Showing support for AS sufferers around the world!
10 facts on Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Ankylosing spondylitis is pronounced an-ki-low-sing spon-de-lie-tis and is called AS for short.
- AS is a painful, progressive form of inflammatory arthritis. It mainly affects the spine but can also affect other joints, tendons and ligaments.
Ankylosing means fusing together. Spondylitis means inflammation of the vertebrae. Both words come from the Greek language.
- Ankylosing spondylitis describes the condition where some or all of the joints and bones of the spine fuse together. Other areas such as the eyes, bowel, lungs and heart can also sometimes be involved with AS.
- AS affects an estimated 200,000 in the UK – that’s twice the number who have Parkinson’s Disease or multiple sclerosis.
- Research is still ongoing into the genetics of AS but researchers believe that up to 20 different genes must be involved.
- Symptoms usually begin in early adult life, with the average age of diagnosis being 24.
- There is currently no cure for AS. It is managed by a combination of pain relief and stretching exercises.
- AS, especially in its early stages, can be an invisible condition. People with AS are often battling on a daily basis against pain, stiffness and fatigue. This can lead to feelings of isolation, particularly just after diagnosis.
- As well as the inevitable pain of the disease, AS often generates feelings of frustration and fear. To help them adjust to their diagnosis it is important that they have the support and encouragement of family, friends and work colleagues.
- Some common problems for people with include: pain and stiffness in the mornings make it hard to get going; sitting in one place can lead to pain and stiffness and not having the same amount of energy or stamina and getting fatigued easily.
How you can help?
You can help by supporting the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS) in their efforts to raise awareness and provide support to those who have the condition. Here are just a couple of ways they help:
- Responding to daily requests for advice and information by telephone, email and letter on a wide range of topics including associated diseases, medication, practical aids, employment, insurance, benefits and more.
- Producing a variety of resources including patient guides, fact sheets, audio podcasts, exercise DVDs and materials for people with AS and healthcare professionals.
- Acting as advocate for people with AS working alongside the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), health service providers and policy makers in raising the profile of AS and, in particular, the need for earlier diagnosis and access to appropriate care.
- Actively encouraging participation into research into the cause, genetics, treatment and management of the disease.
You can find out more by visiting the NASS website.
Possibly even donating to them, they are the only registered charity dedicated to the needs of people affected by AS in the UK.
Support the cause
It’s time for change.
You can also help out for free by signing the petition below and helping to get the government to take the condition more seriously. I can speak from experience with how badly AS patients are treated and the frustration that is placed on their shoulders as they are bounced to clinic after clinic not knowing what is wrong or what they need to be doing.
Click here to sign the petition and help change the future for those with AS.
Thank you for reading and I hope you will join me in my efforts in the future to raise money for NASS
that sdmix guy Matt Allen
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