Inflammatory arthritis seems to not figure in the thoughts of many allied health professionals and general doctors not attuned to musculoskeletal disease.
The good news is that there are many moving to change this.
I was involved with the AS You See It program, which provided teaching to 500 physiotherapists around Australia and another few hundred via webinar (read about this campaign here).
I hope that made some difference.
The RAP-el (Rheumatoid Arthritis Physiotherapy E-Learning) website was funded by Curtin University. I was invited to test out the site by A/Professor Andrew Briggs, a physiotherapist researcher. It's really a very nice looking and informative site.
Andrew & the team behind the site have even published research to demonstrate the effectiveness of this e-learning initiative (see abstract).
You don't have to be a physiotherapist to access it. I think it gives information which is accurate and presented in an easy-to-digest format.
Check it out: www.rap-el.com.au
The challenge is to attract physiotherapists to actually use it. Here's where professional bodies and university groups need to become involved.
In Australia at least, physiotherapy groups seem far more concerned about sporting-related injury and mechanical musculoskeletal disorders than they are about the numerous types of inflammatory arthritis, and to some extent, osteoarthritis.
The teaching at both undergraduate level and postgraduate level on these common diseases that do present to physiotherapy clinics is inadequate.
More needs to be done so I'm happy to highlight this RAP-el site. Could you please help spread the word by sharing this with your physiotherapists (& chiropractors, osteopaths, etc)?