AStretch welcome the recommendation within the NICE guidance that people with Axial Spondyloarthritis should be referred to a specialist physiotherapist for structured individualised exercise. 
NICE Guidance on Spondyloarthritis now published for more information visit our Collections page  

Attitudes to and Provision of Hydrotherapy in Axial Spondyloarthritis/Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) –
A service provider and service user perspective

We need your help!                                    

As you are aware hydrotherapy is recommended in best practice guidelines as an adjunctive therapy to manage pain and maintain or improve function for people with AS (NICE, 2017). However there exists significant variability in access, provision and mode of delivery of hydrotherapy services for AS across the UK and the reasons for such variability are poorly understood.

A worrying trend of NHS hydrotherapy pool closures has led to this vital piece of research to raise awareness of hydrotherapy services for AS and empower physiotherapists to develop their own aquatic services for spondyloarthritis to widen participation, in line with NICE recommendations.

Whether you are providing a hydrotherapy service or not it is vital we hear from you.

The aim of the survey is to ‘Map’ hydrotherapy resources across the UK to inform those affected by AS to find a local aquatic therapy service.

Please help us by taking about 20mins of your time to complete an online questionnaire, or forward this email to the most relevant person. Click on the link below to access the survey. You will need to complete it in one session, and we would be most grateful if you could complete it by Wednesday 18th October 2017. No personal details or information provided about your services will be shared and all responses are confidential.     

AStretch are undertaking a National Survey in partnership with the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society ( and funded by the NASS research fund. The aim of the survey is to map the hydrotherapy resources across the UK to assist those affectected by spondyloarthris to find local aquatic services

The worrying trend of pool closures was raised at the AStretch conference in December 2016. Melanie Martin, the project lead recommends  ‘use it or lose it’ by developing specialist aquatic services for spondyloarthritis.  Melanie says:  ‘This National Survey is an important piece of work which will hopefully empower physiotherapists to develop their own aquatic services for spondyloarthritis to widen participation, in line with NICE recommendations’.  
We are seeking responses from physiotherapists involved in aquatic services to support this vital piece of research.  The National Survey will be sent out to all physiotherapy departments in the  UK via email in September and closes in October. If you wish to be involved, please contact Melanie Martin at


National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended certolizumab pegol (Cimzia) and secukinumab (Cosentyx) as treatment options for active psoriatic arthritis not adequately responding to DMARDs.

Certolizumab pegol and secukinumab for treating active psoriatic arthritis after inadequate response to DMARDs. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. 2017 May 24.

NASS Members' Day June 17th 2017: We were greeted with an open friendly atmosphere at this meeting in Sheffield, the delegates eager to learn and share views.  

AStretch were represented by Claire Harris and Sue Gurden who took part in one to one interviews with members. Together with Clare Clark, Sue also led the afternoon session which covered all aspects of flare symptoms and management. The Audience were engaged and very forthcoming during the interactive discussions and  also experienced a relaxing mindfulness session led by Clare.

For more information of the day and access to the photo gallery visit:…/new-friends--new-ideas-at-members-day…/

Melanie Martin reports from Rheumatology 2017:

Day 1 of BSR 2017 presented a focus on Spondyloarthritis, with a series of presentations on new      pharmacological opportunities with IL17/23 pathways, the role of imaging in diagnosing Axial SpA and an update from BritSpA on research projects underway, including dose-tapering. The highlight for me was joining this years Spondyloarthritis poster tour. The importance of smoking cessation was really highlighted and emphasises the importance on physiotherapists to promote healthy lifestyle


For your nearest NASS group follow the link

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