Work

Advice on managing ankylosing spondylitis at work

Diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. Journey to accepting myself again.

When I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis five years ago, I was far from accepting it. All I wanted was to be ‘normal’. At first, I kept the diagnosis to myself as I struggled to come to terms with it, let alone admitting it out loud. I felt that people around me already don’t understand my pain and limitations. I believed they were unlikely to understand the diagnosis as well.

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My experience with work placements and spondyloarthritis

During my degree I’ve had completed a number of work placements for my physiotherapy course in a variety of settings, all while living with spondyloarthritis. While some of these were quite light work, others took a lot of effort and communication with my educators proved to be crucial.

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The backstage of looking healthy: acting with ankylosing spondylitis

“How much dancing will there be in this show..?” That’s one of the first questions that goes through my head when I’m looking for a new acting job. And no, not just because my version of dancing isn’t unlike a toddler’s on a day of high sugar intake. It’s because when you’ve got ankylosing spondylitis, dancing for hours straight day after day is not the easiest and the most fun you’re going to have.

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Russ journey to eat, sleep and breath Zumba

Russ Welch is 35 years young, he’s been Zumba instructor for over a year now and still learning. He was born deaf and as a result he’s 85% deaf in both ears. He also has ankylosing spondylitis which affects and can limit the movement in his back.
‘My health has always been at the forefront of my difficulties, but I seem to manage well in my classes now due to Zumba enhancing my flexibility, I am surprisingly 10 cm’s more bendy!’ 

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Know your rights at work!

It’s very important to know your rights at the workplace. Whether it’s your first job or you’re coming back after having a break from employment due to your ankylosing spondylitis, there are certain laws protecting you and requiring employer to respect your needs.

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