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Meeting AS Head On

The physical and emotional impact of Ankylosing Spondylitis along with the fears and anxieties surrounding it results in many doubts and questions. Here is a list of some frequently asked questions about Ankylosing Spondylitis:

Q. I am diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and I feel dejected. What do I do?

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a medical condition and it is important to understand that it does not define or limit you as a person.

Research has shown that people who take an active interest in their condition can influence how their disease plays out. Having the right information and initiating a frank conversation with your Rheumatologist is the first step towards living a happy, active and, productive life.[1]

Q. How can I deal with anxiety and stress?

Stress can act as a trigger to worsen symptoms. On the other hand, managing the effects of stress will improve your ability to manage Ankylosing Spondylitis better. Breathing exercises are a simple, yet effective stress management tool.[2]

Joining support groups are another great way to deal with a long-term condition like Ankylosing Spondylitis. They help bring together people who are going through similar situations and experiences.[3]

We present 5 things you can do to be 'emotionally well'.

Accept yourself

  • Acceptance is about changing the way you think or altering your ‘mindset’.[2]

Recognize the signs

  • Observe negative feelings like hopelessness, anxiety, fear, or sadness.[2]

Learn to deal with stress and anxiety

  • Simple stress-busting techniques can work wonders.[2]

Prepare for difficult times

  • Be emotionally prepared for times when your symptoms flare or when you experience an increased stress.[2]

Ask for help

  • Social connections can be the key to remaining emotionally well.[2]

Q. Is there a chance I can have a successful career, now that I have Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Many Ankylosing Spondylitis patients have successful careers. The key here is to be proactive[4]:

  • Take steps to maximize your comfort level while you work.

  • Use chairs and desks that are designed to help you maintain the right posture.

  • Take regular breaks and stretch often.

  • You may also want to sensitize your manager and co-workers about your condition so that they can support you when times get tough.

  • Be assertive about improving your work conditions and don’t be shy to ask for help.

Q. Can I get married if I have Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a long-term condition and can have an impact on different aspects of your life including your relationships, especially with your spouse. You will have to adapt to deal with the physical challenges of the condition like pain, fatigue as well as the emotions associated with it, like low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression.

Discussing your condition with your to-be partner or spouse, especially when you are first diagnosed, is especially important. Talk about the challenges you may face, that could impact you as a couple. Frank and open communication can work wonders with any relationship.[1]

Be sure to involve your spouse in your treatment, get them to accompany you to the Rheumatologist, and make joint decisions related to your illness.[1] Talking to a Rheumatologist or a mental health professional about your concerns can help.

Q. Is there a chance I can pass on Ankylosing Spondylitis to my children?

Studies show that 8 out of 10 children who inherit the HLA-B27 gene do not develop Ankylosing Spondylitis.[5] While Ankylosing Spondylitis can be inherited, it is not a certainty that your child will have this condition.[1] [6] 


  1. Arthritis Ireland. Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Available [Online] at: Accessed on 20 Sep 2021

  2. NAAS. Your Wellbeing. Available [Online] at: Accessed on 20 Sep 2021ASIF. World AS day 2020. Toolkit. Available [Online] at: Accessed on 20 Sep 2021

  3. WebMD. Ankylosing Spondylitis and your job. Available [Online] at: Accessed on 20 Sep 2021

  4. NIH. Medline Plus. Ankylosing Spondylitis. Available [Online] at: Accessed on 20 Sep 2021

  5. NHS. Causes. Ankylosing Spondylitis. Available [Online] at: Accessed on 20 Sep 2021

Disclaimer: This material is not meant to replace professional advice from HCPs. Please consult your doctors/physiotherapist if you have any questions or before undertaking any physical activities.