Ankylosing Spondylitis: Don’t Turn Your Back On It

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a condition that mainly affects the spine. The joints of the neck, back and pelvis become inflamed, causing pain and stiffness. The sacroiliac joints are commonly affected in AS. These joints connect the base of your spine (sacrum) to your pelvis. Other joints, such as the hips and shoulders, can also be involved. AS can also affect other parts of the body, such as the eyes, skin, bowel and lungs.

Ankylosing Spondylitis: Don’t Turn Your Back On It

Men in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle will have a new place to turn for information and support on back pain thanks to the launch of the new ‘Don’t Turn Your Back On It’ campaign, supported by Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW.

Don’t Turn Your Back On It is a campaign to raise public awareness of Inflammatory Back Pain (IBP) and Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). It is an AbbVie Australia initiative, supported by Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW.

Could your unresolved back pain be inflammatory back pain (IBP)?

Click here to take a quick screener to help find out.

Don’t Turn Your Back On It: The BACK CAVE

‘Don’t Turn Your Back On It’ seeks to raise awareness of chronic inflammatory back pain, by encouraging them to visit the BACK CAVE. An all-male, travelling health education service, the BACK CAVE will visit three Westfield shopping centres where men gather on the weekends, albeit often involuntarily, heading to Warringah in Sydney, Warrawong in Wollongong and Kotara in the Newcastle area in June.

The BACK CAVE will be an information hub specifically designed for men to raise awareness of inflammatory back pain and AS, a chronic inflammatory disease of the spine. The BACK CAVE will feature men’s magazines, flat screen TVs broadcasting sports events, PlayStations and complementary refreshments. Local health experts will be on hand to provide information to visitors experiencing back pain.

As part of this new campaign, men who visit the BACK CAVE will be able to fill out a brief, 5 question online screener, which will allow them to assess their back or spinal pain and take further steps to address it. The screener was developed by the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society (ASAS), the peak international body for the management of AS. The screener was also published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases and endorsed in 2013 by European experts to be used by GPs to screen patients for IBP and AS. Click here to take the inflammatory back pain screener.

The launch of the ‘Don’t Turn Your Back On It’ campaign coincides with Men’s Health Week (9-15 June). For further information about AS contact Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW on 1800 011 041. To find out more about chronic inflammatory back pain, the BACK CAVE or to complete the short screener visit

BACK CAVE Locations

Warringah Mall (Sydney)
Address: Cnr Condamine St & Old Pittwater Road
Dates: Saturday 31 May & Sunday 1 June
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Warrawong (Wollongong)
Address: Cnr King & Cowper St
Dates: Saturday 7 June & Sunday 8 June
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Kotara (Newcastle)
Address: Cnr Park Ave & Northcott Drive
Dates: Saturday 14 June & Sunday 15 June
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Want more information on Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)?

If you would like more information on Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) please click here.

To download a copy of the Ankylosing Spondylitis Exercise Sheet with Michael Slater please click here. To view the Working Out with Michael Slater Video please click here.