Finding the needle in a haystack

Finding the needle in a haystack

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Finding the needle in a haystack

Identifying axial spondyloarthritis in a primary care back pain population

Dr Tom Williams is a Consultant Rheumatologist at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust. Tom is the chair of the South West Axial Spondyloarthritis Group (SWAG) who are working across the region to collaborate on improving diagnosis and care in axial SpA.

As part of the project Dr Williams presented to General Practitioners, First Contact Physiotherapists and other members of the primary care team across Bath.

In his presentation titled ‘Finding the needle in a haystack’ he talks through the challenges of and opportunities for identifying axial spondyloarthritis in a primary care back pain population.

The presentation can be downloaded here: Bath primary care presentation

Dr Williams covers the key facts about axial SpA, the context of delayed diagnosis, the impacts for patients, what drives the delay, how to spot the signs, the required investigations and the Bath referral process. He also gives practical tools for primary care professionals to utilise in practice and talks through some real life case studies.

We are please to share that the presentation is available for you to adopt locally and also the full talk can be heard at the audio file below.

Thanks to Dr Williams for sharing these materials.

Symptoms starting slowly

Pain in the lower back

Improves with movement

Night time waking

Early onset (under 40)