Demystifying Axial Spondyloarthritis in Primary Care: Recognition, Diagnosis, and What Comes Next


Released On
November 8, 2021

Expires On
December 21, 2022

Media Type

Completion Time
45 - 60 minutes

Integrative Medicine, Neonatology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Occupational Medicine, Pain Management, Physiatry, Primary Care, Radiology, Rheumatology

Arthritis, IBD, Inflammatory bowel disease, Pain, Psoriasis, Radiology, Rheumatoid Arthritis

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This activity is provided by EXCEL Continuing Education.

This activity is supported by the Spondylitis Association of America.

Credit Available

  • Physicians — maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)

All other health care professionals completing this course will be issued a statement of participation.

Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of Primary Care Physicians, Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners.

Program Overview

This activity will help increase knowledge and awareness of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) among Primary Care providers, giving them tools to appropriately suspect, diagnose, and refer axSpA patients to rheumatology, with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:

  1. Recognize patients who may have axial spondyloarthritis among those presenting with chronic back pain.
  2. Distinguish between inflammatory back pain and mechanical back pain.
  3. Recognize spinal and extra-spinal feature of axial spondyloarthritis.
  4. Identify steps involved in the work up of a patient with suspected axial spondyloarthritis and know when to refer the patient to rheumatology.
  5. Identify radiographic (x-ray) features of axial spondyloarthritis.




Dr. Sonam Kiwalkar (Author)

Associate Program Director
Didactic education, Curriculum, Evidence-based medicine

Dr. Kiwalkar earned her medical degree at Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College in Pune, India. She completed her residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Rochester General Hospital in Rochester, New York. She completed her rheumatology fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. She is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology. In addition to practicing rheumatology at the Vancouver Clinic, she is pursuing a Masters in Education for Health Professionals at the Johns Hopkins University.


Abhijeet Danve MD MHS FACP (Editor)

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director, Yale Spondyloarthritis Program
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Danvecompleted his medical school and residency from Seth G S Medical College, Mumbai, India. He did his clinical rheumatology fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland and research fellowship at University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Danve is conducting clinical research focused on improving the early diagnosis of axial spondyloarthritis, and is deeply involved in increasing awareness and education among non-rheumatology clinicians via invited lectures and CMEs.



Caroline McCulley, MD (Reviewer)

Providence Arthritis Center at the Providence Portland Medical Center

Physician Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of EXCEL Continuing Education and The Spondylitis Association of America. EXCEL Continuing Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Physician Credit Designation

EXCEL Continuing Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1 AMA/PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

All other healthcare professionals completing this course will be issued a statement of participation

Disclosures of Conflicts of Interest

Sonam Kiwalkar, MD (Author) has no conflicts of interest to disclose.


Abhijeet Danve, MD, FACP (Editor)

  • Advisory Board: Abbvie, Janssen
  • Research Grant & Speaker: Novartis


Caroline McCulley, MD (Reviewer) has no conflicts of interest to disclose.


Advisory Team:
Benjamin J Smith, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA has no conflicts of interest to disclose
Brianna Hanson, MS, MPAP, PA-C has no conflicts of interest to disclose
Carlin Senter, MD has no conflicts of interest to disclose
Elizabeth Knight PhD, DNP, FNP-C has no conflicts of interest to disclose

Spondylitis Association of America Team:
Kristine Callender, MPH, CHES has no conflicts of interest to disclose
Elin Aslanyan has no conflicts of interest to disclose

EXCEL CE staff have no conflicts of interest to disclose

Instructions for Participation and Credit

There are no fees for participating and receiving CME credit for this enduring activity. To receive CME credit participants must:

  1. Read the CME/CE information and faculty disclosures.
  2. Participate in the online activity.
  3. Complete the Pre/Post Test and Pre/Post Survey form. Please note that a 60-day post survey will be sent out to all participants that complete the activity. Completion is voluntary, but highly encouraged.
Certificates will be emailed to the participant

Course Viewing Requirements

Supported Browsers:
Internet Explorer 8.0+ for Windows 2003, Vista, XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and above
Google Chrome 28.0+ for Windows, Mac OS, or Linux
Mozilla Firefox 23.0+ for Windows, Mac OS, or Linux
Safari 6.0+ for Mac OSX 10.7 and above

Supported Phones & Tablets:
Android 4.0.3 and above
iPhone/iPad with iOS 6.1 or above

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use

FDA requires that faculty participating in any CME activity disclose to the audience when discussing any unlabeled or investigational use of any commercial product or device not yet approved for use in the United States.


This activity is designed for educational purposes. Participants have a responsibility to utilize this information to enhance their professional development to improve patient outcomes. Conclusions drawn by the participants should be derived from careful consideration of all available scientific information. The participant should use his/her clinical judgment, knowledge, experience, and diagnostic decision-making before applying any information, whether provided here or by others, for any professional use.

Contact Information

For questions regarding the activity please contact:

Kristine Callender, Senior Manager of Programs at the Spondylitis Association of; (818) 465-4298

For CME questions please contact:

Grace Rebull at EXCEL CME; (305) 630-9414