For 43 years the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society has supported people affected by ankylosing spondylitis. Over those 43 years there have been huge changes in the way the disease is diagnosed and managed.
In the past, ankylosing spondylitis could be diagnosed only when damage to the joints could be seen on an x-ray. This meant people were living in pain and feeling anxious about their symptoms for many years before they could be diagnosed and treated.
Rheumatologists can now diagnose people using MRI before the disease causes bone changes so treatment can start a lot earlier. They now use the term axial spondyloarthritis (axial SpA), which includes ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
This summer we asked members to vote at our AGM on a proposal to change our name to reflect these changes. Those present at the meeting voted unanimously in favour of making the change.
Today we re-launch our charity as the National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society.
We are still NASS. We are still supporting everyone affected by axial spondyloarthritis. We are still working to empower people to understand and manage their axial spondyloarthritis. We are still working with rheumatologists, physiotherapists, nurses, GPs, MPs and a whole host of others to transform the way axial spondyloarthritis is managed in the UK.
We are proud to be the oldest axial SpA (AS) charity in the world, leading the fight for early diagnosis and effective care, empowering people to lead the most healthy and fulfilled lives possible, and connecting people through our events and network of branches.
Thank you to all of our members, fundraisers and partners for your support, energy and insight.