ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
Back in Play is a pan-European campaign to raise awareness of ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a chronic inflammatory condition, affecting the spine, causing severe, chronic pain and discomfort. Whilst commonly referred to as ‘arthritis of the spine’ it is unlike many other forms of arthritis as it tends to affect younger men, although women also suffer from the disease.
Why is it necessary to increase awareness of ankylosing spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a relatively unknown condition which tends to affect young people, mainly men, in their late teens and twenties. As the symptoms are often hard to identify and are easily confused with common lower back pain, sports injuries and muscle strain it can take many years for sufferers to get an accurate diagnosis. AS progresses over time in the majority of patients, so getting diagnosed as soon as possible is the first vital step.
There is currently a significant delay between the first onset of symptoms and diagnosis due to a lack of awareness of the condition and its symptoms. It is hoped that with the help of a simple list of symptoms, awareness of AS will be increased thus improving early diagnosis rates. The earlier the condition is diagnosed the better the treatment outcome for the patient, allowing them to continue with the activities they enjoy such as work and sport.1 If left untreated, over many years, the spine can become rigid as it fuses together, making it increasingly difficult for the individual to move freely and carry out their usual tasks.
Besides increasing awareness of the symptoms of AS, the aim of this website, and the information provided by patient groups linked to the site, is to help potential sufferers find accurate sources of further information in order that they better understand what can be done to help improve their symptoms and quality of life.
The Back in Play Online Game
Play the Game
Why a football game? Why a throw-in?
Football is widely considered to be one of the most popular sports in the world appealing to a wide audience; especially this year with the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and an online game is a fun way of interactively learning. Most football fans and game fanatics will not have heard about AS and yet a proportion of these people may have symptoms that have gone unnoticed – increased awareness alongside a simple checklist of symptoms could change this!
The throw-in is a key element of football, requiring skill and back strength to maximise opportunities for the players to take control of the ball and score the ultimate goal. The idea behind using a throw-in stemmed from the fact that mobility of the spine is reduced with AS whilst flexibility and strength of the spine are important in order to achieve a great throw-in. The Back in Play football game tests your skills and dexterity with increasingly skilful control and technique needed to achieve the highest score and compete against the best in Europe.
Have you played the game yet?
Do you know the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?
What should you do if you think you that you may suffer from ankylosing spondylitis?
1. Elyan M, Khan MA. Diagnosing Ankylosing Spondylitis. Rheum. 2006:33 (Suppl 78):12-23
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