What is ankylosing spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis (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.
The National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS) is the only registered charity dedicated to the needs of people affected by AS in the UK. It is estimated that 200,000 people in the UK alone have the condition.
Why support NASS?
NASS does not receive any government or statutory funding to fund our work – only through the support of individuals can we continue to grow and change the lives of people with AS for the better.
NASS plays a crucial role in providing accurate and up to date information allowing people with AS to have a greater understanding of their disease and in turn, make more informed choices in the management of their symptoms.
We do this by:
• 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, iPhone apps and materials for people with AS and healthcare professionals;
• Providing regular supervised hydrotherapy and physiotherapy sessions through a network of volunteer branches around the UK;
• Keeping people up to date with the latest developments in effective treatment of the disease via the website, monthly e-news, email alerts and our bi-annual newsletter for members and health 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; and
• Actively encouraging participation into research into the cause, genetics, treatment and management of the disease.