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Last updated:25th August 2017

A-Z of useful resources

A

ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)

A helpful source of information and advice  to help prevent or resolve workplace problems

Access to Work

An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if you have a disability, health or mental health condition to help you start working, stay in work or move into self-employment or start a business. 

Acupuncture

Some people find acupuncture effective in helping their AS pain. The exact way acupuncture works remains unclear but it seems to relieve pain by diverting or changing the painful sensations that are sent to the brain from damaged tissues and by stimulating the body's own pain-relieving hormones (endorphins and encephalins).

Attendance Allowance 

Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit for people with disabilities aged 65 or over who need care. You can't claim it if you are already claiming PIP. Thie link takes you through to Age UK who also offer some really useful information on benefits and entitlements for people over 65..

B

Blue Badge

The Blue Badge scheme allows people with severe walking disabilities to park in restricted areas. The link takes you through to the government website where you can start your application. NASS have extra information on our Driving page.

Bus Pass (Disabled)

Ii you live in England contact your local council to find out who issues disabled bus passes in your area as part of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme. If you live in Scotland and are disabled, you can apply for free bus travel with the National Entitlement Card. This is the link for Wales and Northern Ireland

C

Carer’s Allowance

You may be eligible for Carer's Allowance if you are aged 16 or over and you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who is ill or has a disability. The link takes you through to information produced by Carer's UK.

Complaining about your healthcare

The Patient's Association are a good source of help and advice when you are unhappy with an experience with your GP, rheumatologist or even your dentist. They have guides and a helpline.  

Cinema 

The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA). It helps cinemas to ensure they make reasonable adjustments for disabled guests when they go to the cinema; in particular it ensures a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them.

D

Debt

When you are struggling with AS and can't work it's easy to get into debt.

Depression

We know that around a third of people with a long term, painful condition like AS will suffer with depression at some point in their lives. We covered depression and how it can be treated in the Autumn 2016 issue of AS News.  

Diagnosis

What tests should be carried out to diagnose AS and what do the results mean?

Diet

Can diet make a difference.

Disability Benefits

Citizens Advice offer a quick and simple online benefits checker so you can find out what benefits you could get.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

A benefit to help with extra costs you may have because you are disabled. Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has replaced DLA for people aged 16 to 64 years. If the DWP contact you to say you are being moved over to PIP do contact us for a guide to completing your application form. We'd strongly recommend you contact your local Welfare Rights organisation for help.

Driving

NASS have a page of information explaining when you should tell the DVLA you have AS. If you need some help with safe driving do contact Driving Mobility.

E              

Education grants

If you are a higher education student living in England, you can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance DSA). These are the links for WalesScotland and Northern Ireland.

Employment and Support Allowance

ESA is designed to offer financial help to those unable to work due to ill health. It's quite a complex benefit and we'd advise getting advice from a Welfare Rights organisation. We can email guides to applying for the benefit and appealing against decisions.

Equality Act

If you have a long term condition like AS and it's having a ‘substantial’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities then you would be considered as disabled and would be protected against discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.  

Exercise

We have a section on exercising safely with AS on the website.

F             

Family planning

Planning a family can be difficult when you have AS. Advice on medications is changing so it's always best to discuss your individual situation with your own rheumatologist.

Fibromyalgia

Recent research indicates that around 1 in 7 people with AS also meet the criteria for fibromyalgia. Those people who do meet the criteria for fibromyalgia report much poorer quality of life.

G               

Get involved

NASS receive no financial support from the government so we are always looking for people who'd like to fundraise or volunteer for us.

H

Hydrotherapy

When you are really struggling with your AS, hydrotherapy can really make a difference.

I

Inflammation 

When you have AS your body is over-producing inflammation. This causes pain in your spine and joints and can ultimately lead to fusion and it can also affect other areas such as your gut and eyes. Alongside high levels of inflammation can come high levels of fatigue. Anaeia is also strongly associated with inflammation in the body. 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Around 7% of people with AS will also suffer with a form of inflammatory bowel disease.

M

Medication

We have a section on our website about AS medications. If you are taking a number of different medications do think about asking for a medications review with a community or hospital pharmacist.

Mental Health

Living with AS can take a toll on your mental health. Do be aware of the signs of anxiety and depression and seek help earlier rather than later.

Money

The Money Advice Service offer free and impartial money advice.

O

Osteoporosis

People with AS are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Finsd out more about prevention and treatment.

P

Posture   

It's vital to keep a good posture when you have AS. This video shows you how to keep a check on it.        

Pregnancy

Do keep your rheumatologist in the loop if you're planning a family. Advice does change about medications you can and can't use during pregnancy and your rheumatologist will know the most up to date advice.

Psoriasis

Around 9% of people with AS will have psoriasis. With the right treatment and advice psoriasis can be managed well.

S

Sick Pay   

If you are off work ill then it's likely you will be entitrled to sick pay. Check your rights.          

Sleep

The Sleep Council offers useful advice on sleep, along with information on choosing a new bed or mattress. Our advice if you are waking in the second half of the night is to talk about a change of medication before you think about the expense of changing your bed.

T

Travel 

We've got lots of tips for travelling with AS.This guide is written by an insurance company but is very helpful.

If you are looking for a high quality biologic travel bag or fridge then Medactiv has some great options.

U            

Uveitis

Around 40% of people with AS will have an attack of uveitis at some point in their life. It's vital to know the signs and symptoms as it's a condition which does need fast treatment.

V

Vitamin D

This vitamin is essential for healthy bones and, together with calcium can help prevent osteoporosis.

W           

Work

This link takes you through to use useful chart of information on inflammatory arthritis and work, put together by the ABPI.

X

X-rays 

These can be useful is showing changes to bones in AS but an MRI will be more effective in showing inflammation and is more likely to be helpul in diagnosing early AS.

Y             

Young people

NASS will be launching a new website aimed at younger people in 2017.

YouTube

NASS have a You Tube Channel with useful AS videos.

Zzzzzzzzz

The Sleep Council offers useful advice on sleep, along with information on choosing a new bed or mattress. Our advice if you are waking in the second half of the night is to talk about a change of medication before you think about the expense of changing your bed.

 


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