cost to the individual, the economy and health and social care.

Acknowledging the problem

Everyone knows conditions like arthritis and back pain are common. But they are often misunderstood and ignored, like the figurative elephant in the room. The solution begins in acknowledging the problem. That’s why we need to shift our mindset and start planning and acting nationally, locally and individually for healthy bones, joints and muscles throughout life.

Large rewards

If we’re brave enough to tackle this big and growing problem, to champion lifelong good musculoskeletal health, there are large rewards, helping people to live well, saving money in the NHS and UK economy.

That’s why charities, professional bodies and research organisations in the musculoskeletal community have joined forces over Bone and Joint Week 2018.

Find out more about this campaign on Twitter @WeareARMA #BoneJointWeek and take a look at the campaigns our members are undertaking.

 

Arthritis Action has launched a new report on 12 October 2018, in collaboration with YouGov, examining the life impacts of arthritis on people of working age in Great Britain. The report explores the effects the condition can have on personal well-being, life satisfaction and mental health. Read the full report here: www.arthritisaction.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Arthritis-Action-report-2018.pdf

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy: Evidence shows that being physically active has enormous benefits for your physical and mental health. But many people find it hard to do as much as they would like. This can be for any number of reasons, including pain, fear, fatigue, a lack of time or motivation. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have a campaign during Bone and Joint Week ‘Love activity, Hate exercise?’ The campaign helps people overcome these barriers through expert advice and guidance. It features practical tips for getting started, useful condition-specific insights and inspiring stories from other people in your boat. To find out more, follow this link: www.csp.org.uk/love-activity-hate-exercise-campaign

Lupus UK: during Bone and Joint Week and throughout October, Lupus UK is running Lupus Awareness Month. It is an important opportunity to raise awareness of the disease amongst the public and medical profession as well as improving the understanding of the impact that lupus can have. Find out more at www.lupusuk.org.uk/lupus-awareness-month

NASS: during Bone and Joint Week NASS is running “Back Pain Plus” – an awareness campaign aimed at ophthalmologists, dermatologists and gastroenterologists, aiming to help reduce the current 8.5 year delay in diagnosis for people with axial spondyloarthritis including ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Learn more at nass.co.uk/nass/en/get-involved/campaigning/back-pain-plus

Versus Arthritis: During Bone and Joint Week Versus Arthritis are urging people to share their Room to Manoeuvre report with their MP. Aids and adaptations in the home can help people with arthritis maintain their independence, but Versus Arthritis research has uncovered that people with arthritis often don’t receive the support they are entitled to. They found out that many people don’t know that aids and adaptations exist, let alone that they could be funded by their local authority. More information is available on their website.

Bone and Joint Week
12-20 October 2018

During this annually occurring event there are dedicated days to highlight major rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.

12 October: World Arthritis Day

16 October: World Spine Day

19 October: World Paediatric
Bone & Joint Day

20 October: World Osteoporosis Day

Bone and Joint Week 2018 is part of an international campaign to improve musculoskeletal health. Learn more about ARMA’s international network.

12-20 October 2018

12-20 October is a time of important collective campaign activity for ARMA members, with Bone and Joint Week. The theme of campaign is: “Musculoskeletal conditions: The elephant in the room?

It’s highlighting that musculoskeletal conditions of the bones, joints and muscles are a big problem in the UK; with over 17 million people living with a musculoskeletal condition, more people suffer with disability from musculoskeletal conditions than anything else.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage policy and decision makers to shift mindset and take action to champion good musculoskeletal health of the bones, joints and muscles throughout life.

For Bone and Joint Week, we’re releasing a series of infographics with key messages throughout the period that the ARMA policy and communications professionals crafted. Please retweet them from our account on @WeAreARMA. Lookout for Vlogs from during the event too. NHS England and Public Health England are supporting the event as well.

Alliance members are using #BoneJointWeek during the period and we encourage you to tweet with it!

During this annually occurring event there are dedicated days to highlight major rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.

12-20 October – Bone and Joint Week:

    • 12 October: World Arthritis Day
    • 16 October: World Spine Day
    • 19 October: World Paediatric Bone & Joint Day
    • 20 October: World Osteoporosis Day

Bone and Joint Week 2018 is part of an international campaign to improve musculoskeletal health.

Bone and Joint Week 2018 runs from 12-20 October 2018, highlighting the reality that musculoskeletal conditions are a big problem in the UK: they affect nearly everyone at some point in their life; they are the biggest cause of disability in the UK.

Musculoskeletal conditions can affect people of all ages, including children. If not treated appropriately, musculoskeletal conditions can impact daily activities such as working, walking, climbing stairs, cooking, personal hygiene and mental health.

During Bone and Joint Week there are dedicated days to highlight major rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.

12 October: World Arthritis Day
16 October: World Spine Day
19 October: World Paediatric Bone and Joint Day
20 October: World Osteoporosis Day

Support and follow the campaign on twitter at @WeAreARMA by retweeting and look out for more information on www.arma.uk.net.

There are many reasons for organisations working in collaboration with others. Over the years I have worked to influence health and care policy I have seen many changes which could never have happened if organisations had not worked together on issues of common concern, even where opinions may differ on other issues.

Bone and Joint week 2017 in October showed how, with a bit of co-ordination, we can work together to speak louder than any one organisation alone. Bone and Joint Week is an international opportunity to raise awareness of issues related to all things musculoskeletal. It also contains days for arthritis, spinal, paediatric bone and joint conditions and osteoporosis. There was a lot of planned activity by different ARMA members.

ARMA co-ordinated social media activity to raise awareness of the week but also to amplify members own campaigns. NHS England and Public Health England got in on the act, publishing a blog post from ARMA Chair, Tony Woolf, to launch the week, and supporting the activity on twitter. By sharing our plans, ARMA enabled small organisations without much social media capacity to take part in celebrating the week and organisations with their own plans to reach a bigger audience. Everyone benefits from the increased impact.

We can see what a difference working together made. Compared with last year’s BJA week we saw around 30 times more reach, more people clicking through to our information, more retweets. But it doesn’t stop with one week. Across the whole year, ARMA will be working to enable our members to support each other and enabling increased debate and profile for musculoskeletal issues.

Why not get involved? Here are three things you can do:

Get involved – there’s strength in numbers.