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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Providing physical activity interventions for people with musculoskeletal conditions

Published on 09 March 2017

An older lady doing t'ai chi in the parkWe're pleased to be launching our new report, ‘Providing physical activity interventions for people with musculoskeletal conditions’ at the annual LGA/ADPH annual conference today (9 March).

Physical activity is a key part of a public health approach to musculoskeletal conditions and it has a range of benefits for people with musculoskeletal conditions in terms of improving quality of life and supporting people to be independent. It can reduce joint and back pain by 25% while also improving sleep, managing stress and reducing depression, anxiety and dementia and is therefore beneficial for people who have a musculoskeletal conditions and one or more other long-term health conditions.

Highlighting the importance of physical activity interventions

The report has been produced in partnership with the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England and is also endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners, Local Government Association and Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. It's intended for organisations responsible for commissioning and providing local services, as well as musculoskeletal and physical activity organisations who may find it of interest.

The report highlights the importance of providing physical activity interventions for people with musculoskeletal conditions and details the resources that local authorities and commissioners can use to enable and support people with musculoskeletal conditions to be physically active.

Moving away from a 'one-size-fits-all' approach

Arthritis Research UK’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Liam O’Toole, said: "For many people with joint or back pain, becoming physically active isn't straightforward. They often are unaware that physical activity can benefit their symptoms. Health and fitness professionals can lack the knowledge and skills to promote physical activity or provide reassurance and tailored advice.

"However, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach isn't appropriate for people with differing levels of mobility and activity. Depending on an individual’s needs, physical activity can involve a spectrum of approaches prescribed by a health professional. The report aims to ensure these approaches are at the heart of commissioners’ plans."

Professor Nigel Mathers, Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of General Practitioners said: "Many of our patients will experience musculoskeletal problems during the course of their lives and caring for such patients makes a substantial contribution to our daily workload.

This publication is intended for organisations responsible for commissioning and providing local services and is a good guide to physical activity interventions suitable for use in general practice. It will be an excellent resource for GPs in training and newly qualified GPs as well as the established practitioner."

Download the Providing physical activity interventions for people with musculoskeletal conditions report (PDF, 533KB) for more information.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
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