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Work and ankylosing spondylitis (AS)

Most people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are able to continue in their jobs, though you may need some modifications to your working environment, especially if you have a physically demanding job.

Seek advice if your job involves a lot of stooping or back strain. Speak to your employer's occupational health service if they have one, otherwise your local Jobcentre Plus office can put you in touch with Disability Employment Advisors who can arrange work assessments. They can advise you on changing the way you work and on equipment that may help you to do your job more easily. If necessary, they can also help with retraining for more suitable work. If work or career planning is difficult mention this to your doctor or ask to see an occupational therapist.

If you use a computer at work or at home, make sure it's positioned correctly so you can maintain a good posture while using it. You could ask for a display screen equipment (DSE) assessment to help you find the best workstation layout.

If your job involves sitting down most of the time, try to build short spells of exercise into your day. Any movement will help to prevent or ease stiffness. Ask your physiotherapist for advice on simple exercises you can do at any time. When you finish for the day, have a break before tackling any jobs at home. 

Read more about work and arthritis.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
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