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Found 20 results
  1. Content Article
    Throughout 2023, the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) carried out the first ever national inquiry into musculoskeletal (MSK) health inequalities. The inquiry found that the prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal conditions are not experienced equally across the population. Musculoskeletal conditions are linked to deprivation and age, are more prevalent in women and disproportionately affect some ethnic groups. Deprivation is a significant driver of inequalities in MSK health. People in deprived areas experience more chronic pain, are more likely to have a long term MSK condition and experience worse clinical outcomes and quality of life. These inequalities are avoidable through changes in the design and delivery of MSK services, and actions to address wider determinants of health and prevention. The report makes recommendations to reduce health inequalities in MSK care, treatment and outcomes.
  2. News Article
    People with arthritis are being urged to lose weight and exercise more rather than rely on painkillers as the main therapies for their condition. NHS guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says people who are overweight should be told their pain can be reduced if they shed the pounds. Aerobic exercise such as walking, as well as strength training, can ease symptoms and improve quality of life. Exercise programmes may initially make the pain worse, but this should settle down, the guidance suggests. The guidelines also give recommendations on the use of medicines, such as offering non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) but not offering paracetamol, glucosamine or strong opioids. NICE said there was a risk of addiction with strong opioids, while evidence suggests little or no benefit for some medicines when it comes to quality of life and pain levels. The draft guidelines say people can be offered tailored exercise programmes, with the explanation “doing regular and consistent exercise, even though this may initially cause discomfort, will be beneficial for their joints”. Tracey Loftis, head of policy and public affairs at the charity Versus Arthritis, said: “We’ve seen first-hand the benefits that people with osteoarthritis can get in being able to access appropriate physical activity, especially when in a group setting. Something like exercise can improve a person’s mobility, help manage their pain and reduce feelings of isolation. “But our own research into the support given to people with osteoarthritis showed that far too many do not have their conditions regularly reviewed by healthcare professionals, and even fewer had the opportunity to access physical activity support. “The lack of alternatives means that, in many cases, many people are stuck on painkillers that are not helping them to live a life free from pain. “While we welcome the draft Nice guidelines, healthcare professionals need further resources and support to better understand their role in promoting treatment like physical activity for people with osteoarthritis. “There is clearly a need for people with arthritis to be given a bigger voice so that their health needs are not ignored.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 29 April 2022
  3. Content Article
    The prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal conditions (MSK) are not experienced equally across the population. Musculoskeletal conditions are linked to deprivation and age, are more prevalent in women and disproportionately affect some minority ethnic groups. Although the issue of health inequalities is a current area of focus for the NHS, MSK receives a low profile in this work. This presentation by Liz Lingard, Delivery Partner for System Improvement at NHS England (North East & Yorkshire), looks at what drives inequalities in musculoskeletal health, and what can be done to address this.
  4. News Article
    Delays diagnosing and treating children with arthritis are leaving them in pain and at a higher risk of lifelong damage, a national charity has warned. Arthritis is commonly thought to affect only older people, but 15,000 children have the condition in the UK. Versus Arthritis says many children are not getting help soon enough. The NHS said: "Arthritis in young people is rare and diagnosing it can be difficult because symptoms are often vague and no specific test exists." Zoe Chivers, Head of Services at Versus Arthritis, said: "We know that young people often face significant delays getting to diagnosis simply because even their GPs don't recognise that it's a condition that can affect people as young as two. It's often considered that they're just going through growing pains or they've just got a bit of a viral infection and that's not the case." Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 February 2020
  5. Content Article
    This article lists some of the top chronic pain and illness blogs on the internet, with a short description of each one.
  6. Content Article
    UK-based charity Versus Arthritis are campaigning to ensure that the needs of people with arthritis are prioritised by policymakers as plans for the COVID-19 recovery are developed. As part of this work, in this report they set out a six-part support package to help to meet the needs of people with arthritis who are on surgery waiting lists.
  7. Content Article
    The National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit (NEIAA) aims to improve the quality of care for people living with inflammatory arthritis, collecting information on all new patients over the age of 16 in specialist rheumatology departments in England and Wales. This NEIAA report presents data describing the association between ethnicity, experience of care and clinician and patient-reported outcomes. It found that Black, Asian and ethnic minority patients were less likely to achieve remission at three months (30% compared to 37%) and were more likely to report symptoms of anxiety or depression compared to white patients (33% compared to 30%), despite faster referrals and assessments than white patients.
  8. Content Article
    This report of a roundtable held by the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) highlights inequalities in relation to the prevalence of, and access to treatment for musculoskeletal conditions (MSKs). MSKs include a broad range of health conditions affecting the bones, joints, muscles and spine, as well as rarer autoimmune conditions such as lupus. Their incidence is correlated with deprivation, age, sex and ethnicity.
  9. Event
    Social prescribing services and link workers have the potential to make a big difference to the lives of people with musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis or back pain. This webinar hosted by the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) aims to help you understand musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, their prevention, their impact, and how to consider this when you meet clients. Healthy bones, joints and muscles are fundamental to our ability to move, be active, work and engage in activities we enjoy. MSK health underpins our ability to live healthy and independent lives. MSK conditions are the single biggest cause of years lived with disability in the UK and the resulting pain and lack of mobility can have a huge impact on a person’s life. This webinar is aimed at people without a detailed knowledge of MSK conditions and will help you know how best to support people living with such conditions. It will cover: Common MSK conditions and their impact on daily life Self-management – what helps including physical activity, diet, weight and daily activities Mental health Work and education What patient organisations can offer A social prescribing perspective The webinar is designed to complement ARMA's guide for link workers and social prescribing services. Speakers: Wendy Holden, Arthritis Action Medical Advisor & Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist Sarah Holden, Head of Public Health Services, City Health Care Partnership CIC Shantel Irwin, Chief Executive, Arthritis Action ARMA would like to thank Arthritis Action for their support of this webinar. Register for this webinar
  10. Content Article
    The prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal conditions are not experienced equally across the population. Musculoskeletal conditions are linked to deprivation, age, are more prevalent in women, and disproportionately affect some minority ethnic groups.Deprivation is a significant driver of inequalities in MSK health. People in deprived areas experience more chronic pain, are more likely to have a long term MSK condition and experience worse clinical outcomes and quality of life.Between February and December 2023 the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) will deliver the first ever national inquiry into MSK health inequalities to explore and highlight the issues and make recommendations for improvement. The aims of the inquirySet out the evidence for inequalities in MSK health related to deprivation and explore the possible underlying reasons.Propose actions which can be taken to address these, both in design and delivery of MSK services, and actions to address wider determinants of health and prevention.Raise the profile of the issues and possible solutions.
  11. News Article
    A drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis could cut the number of Covid deaths and speed up recovery, a new scientific trial has found. The drug, tocilizumab, could save the lives of one in 25 coronavirus patients in hospital and reduce the need for ventilators in intensive care. Researchers say around half of the people admitted to hospital with coronavirus could benefit from the treatment. Scientists from the nationwide Recovery trial said when tocilizumab was given alongside the steroid dexamethasone, it reduced the absolute risk of mortality by four percentage points. The medicine was already being used by the NHS to treat some coronavirus patients after early results last month showed it reduced the risk of death as well as time spent in hospital by up to 10 days. As a result of the latest findings, the health secretary said the drug would be made more widely available on the NHS to help treat Covid patients. Read full story Source: The Independent, 11 February 2021
  12. Event
    Join the #SolvingTogether Connect Sessions, virtual sessions that anyone can attend where people share their ideas for addressing the challenges.  They are informal opportunities to put forward ideas, and have discussion. Patients and health and care staff are all invited to attend. The MSTeams link to the session will be added to the event page at 9am on Thursday 2nd February.
  13. Content Article
    This study in Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology aimed to determine the systemic effects of surgical mesh implants. The study looked at patients referred to an autoimmunity clinic between January 2014 and December 2017 and concluded that mesh implants may increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases by acting as an adjuvant (increasing the body's own immune response).
  14. Content Article
    The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) has compiled relevant and useful resources and information specifically about musculoskeletal health inequalities. The resources include research studies, reports and reviews, and cover these areas: Social deprivation Ethnicity Sex, gender and sexual orientation Health literacy and education level Multiple factors Children and young people Webinars
  15. Content Article
    Serious pathology as a cause of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions is considered rare, but it needs to be managed either as an emergency or as urgent onward referral as directed by local pathways. This guidance supports primary and community care practitioners in recognising serious pathology which requires emergency or urgent referral to secondary care in a patient who present with new or worsening MSK symptoms.
  16. Content Article
    Chronic (persistent or long-lasting or recurrent) pain is life-changing and can significantly impact individuals, their families and carers. This paper sets out the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance's (ARMA's) position on how pain affects people with musculoskeletal conditions, and how their pain should be managed.
  17. Content Article
    Inflammatory rheumatic disease (IRD), such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause poor outcomes in pregnancy, and the health of the mother and developing foetus must be balanced when making decisions about medication. This updated guideline from the British Society for Rheumatology contains evidence and best practice for prescribing rheumatology medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It includes a table that summarises information about drug compatibility in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  18. Content Article
    In England, around 10 million adults and 12,000 children have a musculoskeletal (MSK) condition. Ethnic minority groups, people from lower income households and those living in areas of high deprivation are most affected. In this guest blog for the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA), Bola Owolabi, Director of the National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme at NHS England, highlights the role that MSK health inequalities play in people's lives. She looks at the link between socio-economic disadvantage and poor health outcomes, and discusses the wider implications of disability due to MSK conditions. She describes work being done by the NHS, and highlights ARMA's work to narrow MSK health inequalities through listening to the experiences of underserved communities and working in partnership to improve care.
  19. Content Article
    SMILE (Self-Management Individualised Learning Environment) is an e-learning experience for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who want to learn more about RA, its treatments and how to become good at self-managing. Each module is on a particular theme or subject and takes between 20 mins and half an hour to complete.
  20. Content Article
    In this blog, Dr Chloe Stewart, health psychologist and national clinical advisor in personalised care for NHS England, looks at the role of personalised care in helping overcome the care backlog and addressing health inequalities in people with musculoskeletal conditions (MSKs). She looks at examples of coproduction in MSK services and highlights the need to give patients better information and training about how to manage their condition.
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