Inflammatory back pain in primary care

Inflammatory back pain in primary care

Inflammatory back pain in primary care

Focus on axial Spondyloarthropathy

Dr Neil Heron, is a General Practitioner and a Clinical Lecturer, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Public Health, Queens University Belfast, with a special interest in sports medicine and musculoskeletal (MSK).

Niamh Kennedy is an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist at the Royal Victoria Hospital, part of the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust (BHSCT), working alongside Dr Adrian Pendleton, Clinical Lead for Rheumatology at BHSCT and Consultant Rheumatologist, in the newly formed Inflammatory Back Pain clinic at the Trust.

Dr Heron and Niamh ran an education session for Belfast primary care professionals in February 2024 as part of the collaboration between NASS and the Belfast team focused on improving diagnosis of axial SpA, part of the NASS Act on axial SpA campaign.

In their presentation titled ‘Inflammatory back pain in primary care –focus on Axial Spondyloarthropathy’ they talks through the challenges of and opportunities for identifying axial spondyloarthritis in a primary care back pain population.

The presentation can be downloaded here: Belfast primary care presentation

They cover the key facts about axial SpA, the challenges of back pain presentations, the context of delayed diagnosis, the impacts for patients, what drives the delay, how to spot the signs, the required investigations and the Belfast referral process. Niamh gave an overview of the new Belfast clinic for inflammatory back pain and axial SpA and its aims. They also gives practical tools for primary care professionals to utilise in practice.

We are please to share that the presentation is available for all Northern Ireland based clinicians via the link below. The presentation is hosted on the GP NI website as a webinar, accessible at the link below once logged in.

GPNI MSK Update : Inflammatory back pain – GPNI

Thanks to Dr Heron, Niamh and the GPNI team for sharing these materials.

Feedback from the event shows how well received the event was:

  • 88 health care professionals having watched live or viewed the recording
  • Average event rating of 9 out of 10
  • Average rating for the speakers of 4.7 out of 5
  • Average relevancy rating of 4.7 out of 5
  • 100% recommendation response
  • Lots of positive feedback on how the session would be used in practice

Symptoms starting slowly

Pain in the lower back

Improves with movement

Night time waking

Early onset (under 40)