£54.50 – £135

Msk?..Think SpA? Spondyloarthritis recognition, referral and management

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Event description
A one stop shop on Spondyloarthritis - identify potential sufferers, know referal pathways for patients and how to support them.

About this Event

Note due to Covid-19 this course has been updated to be a fully online course. Carol McCrum, the original speaker will deliver the morning live from Australia and Andrew MacMillan will deliver the afternoon session on management options.

About the course

Improving delays to diagnosis of Spondyloarthritis: recognition and referral of suspected axial and peripheral spondyloarthritis, and NICE recommendations on treatments.

Spondyloarthritis is a group of inflammatory conditions that mimic common musculoskeletal problems.  Delays in diagnosis average up to 8-9 years for many people, despite significant advances in research and imaging, because it is often not recognised in musculoskeletal assessments. Screening for suspected spondyloarthritis (SpA) and when to refer onto rheumatology is an essential a core skill in clinical assessments.

Musculoskeletal clinicians are key to early diagnosis to help reduce the significant immediate and long-term impacts of these inflammatory diseases. Spondyloarthritis can be challenging to recognise and often mistaken as chronic mechanical low back pain or unrelated tendon and joint problems. The inflammatory disease links between persistent back pain, peripheral problems and extra-articular inflammatory manifestations are often missed in clinical practice.  Knowing what features should raise suspicion of spondyloarthritis and when to refer onto rheumatology is an important aspect of musculoskeletal clinical practice, along with a multidisciplinary team approach to management.

NICE Guidance has developed clinical guidance to support earlier recognition, diagnosis, treatment and other important considerations in people diagnosed with SpA. This study day aims to enable clinicians to develop their clinical knowledge and skills to screen for suspected spondyloarthritis within musculoskeletal assessments, when to refer and NICE recommendations on management.

Summary of osteopathic practice standards (updated) covered in this course

A) Communication and patient partnership - A1, A4.A6, A6

B) Knowledge, skills and performance - B1, B2, B3

C) Safety and quality in practice - C1, C4, C6

D) Professionalism - D9, D10

Learning outcomes

  • Develop an awareness of the clinical presentations of axial spondyloarthritis and peripheral spondyloarthropathies. 
  • Gain an understanding of the importance of screening for spondyloarthritis in musculoskeletal clinical assessments. 
  • Develop knowledge of the clinical signs, symptoms and risk factors which increase suspicion of axial and peripheral spondyloarthritis.
  • Gain knowledge and skills in screening for axial and peripheral spondyloarthritis in a clinical examination.
  • Develop an understanding of the recommendations of NICE Guidance on Spondyloarthritis on when to refer to rheumatology and discussion on how to undertake referrals.
  • Develop an understanding of the role of blood tests and imaging in suspected axial and peripheral spondyloarthritis.
  • Gain practical skills in history taking and clinical examination for suspected spondyloarthritis and associated extra-articular manifestations, including skin and nail examination for psoriasis.
  • Be aware of features and develop advanced clinical reasoning skills in the differentiation of mechanical and suspected inflammatory clinical presentations.
  • Develop an awareness of treatment options for spondyloarthritis and supporting long-term management.



09:00 - 09:15 Overview of Spondyloarthritis  and clinical manifestations

09:15 - 10:15 When to suspect axial and peripheral spondyloarthritis -NICE clinical guidance on referral to rheumatology

10:15 - 10:45 Imaging considerations in suspected axSpA and peripheral SpA

10:45 - 11:00 Break

11:00 - 11:15 Other considerations in people with spondyloarthritis

11:15 - 12:00 Extra-articular manifestations- considerations for clinical assessments

12:00 - 12:30 Screening - history taking and clinical reasoning workshop

12:30 - 13:00 Referral letters and pathways- discussion and Q&A

13:00 - 14:00 Lunch

14:00 - 17:00 Evidenced based treatment and disease evaluation– NICE recommendations on treatment in axSpA, practical application and considerations for flares and supporting  long term disease self-management - Andrew MacMillan

17 :00-17:15 Summary, final questions and feedback questionnaires

Course suitability

This course is suitable for clinicians involved in the assessment and management of musculoskeletal conditions in daily practice, particularly those manageing persistent back pain and peripheral joint and tendon problems. It is also suitable for academic adn clinical educators involved in pre and post graduate professional education of musculoskeletal assessment and management.

About the course leaders

Dr Carol McCrum is a Consultant Physiotherapist at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and a Visiting Research Fellow at University of Brighton.  She works in multidisciplinary teams in Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and with the physiotherapy teams. Carol completed her PhD in 2011 on acute low back pain and continues to be active in clinical research. Carol was a member of the NICE Guidance Development Committee for Spondyloarthritis in over 16s published in 2017 and NICE Quality Standards published in 2018.  Carol has been awarded a NICE Fellowship and aims to raise awareness of this clinical guidance in musculoskeletal practice to support professional education, earlier recognition and reduce delays in diagnosis in spondyloarthritis.

Andrew MacMillan is the unit leader for research and enquiry at the UCO and delivers the exercise rehabilitation module at the LSO. He has over 10 years’ experience of exercise prescription and sports rehabilitation, working with a broad range of patients from professional athletes and military personnel to specialist paediatrics. Andrew is an engaging speaker who integrates best research evidence with practical clinical practice tips.

Cancellation policy

The UCO regrets that no refunds can be made for cancelled places unless a substitute participant can be found.  The UCO cannot guarantee that any course will run.  In the event of your course being cancelled, all paid fees and deposits will be refunded in full.

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