Looking Ahead – Best Practice for the care of people with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

by PCR Society
on 24th February 2012

NASS (the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society) has published a report called ‘Looking Ahead – Best Practice for the care of people with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)’.  AS is a disease which affects 2 – 5 adults per 1,000 in the UK and, despite recent developments in health care, there remains an average delay of as much as 10 years between symptom onset and diagnosis. This is largely due to a lack of provision made for recognising inflammatory back pain in primary care settings. In many cases a diagnosis of AS is only given once spinal symptoms have become chronic and disabling and irreversible spinal changes have begun. To address this the report makes several recommendations for the speedier diagnosis and treatment of AS. It sets out actions that can be easily adopted by GPs, such as the use of back pain assessment pathways that include a system for the recognition of inflammatory back pain and referral to a rheumatologist. To find out more about the problems and recommendations you can read the full report here http://www.nass.co.uk/research/published-reports/.

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