AxSpA in Women Knowns and Unknowns

Something different this week, I am going to admit what I don’t know! Yes, yes I don’t know much about much but I am going to be specific. On Friday 09/10/2020 I am attending a webinar by ARMA all about AxSpA in Women and how it differs to the condition in Men.

I have got a few AxSpA resources available on my SHOP and an overview doc HERE Please do consider heading to my shop, grabbing yourself some CPD materials and supporting me to keep producing blogs and other resources for Therapists!

As usual feedback is greatly appreciated and any further reading for me please send it my way!


What do I know?

– AxSpA affects nearly as many (if not as many) Women as Men

– Women seem less likely to develop structural changes as Men with AxSpA

– Women have an equal disease burden to Men with AxSpA

– Women tend to present with more peripheral manifestations but less classical axial symptoms than Men

– Women have a lower HLA-B27 +ve rate than Men (~85% vs ~90%)

What do I suspect?

  • Women’s delay to diagnosis is longer than Men’s
  • Women are more likely to be misdiagnosed due to higher prevalence of pain syndromes
  • Suspicion in Primary care is lower in Women than in Men

What do I not know?

  • Why are there these differences?
  • How do we mitigate or offset the increased delays because of the less “classical” presentation?
  • Should we have a lower threshold for referral and/or investigation in Women?
  • Are there any aids we can use to help our clinical reasoning process in Women?

Next Steps

Ok, so I hope the above holds me to account with my learning, it\’s a lot to ask of in an hour webinar but my fingers are crossed. The plan is to challenge what I know and see if I can get answers to my suspicions and what I don’t know. I will follow up with what I learn, note any new questions that I generate and try to apply all this to our clinical practice.


I am really to keen to hear from anyone who has further information or other questions about Women vs Men differences in AxSpA.

Get me any feedback you might have so that I can grow and improve.

See you next time!

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