Our courses have been designed to establish confidence and competence in the delivery of physical management of people with Axial Spondyloarthritis.
These courses, designed for physiotherapist with little to moderate Rheumatology experience provide exceptional value, fun in an interactive environment, whilst addressing your academic needs. Improving knowledge and skills needed in the clincal and NASS group settings.

Networks formed with peers following these courses can help and support you in your day to day practice and maintain your experience.

Axial Spondyloarthritis/Ankylosing Spondylitis Physiotherapy Assessment & Management Online and Day Workshop 2022

Online Sessions:

Part 1 Wednesday 16th November 2022, 6-8pm
Part 2 Wednesday 23rd November 2022, 6-8pm

Practical Day: Saturday 26th November 2022


Salford Royal Hospital Physio Department
Stott Lane
M6 8HD

It is essential to attend all 3 sessions of the course. The online topics cover:
Pathology, Aetiology, Psychosocial Issues, Medical and Non-medical Management
of axial spondyloarthritis. The workshop has a high content of practical work in the
physiotherapy gym and hydrotherapy pool, as well outcome measures with
the application of the Bath Indices.

This workshop is open to physiotherapists, technicians, gym instructors &
physiotherapy students working in rheumatology, with local NASS groups or those
who have an interest in axial spondyloarthritis.

Course Tutors:
Jenny Elkins (Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist with an interest in Rheumatology)
Heather Harrison (Advanced Clinical Specialist in Rheumatology)
Claire Jeffries (Clinical Specialist in rheumatology and Hydrotherapy)
Sue Voules (Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist)
Kate Weight (Senior Physiotherapist)

Price: £110
For application contact: Heather Harrison

Images of some of the formal and interactive hydrotherapy sessions and group discussions. Other sessions included formal teaching sessions, interactive and formal sessions in the gymnasium, practical sessions involving measurement of patients and interactive sessions involving patients and their stories

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Axial Spondyloarthritis Physiotherapy & Assessment Management Workshop
23rd & 24th March 2019 UCLH

Our first workshop of 2019 was again run at the UCLH. We had an amazing weekend with 14 delegates from 7 different NASS groups, including Tooting, Salisbury and Euston. Our furthest traveller was from Jersey. It was interesting to learn how different branches run and whether there was an option of gym and/or hydro sessions. We discussed the different types of exercises each branch enjoyed and hopefully delegates left with more ideas of different exercises. There was so much enthusiasm for the groups and people wanted to make the group sessions as effective as possible not only from adding new exercises but enhancing the social aspect and giving members support to manage their condition.
This time we decided to be environmentally friendly and went paper free by sending the slides out before the course and not producing a manual. This was much preferred option and will be repeated in our future courses.
The highlight of the course for many was the opportunity to practise the BASMI measures on NASS group members, who had kindly come in to act as models. The group members were happy to take part in a discussion where they gave an insight into how the disease affected them and what it’s like to live with the condition. They expressed how important the NASS group was to them. One person said ‘Attending the NASS group makes you feel like you’re not the only one’. The comments from the NASS members echoed the theory learnt throughout the weekend but gave it a realism that can only come from someone who lives with the disease.
Thank you to Bryan and his colleagues at UCLH for organising the course and also to the members of the Euston NASS Group who gave up their Sunday morning to give an insight into how AS affects them.

Some comments from delegates:
"Great informative course"
"Thank you for your knowledge and enthusiasm"
"Found all the practical sessions very useful as always looking to increase knowledge base into a variety of exercises"

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Axial Spondyloarthritis Physiotherapy Assessment & Management Workshop 8 & 9 September 2018 UCLH

The AStretch team had a brilliant weekend at the UCLH teaching on the Axial Spondyloarthritis Management Course.

People had travelled from all across the country from as far as Doncaster and Abergavenny to Cambridge and Plymouth. Most of the delegates were already running their local NASS groups, with a wide variation in facilities and staffing. It was great to see so much enthusiasm for the groups and that people wanted idea new exercises in both hydrotherapy and the gym to give their members more variety of exercises.

Day one kicked off with an overview in AxSpA, aetiology and pathology, followed by physio Self-Management. This gave chance for discussion and reflection on what happened in different areas of the country. In the afternoon everyone made a splash in the pool and work-out on the mats in the gym.

The second day started with drug management of AxSpA and moved on to outcome measures and metrology, practising the BASMI on each other. The highlight of the weekend was when 4 members of the local NASS group came and kindly had their BASMI measures taken. They talked about their own experiences with the condition. They were honest and open with their stories on journey to diagnosis, experience with physio and how AxSpA affected them. Their experiences made the theory covered seam real and human.
Day two finished with more chance to practise hydro and gym skills. It was great to see the group had real passion for managing AxSpA and wanting to get the best outcomes for patients. Hopefully this enthusiasm and new knowledge will be taken back and pasted on to others.

Thank you to Catherine and her colleagues at UCLH for organising the course and also to the members of the Euston NASS Group who gave a wonderful insight into how AxSpA affected them.

 Report from Heather, Course Tutor

'Brilliant course thank you feel inspired to pursue a career in rheumatology’

‘Very beneficial speaking to patients about their experience’

‘Lots of ideas of new exercises at a range of levels & greater understanding of conditions & medical Management’


One day course and NASS inaugural patient day in Northern Ireland,
Friday 16th October, and Saturday 17th October 2015:

Patient day sessions; Tai Chi led by Sue Gurden and Pilates led by Carolyn Clark

 The one day AStretch course in Northern Ireland received positive reviews. Enthusiastic delegates took part in interactive gym exercise sessions facilitated by Sue Gurden and Hydrotherapy sessions led by Claire Jeffries

The course can vary in length according to your specific needs, the most popular format is a two day course. The course content can be modified according to your chosen venue. Ideally facilities should include teaching/lecture rooms, access to practical/gym areas and hydrotherapy pool for some of the allocated time.

If you would like to run an AStretch Course in your area contact us for further information and to request an organisation pack.

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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