Driving Excellence in the Physiotherapy management
of Axial Spondyloarthritis

Learn More About Axial Spondyloarthritis

Driving Excellence in the Physiotherapy management
of Axial Spondyloarthritis

Learn More About Axial Spondyloarthritis

Driving Excellence in the Physiotherapy management
of Axial Spondyloarthritis

Learn More About Axial Spondyloarthritis

Driving Excellence in the Physiotherapy management
of Axial Spondyloarthritis

Learn More About Axial Spondyloarthritis

Driving Excellence in the Physiotherapy management
of Axial Spondyloarthritis

Learn More About Axial Spondyloarthritis


AStretch was formed in 2001, in response to a growing appetite amongst health professionals for knowledge regarding Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS, and now Axial Spondyloarthritis, or axial SpA).


We have a new Chair!
Claire Jeffries is the perfect fit for this role and was the unanimous choice, we are all excited to work under her expert leadership. Claire sits on the NASS Medical Advisory Board, she leads an award-winning axial SpA service in Portsmouth & has consistently delivered on top-level projects for


 We have recently helped our friends at NASS with the "Stretches for your daily life" project. The aim was to create videos of some simple stretches to weave into your day. Please see them on the NASS website:

Selected AStretch team blog posts

Websites, Apps and Videos
by Claire H

...so I thought there are probably other physios out there who may not be checking their phones every 12 minutes and so may not realise there are in fact quite a number of apps and great websites etc that are specifically developed for AS / AxSpA patients that we could be recommending to our patients, to help them self-manage their condition long term

A Turn for the Better
by Juliette 

"My role as metrologist soon expanded into clinic work encompassing all aspects of patient care and assessment.
At a time when outcome measures were not yet standardised, I then joined Dr Calin and his team at ‘The Min’ in Bath interviewing patients in preparation for the Bath indices.  These were exciting times..."

Sleep and AS: do we consider the implications of the quality of sleep on our patients?
by Jane

Alas we have no science to ensure that people sleep better.  The best I have is to advise on ‘sleep hygiene’ which is a term that I confess I squirm when saying. Poor sleep is blamed for increasing fatigue and generally lowering our mood and resilience in coping with life in general.  A very recently published study on sleep in AS authored by Alison Wadeley (Clinical Rheumatology (2018) 37:1045-1052) is the first of it’s kind in the UK and is well worth a read...

MPs are calling for urgent improvements in the care available for patients with axial spondyloarthritis.
A new report reveals worrying gaps in care provision across England. The findings from the inquiry by the APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) on Axial Spondyloarthritis, were launched late January by APPG Chair, Derek Thomas MP.

The findings from the APPG inquiry, based on results from Freedom of Information requests answered by 191 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and 99 provider Trusts undertaken in 2019, revealed that only 21% have a specific inflammatory back pain pathway in place – without one, rapid referral to specialist care for those with signs and symptoms of axial SpA (AS) is unlikely.

Axial SpA (AS) can have a hugely detrimental impact on a person’s well-being and is associated with significantly increased risk of poor mental health, even when compared with other musculoskeletal conditions. Despite this, only 25% of CCGs provide patients with direct access to psychological services. A fifth of areas in England still do not offer specialist physiotherapy for those with the condition, despite these services being critical in helping individuals manage flare-ups and the chronic stiffness and joint pain that is synonymous with the condition.

The inquiry findings and recommendations on improvements needed can be found in the APPG report, Axial spondyloarthritis services in England, launched late January and available at here.

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Questions and Answers

Pregnancy and AS

This question came from a committee member regarding a patient with AS, who is in her first pregnancy and has been told by her obstetrics team that she is most likely to to need a C-section due to sacroiliac fusion She also has hypermobility with a reported Beighton's Score of 9/9.

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Do you have a question for our committee?

Then please do get in touch

Recently diagnosed with AS

I have a patient who has recently been diagnosed with AS. His chest expansion is pretty poor and he complains of tightness across the chest, in-keeping with AS symptoms. I have performed basic lung function testing this afternoon using a spirometer and the results were expectedly low. I was wondering if...

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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).


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comms@astretch.co.uk to submit features for peer review and consideration for website inclusion

education@astretch.co.uk for enquiries related to our courses or conference.

AStretch Privacy Policy 

We have developed this policy in accordance with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that came into effect on the 25th May 2018.
Please be assured that we take our responsibilities for looking after your personal data very seriously in order to protect your privacy and security.  Personal data will be what you have chosen to share with us and that may include your  email address, telephone numbers, correspondence address, your profession and the Hospital where you work. We will only store your personal details if you have given us consent to do so.   We do not hold any of your sensitive data e.g. race or religious beliefs or Bank details.  You may have given your consent at an AStretch conference or AStretch course that you have attended or if you have contacted us by email.  We do not use any details from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We will only use your details to contact you about the work of AStretch and will never  pass on your personal information to other organisations.  
To keep your data safe and to prevent unauthorised access, your contact details are kept in word document form on the computers of three AStretch committee members who are involved with AStretch Communication and Education.  All computers are password protected.  In the unlikely event of a data breach, we will inform you at the earliest opportunity.  
If you do not want to be kept on our data base and would like to opt out from the AStretch list, please contact us by emailing Comms@astretch.co.uk.  Your personal data will then be erased from the system and we will no longer contact you.  Conversely you can opt back in at any time.  
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