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World Ankylosing Spondylitis Day: We watch your back

Picture of author Andrea Christopher
Posted by
Andrea Christopher, Global Communications & Company Reputation
To mark World Ankylosing Spondylitis Day (5 May), UCB is supporting a range of activities including a ‘Selfie Challenge’ to help raise awareness of this chronic condition.

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects parts of the spine including the bones, muscles and ligaments. World AS day is sponsored by the Ankylosing Spondylitis International Federation (ASIF).

As part of this annual event, patients, their families and members of the public are invited to walk during the month of May. This ‘Walk your AS off’ initiative encourages physical activity and mobility while presenting opportunities to highlight the ways in which AS affects patients’ lives.

UCB is sponsoring ASIF’s Selfie Challenge which aims to inspire 10,000 people around the globe to post on Instagram in May and June 2018. Last year 1,000 people took part so this year we are hoping to expand the impact of the campaign significantly.

To take the Selfie Challenge, post a picture of yourself or your friends and family participating in Walk Your AS Off and share it on Instagram, tagging @walkASoneworldwide. Participants can also include information about their own lives and the challenges they face.

We watch your back
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a subgroup of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), a spectrum of disease which includes non-radiographic axSpA (nr-axSpA) and AS. In nr-axSpA, inflammation in the joints that connect the pelvis and spine, known as sacroiliac joints, does not show up on x-ray; in AS the inflammation is detectable by X-ray. Over time, some nr-axSpA patients can progress to AS. The main symptoms are back pain and fatigue.

Onset of disease typically happens before age 45 and often strikes people in their 20s. Although there is no cure, the disease can be effectively managed by rheumatologists. Unfortunately, due to a lack of awareness, the disease is under-diagnosed, especially in women. Accurate diagnoses can be delayed up to 14 years, contributing to poorer long-term outcomes and provoking a decline in quality of life.

Throughout this month, UCB is engaging with the axSpA patient population to remind them of our ongoing support and continuing work to address significant unmet needs. Under the slogan, “In May, we watch your back!” we are playing our part to raise awareness for people living with these inflammatory conditions.

Find out more about axSpA and related diseases on our webpage dedicated to the disease.

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