AS information day to be held at NNUH

A series of talks are being held as part of an information day is being held at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) on 22nd June to raise awareness of a painful inflammatory disease, ankylosing spondylitis (AS), also known as axial SpA.

NNUH Rheumatology consultant Dr Karl Gaffney is a leading expert in the treatment of AS. He will be speaking about the difficulties in diagnosing the condition, drug treatment options, and his role as a trustee and medical advisor for the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS), a charity which runs a helpline and offers hydrotherapy and physiotherapy for people affected by AS.

Physiotherapists and occupational therapists will speak about the importance of exercise for managing symptoms of AS and nurse specialists will be on hand to discuss what patients should expect when they attend hospital. Ken Barnes, chairman and treasurer of the Norfolk NASS branch will also talk to patients about how the charity can support those with the condition.

It is estimated that as many as 200,000 people in the UK have AS. The condition usually begins in early adult life and may lead to increasing pain and stiffness caused by progressively ankylosed (fused) joints. Fifty per cent of AS patients also experience inflammation and damage to other parts of the body including the eyes (iritis), bowels (colitis), skin (psoriasis) and hips.

Dr Gaffney said: “The main symptoms to look out for are chronic back pain – pain lasting more than three months – which is worse in the morning and improves with exercise. I would urge anyone who has these symptoms to see their GP. An accurate diagnosis requires a specific blood test and an MRI scan.”

The information day is being organised for patients in partnership with the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS). NASS also raises funds for research into the disease.

To reserve a place at the event, please contact the Rheumatology Research Secretary, on 01603 289806 leaving your name and telephone number.

The information day will be held in the Benjamin Gooch Lecture Theatre, Level 1, East In-patients from 09:00-13:00 on 22nd June. To reserve a place contact the Rheumatology Research Secretary, on 01603 289806 leaving your name and telephone number.

For more information about AS go to

Monday 17th of June 2013 09:00:30 AM