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Early Identification and Diagnosis of Axial Spondyloarthritis

Early Identification and Diagnosis of Axial Spondyloarthritis

Early Identification and Diagnosis of Axial Spondyloarthritis

This course includes
40:09 of Course Material (View)
Lifetime access after purchase
Certificate of completion
This course was recorded in November 2022


Patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpA) typically present with chronic back pain. They often seek care from their primary care providers but are also commonly managed by chiropractors, physiatrists, orthopedists, pain specialists, physical therapists, and other HCPs.

Some axSpA patients have prominent extra-spinal manifestations (e.g. uveitis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis) and receive care in ophthalmology and gastroenterology clinics.

In order to facilitate the assessment of patients who may have axSpA by a rheumatologist, it is essential for providers with these diverse backgrounds to be sufficiently familiar with axSpA and to know if and when to refer.

Unfortunately, existing data suggest that non-rheumatologist clinicians who manage patients with back pain often do not have adequate knowledge of axSpA including its typical symptoms, spectrum of disease, and epidemiology.

A recent survey amongst 1650 HCPs from 10 specialties analyzed barriers to rheumatology referral for possible axSpA. Rather than considering the diagnosis of axSpA, HCPs were more likely to order rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) tests for chronic back pain, despite the low probability of rheumatoid arthritis or lupus in this setting. However, 62.3% of the surveyed HCPs wanted to learn more about the clinical course of axSpA, 58.8% wanted more information on clinical evaluation, and 50.3% indicated that education about new and emerging treatments would be helpful.


Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this webinar, participants will:

  1. Learn how to recognize a patient presenting with axial spondyloarthritis.
  2. Help improve these patients' quality of life and outcomes by helping to facilitate earlier diagnosis and treatment.
  3. Be a hero for these patients and families and for your local rheumatology community! 
  4. Recognize an inflammatory back pain pattern as a typical presentation of axSpA.
  5. Identify other common clinical features of axSpA that occur outside the spine.
  6. Understand appropriate testing for a patient with chronic back pain suspected of having axSpA and apply criteria for referral to rheumatology.



Dr. Dax G. Rumsey, MD, MSc, FRCP(C)

Dr. Dax G. Rumsey is a mid-career pediatric rheumatologist working at the University of Alberta and Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta.  His main clinical and research interest is in the area of juvenile spondyloarthritis.  He is a member of the Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment Network (SPARTAN), a network of North American health care professionals with a special interest in spondyloarthritis.  He is also the chair of the Early Identification and Diagnosis of Axial Spondyloarthritis (EIDA) program, an educational initiative aimed at educating non-rheumatologists about this disease, with the goal of earlier diagnosis, earlier treatment, and improved outcomes.

Join Dr. Rumsey and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association for this online course about the Early Identification and Diagnosis of Axial Spondyloarthritis.


The instructors
Canadian Physiotherapy Association

As the vital partner for the profession, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) leads, advocates, and inspires excellence and innovation to promote health. CPA’s goal is to provide exceptional service, valuable information and connections to the profession of physiotherapy, across Canada and around the world.
Course Material included in this course
  • Early Identification and Diagnosis of Axial Spondyloarthritis
  • Welcome!
  • Introduction
  • SpA in Adolescents
  • AS Classification Criteria
  • Extra Musculoskeletal Manifestations
  • Treatments
  • Comorbidities
  • Delay in Diagnosis
  • Questions
  • Feedback
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