In this edition of Connected tISSUES we are shining a spotlight on the complex and often serious musculoskeletal condition, psoriatic arthritis (PsA). PsA is a condition that presents differently in different people. In simple terms, PsA causes pain and inflammation in the joints and is usually associated with the skin condition psoriasis (but it can occur without someone experiencing this…we told you it was complex!) 

Psoriatic arthritis can be challenging to recognise because of the varied ways it can present and because of overlapping symptoms with other conditions. This difficulty can sometimes lead to a delay in diagnosis and treatment. Our on-demand webinar Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis and Management by Dr Adam Rischin is a great resource for anyone seeking information on PsA, its symptoms, tests that can assist with diagnosis and effective treatment options. 

PsA can affect anyone. Our nurse recalls a 30-year-old male contacting the free Musculoskeletal Health Australia B.A.M. Helpline because he was struggling with the effects of his psoriatic arthritis. The impact this condition was having on his life was heartbreaking.  He was living with quite severe plaque psoriasis (plaques appear as raised, inflamed, and scaly patches of dry skin that may be itchy and painful). This young mans mental health, financial security, social, personal and professional life had also been negatively impacted by his condition. It was sad to learn that he had left his job due to the embarrassment he felt, embarrassment that was caused by a symptom of his condition (he was extremely conscious of the silvery flakes of skin he ‘was leaving’ on the chair at work and he didn’t want other people to have to sit on that after him). He was living with chronic pain due to the inflammation in his joints. His quality of life had been severely impacted and he was desperately looking for understanding, help and connection. 

Whilst there are a number of treatment options available to people living with PsA most recently a medication called Apremiast (OTEZLA) was added to the PBS. Apremiast is showing some positive results for plaque psoriasis which is good news as up to 30% of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. 

For more information on Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) go to the Musculoskeletal Health Australia website and download the PsA Information Sheet. For those living with PsA, make sure you access our self-care plan to help you understand, manage and live well with your condition, or call our helpline and speak to our nurse (Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm) on 1800 263 265 or email

Other sources of information on PsA:



It’s that time of year again and early indications are we are in for another ‘bumper’ flu season. Let’s also not forget the seemingly ever present and lingering COVID-19. So, it is important everyone has the most up to date information on what they should and should not do to safely get through the 2024 flu season! 

What – The Facts 

Influenza (also called flu) is an infection of the airways that is easily spread. It affects people of all ages and can be very serious for babies, young children, pregnant women, and people with underlying medical conditions.  

Vaccination is a safe and very effective way to protect yourself and those around you from serious illness caused by influenza.  

Who – should be vaccinated against influenza? 

Yearly influenza vaccinations are given to protect against the most common strains of the virus. It is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over. It is important that you talk to your health professional about getting vaccinated. 

When – is the best time to be given? 

You should get your annual influenza vaccine anytime from April onward to be protected for the peak flu season, which is usually June to September. Influenza vaccination can be given at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccination.  

And don’t forget – COVID-19 vaccination 

Yes, COVID-19 is still around (even though we may be tired of hearing about it), and it is important to be up to date with your vaccinations especially as we head into winter. Make sure you talk to your health care professional about your vaccination options. 

(Read more: ATAGI statement on the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in 2024 ( ) 

For those who live with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, the Australian Rheumatology Association has produced an information sheet about COVID-19 vaccination.

Also, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 make sure you talk to your doctor who may prescribe antivirals if you are eligible. Please note research has confirmed that antivirals should be given as early as possible and only to those who are at a high risk of developing severe disease. 

How – do you get your vaccinations 

Speak to your health care professional about getting your flu and Covid-19 vaccinations. Vaccinations are available through your GP, and pharmacies across the country. 

Key take away messages 
  • You should get a flu vaccination each year. 
  • COVID-19 is still around, and you should keep up to date with your vaccinations. 
  • It is safe to have both vaccinations at the same time. 


Please call our free, national Help Line* on 1800 263 265, or email for more information and support about musculoskeletal conditions, musculoskeletal health and living well.

(*Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, excluding public holidays)





My Health Record

We’ve put together some basic information to help build your knowledge about this important health initiative.

What is it?

My Health Record is the national digital health record system. It is a secure digital place to store your health information and keeps everything together. It’s an online summary of your key health information and aims to provide more efficient care for you and our family. When you have a My Health Record, your health information can be viewed securely online, from anywhere, at any time. This is especially important in an emergency.

You can keep key health information like allergies, immunisations, pathology, imaging reports, prescription and dispensing information, hospital discharge summaries, specialist referrals and emergency contacts all in the one place which is invaluable if you have multiple care providers.

It is private and can only be seen by you, your healthcare providers and anyone else you choose to share it with.

Importantly, it can be used all throughout your life, from birth through adulthood years and into your old age. Meaning you can track your health information over time.

It will also mean you can access and view your own health records as soon as they’ve been uploaded.

Anyone in Australia who has Medicare, or an individual healthcare identifier (IHI) can use My Health Record. You need a MyGov account to access your record.

You can get a My Health Record at any time.

There is also an online learning module to help you learn more about My Health Record.

More to explore

musculoskeletal health australia

Musculoskeletal Health Australia (or MHA) is the consumer organisation working with, and advocating on behalf of, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, gout and over 150 other musculoskeletal conditions.

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