Collections Library

At AStretch we are committed to ensuring that up to date information is made available to a wide audience. If you have anything you would like to contribute, please contact us on: 

Best Practice in Assessment:

The  NICE GUIDANCE  on Spondyloarthritis, covers the diagnosis and mangement of Spondyloarthritis. Raising awareness of the symptoms of inflammatory back pain can break through the challenges of diagnosis and reduce diagnostic delay. Physiotherapists are well placed in screening these patients as the physiotherapy department may be the first port of call. Early onward referral to Rheumatology when appropriate can improve diagnostic standards and improve outcomes for this group of patients.

Early Diagnosis of inflammatory back pain is essential for effective treatment and good management of Axial Spondyloarthritis.
AStretch members have worked tirelessly in promoting early recognition of inflammatory back pain.  We were involved in the delivery of facilitated workshops in the NASS Back Pain Seminars between 2012 and 2014 reaching almost 900 delegates throughout England and Wales. The seminars informed delegates how to distinguish inflammatory back pain from mechanical back pain and other types of back pain. 

Back in Focus have produced e-learning modules to assist recognition, diagnosis and management of AxSpA.
These modules are now available for AHP EDUCATION: 

This presentation was devised as an interactive session for   The British Society of Rheumatology 2014.    Combining some of the diagnostic principles in distiguishing back pains and based on two short videos. You can interact with this presentation by trying to answer the questions yourself and follow this up with the evidence based answers and discussions that follow. Unfortunately we cannot publish these videos, however, a short summary is provided for you to work from.

A DVD produced to educate potential referrers in recognition of inflammatory back pain, appears here :  
If you would like a copy of this DVD which contains voiceovers in English and Welsh, to present to local GPs or other education forums, please contact:

This 2017 article  published in Horizons and gives some insight for extra scope and advanced physiotherapy practitioners in the musculoskeletal fields. It highlights the difficulties in teasing out some of the often subtle differences in back pain presentations found in clinical practice and subsequent diagnostic decision making.

Campaigning for early diagnosis, how to get involved:

Outcome Measures:

The Bath Indices, outcome measure information booklet, for use with ankylosing spondylitis patients was reviewed and edited by four members of the AStretch Committee-  Heather Harrison, Karen Irons, Amanda Thomas and Jane Martindale. The extensive reference section represent the vast literature search undertaken, this was supported by the librarians at Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation trust.

The updated version of the Bath Indices can be obtained from : .

Evaluating Ankylosing Spondylitis Quality of Life with the EASi-QoL: a new patient-reported outcome measure for AS
Dr. Kirstie L Haywood
For further information pertaining to the development, evaluation and application of the EASi-QoL please contact:
Dr Kirstie Haywood
School of Health and Social Studies, University of Warwick (
Tel: 024761 50616

  EASi-QoL Evaluating Ankylosing Spondylitis Quality of Life. A patient - reported outcome measure

About us

AStretch is a not for profit organisation; our main aim is to provide a co-ordinated approach to the planning and delivery of education and best practice. Also to support physiotherapists working with people who have Axial Spondyloarthritis (AxSpA) and Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).


Email us on for general enquiries to submit features for peer review and consideration for website inclusion for enquiries related to our courses or conference.

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