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Axial spondyloarthritis ( Ax SpA)

🔸Ax SpA affects soft tissues , joints , tendons and sometimes other systems such as skin, heart, lungs, stomach, eyes etc

🔸Age - onset can be 20-45

🔸Prevalence 1 in 200 in UK

🔸Males and females are affected

🔸Males are diagnosed more frequently than females

🟠These conditions present with

🔺Back pain , buttock and other joint pains

🔺Early morning stiffness >30 mins usually up to an hour

🔺Inflammation in eyes (redness) called iritis or uveitis

🔺Psoriasis ( skin condition)

🔺Dactylitis (Swollen fingers or toes or both)

🔺Waking up at 3-4 am with pain that feels better after movements

🔺Enthesitis (Tendonitis) - heel, shoulder, knee elbow etc

🔺Feels better with exercises

🔺Feels better with ibuprofen or prescribed anti inflammatory medications ( naproxen celecoxib etc) within 48 hours

🔺Family history of Rheumatoid Arthritis or inflammatory arthritis

🔺Constipation, bloating, diarrhoea ( Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Chron's ulcerative colitis)

🔺Fatigue and tiredness


🔺There is delay in diagnosis of an average of 8.5 years in UK.

🔺This affects the individual physically, emotionally, socially and financially.

🤔Reasons can be

👉🏼Normal inflammatory markers (ESR CRP HLAB27 ) on blood tests

👉🏼MRI can show inflammatory changes in spine of sacroiliac joints if reported accurately

👉🏼Not all symptoms are present all at once 😔

👀Knowledge of the condition and its presentation

🧩Joining the puzzle pieces with different symptoms over the years can help


🔺Physiotherapists help with a structured programme for managing your joint and muscle pains

🔺Hydrotherapy is recommended for better mobility

🔺Referral to occupational therapist, podiatrist, orthotist, psychologist , social support- depending on your symptoms and circumstances

🔺Contact healthcare professional to be referred for tests and diagnostics and referral to Rheumatology

🔺Discuss your medication options with your rheumatologist who can also refer to other specialists for managing gut, skin or eye symptoms.

🙏I am working with National Axial Spondyloarthropathy association ( NASS) to spread awareness and reduce this diagnostic delay of 8.5 years, please help us help you

👉🏼Fill this form and take it to your GP

👀If you have been already diagnosed with this condition

👉🏼Find resources attached here to help you or your loved one suffering from this condition

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