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Posture and ankylosing spondylitis (AS)

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) can cause your spine to become stuck in a bent position, so it’s important to pay special attention to your posture. You can check it by standing up as straight as you can against a wall. Seek advice from a specialist physiotherapist if you're worried about your posture.

Hardback, upright chairs or straight-backed rocking chairs are better for your posture than low, soft, upholstered chairs or sofas. Try using a cushion behind your lower back to give extra support and help you keep good posture. 

Don’t stoop or stretch across a desk or bench. Make sure your seat is at the proper height and don’t sit in one position for too long without moving your back. A lumbar support and/or seat wedge may be useful. A physiotherapist can provide ergonomic advice, for example  on seating, and guidance on exercise to help you maintain a good upright posture.

If you get an opportunity, lie on your back on the floor sometime during the day. This will help stretch out the front of your hips and improve your posture.

When lying on your back use pillows to support your head, but try to keep the number of pillows to a minimum. If your neck relaxes more as you rest, try removing one pillow at a time. Don't place a pillow under your knees because stretching them out fully helps to maintain flexibility.

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