Looking from the side, the normal human spine at rest has three gentle curves: at the small of the back; between the shoulder blades;and at the neck.

During movement, these curves may flatten or increase, but the closer they stay to their original shape, the better, because this shape leads to less strain on the ligaments and joints and therefore less risk of pain or injury. This position of good posture is often called the neutral spine position.

Unfortunately, the pain and stiffness of AS encourages the spine to hunch forwards andover time, the spine may lose the ability to straighten back up.

Here is a checklist that you can use to educate your spine to keep in a good posture.We suggest that you do this as often as possible through the day and while doing these exercises.


Stand with the feet shoulder width apart and grip the pelvis between the fingers at the front and the thumbs at the rear. Starting at the top is the best way to visualise correcting your posture. Making a mental checklist is a good way to help.

1 head position

2 Shoulder position

3 hand position

4 pelvis position

5 knees

1 Draw the chin in but keep the head vertical aiming to line up the ear lobe with the midline of the shoulder. This will bring the head back towards the midline of the body. Another way of thinking of this is to imagine that you are holding a tennis ball under your chin.

Draw the shoulders downwards towards the feet and lengthen the collarbones so your shoulders are open but NOT pinched back. Try to utilise the muscles in the mid and lower back rather than those at the top of the back. This will draw the shoulders back so they are not rounded, opening the front of the chest.

If your shoulders are rounded then you will find your hands tend to rest on the front of your thighs. To correct this you need to draw your arms, shoulders and shoulder blades back so your hands are now resting on the outside of your thighs(palms resting on your trouser seam).

4 To understand, the correct position of the pelvis, imagine that you are holding a bucket of water. Tipping water out of the front of the bucket will tip the pelvis forwards and vice versa. Working only in a range of movement that is comfortable, tip water out of the front, then back of the bucket, several times. Atthis point, stop in the mid position. Then slowly tip the bucket forwards to gently dribble water from the front of the bucket (slightly anteriorly tilted).

5 Finally, fully straightened knees can contribute to bad posture. Therefore softening and slightly bending the knees will help.