Spondyloarthritis is a group of inflammatory diseases affecting the spine and joints that affects about 2.7 million Americans, or nearly one in every 100 individuals. Disorders in this group include ankylosing spondylitis (also known as axial spondyloarthritis, or axSpA), psoriatic arthritis, arthritis related to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and reactive arthritis. The most common symptom is chronic low back pain; patients can also have pain and swelling of joints, tendonitis, heel pain, psoriasis, and inflammatory disease of eye called iritis, or uveitis.
The Yale Spondyloarthritis Program was established in February 2019 to provide comprehensive care to patients with spondyloarthritis and to conduct research aimed at finding treatment strategies and discovering biomarkers for early and accurate diagnosis and management.
Our program provides coordinated care in a wide range of specialties related to Spondyloarthritis. Our team of experts includes rheumatologists, a physical therapist, rehab medicine specialist, spine surgeon, pain specialist (for musculoskeletal disease), as well as dermatologists, a gastroenterologist, ophthalmologist, psychologist, nutritionist, and cardiologist.
In addition to providing clinical care, our program emphasizes patient education, support, and involvement. We provide beginner- and advanced-level patient education and offer a patient support group. Our patients are also able to participate in clinical trials.
Our team is committed to improving early diagnosis of axial spondyloarthritis—despite the availability of effective medications, patients experience back pain, disability, and poor quality of life due to delayed diagnosis and lack of timely referrals. In fact, the average delay in diagnosis of axSpA is 8 to 11 years. We seek to improve awareness and early diagnosis through education campaigns that include lectures, group discussions, and social media directed at non-rheumatology physicians.