Axial Spondyloarthritis

Axial Spondyloarthritis

Glynis talks in this blog about  a presentation she gave on osteopathic treatment of the inflammatory disease, Axial Spondyloarthrisis (Axial SpA). We thought that you might find it interesting to find out about what we do outside of the clinic. 


Continuous Professional Development

I gave a presentation  to a mixed group of practitioners on the evening of 17th September. It was hosted by NASS (National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society)  in the Freeman Hospital,Newcastle. It was part of an Axial SpA refresher for healthcare practitioners. This is part of the continuous professional development that practitioners do every year. Osteopaths complete 30 hours of CPD per year to ensure that their practice is up to date. You know Osteopaths treat back pain but did you know that they are also looking out for symptoms you may have which may not be caused by non mechanical causes? 

The Talk

It was a first for me speaking to a multi disciplinary group of practitioners. I was very nervous as the time got nearer to the event. Jill from NASS kept smiling at me and even laughed when I made a joke about leaving with my Speaker certificate before the event took place. Apparently this is said by lots of speakers. If any of them disappeared Jill didn’t mention it.

What would a room full or Doctors, Physios and Chiropractors make of what Osteopaths do? Only one way to find out. We had a good turn out of Osteopaths, which made me feel more comfortable. At least they would know what I was talking about . I met two of the other speakers before we started and they were so friendly that I felt much more relaxed. 

My talk was very well received which was a huge relief. There was a great sense of working together during the evening. I was pleased to discover there were many similarities between the way Osteopaths,physiotherapists and chiropractors diagnose, give treatment and advice. We also learned a great deal about current rheumatology treatment and diagnosis.

Axial SpA

Axial spondyloarthritis is an umbrella term and it includes:

 Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

 Where changes to the sacroiliac joints or the spine can be seen on x-ray.

Non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis

Where x-ray changes are not present but inflammation is visible on MRI or you have symptoms.

Typical symptoms of axial SpA (AS) include:

  • Slow or gradual onset of back pain and stiffness over weeks or months, rather than hours or days
  • Early-morning stiffness and pain, wearing off or reducing during the day with exercise
  • Persistence for more than 3 months (as opposed to coming on in short attacks)
  • Feeling better after exercise and worse after rest
  • Weight loss, especially in the early stages
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Feeling feverish and experiencing night sweats

 If you or anyone you know might benefit from more information. Here are some helpful links.


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