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Posture Management

Developing a bamboo spine or a hunched posture over time is one of the most dreaded complication of Ankylosing Spondylitis.[1][2] Fortunately learning to manage your posture throughout the day and night can help you maintain optimal spine alignment.[3]

An important step towards managing your condition is to learn to maintain the right posture is to know what is 'neutral spine'.

Neutral spine : It is the correct alignment of the spine to the rest of your body, such that there is no stress or strain on your spinal joints, muscles and ligaments.[3]

What is Posture?

Posture relates to the position that you hold your body when standing, sitting or even sleeping.

The neutral spine has 3 curves:

  • Stand in front of the mirror and visualize the 3 curves in your spine. See your posture at a neutral position.

  • Maintaining your spine at this ‘neutral position’ throughout is the key.


Find the right posture for every activity.

Suggested posture at work[3][4]

  • Adjust the height of your chair according to the height of your desk so that your feet touch the floor.

  • Keep your chin up.

  • Ensure your shoulders are relaxed and without strain (shoulders back, ribs in)

  • Take regular breaks to stretch.

  • Adjust the height of desk so that your keyboard is right in front of you and screen is at eye level.

  • Your arms should be bent in an ‘L’ shape, elbows by your side.

  • Ensure your spine is in neutral position.

Suggested posture while sleeping[5]


  • Avoid large pillows.

  • Avoid placing a pillow under your thighs unless it helps during a flare.

  • Use a firm mattress.

  • Sleeping on your back is the best position to maintain a neutral spine. If you are unable to sleep on your back, try to find a posture that works for you.

Suggested posture while exercising[6]


  • Pay attention to your posture while exercising.

  • Maintain neutral spine at all times.

Suggested posture while doing household chores[3]

  • Ensure work surfaces are high to prevent stooping.

  • Maintain neutral spine position.

  • Bend at the knee so that your back remains straight.

Optimize your posture, maximize your movement, take control of your pain!


  1. Spine universe. Ankylosing Spondylitis and Posture. Available [Online] at: Accessed on 20 Sep 2021

  2. Sieper J, et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2002;61(Suppl III):iii8–iii18

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

  4. NHS. How to sit at your desk correctly. Available [Online] at: Accessed on 20 Sep 2021

  5. Arthritis health. How to Sleep Better if You Have Ankylosing Spondylitis. Available [Online] at: Accessed on 20 Sep 2021

  6. Back to Action. NAAS. 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.