Public Lecture: “My chronic back pain is Axy-what?” Axial Spondyloarthritis & Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • 29 March 2023
  • 5:30pm
  • Online

This public lecture will be delivered by Professor Lettie Bishop, Professor of Exercise Immunology at Loughborough University, Dr Matthew Roberts, Research Associate in Exercise, Inflammation and Chronic Disease at Loughborough University, and Dr Moorthy Arumugam, Consultant Rheumatologist at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS trust on Wednesday 29 March at 5:30pm.

Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpA), and its most common type, Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a chronic, painful inflammatory arthritis affecting 1 in 200 people in the UK, making it more common than Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis combined, yet most people are unaware of it.

Symptoms usually develop between the ages of 20 and 40, primarily affecting the spine and hips, but it can affect any joint, tendon or ligament. Other inflammatory conditions are commonly experienced in conjunction with axSpA, and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is higher than in the general population.

Some of the most debilitating complications of axSpA are invisible; many suffer severe fatigue, and flares can make socialising and working problematic. Experiences of anxiety and depression are 6-fold higher among people with axSpA than the general population. However, it is underdiagnosed, with an average delay of diagnosis of over 8 years.

In this talk, our speakers will explain how axSpA and AS develop, the most common symptoms and current available treatments. They will also introduce their recent National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS)-funded study investigating whether regular walking could have anti-inflammatory effects for people living with these conditions. The talk will present you with findings and offer you the chance to hear from study participants who will share their thoughts and experiences of being involved in this research. Professor Bishop, Dr Roberts and Dr Arumugam will conclude this lecture with a discussion about the potential next steps and lead an open forum for questions and answers.

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