Here Are Some Inspiring AS Instagram Accounts to Follow
When you’re searching for others who understand the AS experience, you probably want to see something real — not something sanitized or generated by pharmaceutical groups. There comes a point when articles and information shared by doctors just feel a little empty, devoid of the real perspective. You ask yourself: What do people think of their injections? Do they exercise? What are they eating, feeling, hoping for?
Luckily, social media has allowed us to peer beyond, to connect, engage, and learn from other patients with AS. I often turn to social media to connect with others who have AS and to get a glimpse of the lives of real, everyday people who manage the disease on a daily basis.
I’ve already discussed how I feel about AS support groups (hint: they can be great and also terrible), but I’m here to share a few AS and chronic illness Instagram accounts I turn to for wisdom, engagement, and a peek into how others manage the same disease that I do.
This is a great account, full of AS-specific captions that really showcase the everyday life of someone managing AS. Sara also happens to be an artist, so we get glimpses of that as well!
As she writes, “I know ankylosing spondylitis can literally throw a wrench in your day to day life. … The worst thing you can do when you have AS is conducting a sedentary lifestyle. It’s import to rest, though also important to move.”
I love the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society, which is “the only charity in the UK dedicated to transforming AS care. …” They do a great job of sharing resources with patients and providing exercises for us. Their website is really useful, especially for anyone living in the U.K., as they provide local branch information for those in search of support.
This is a great account for pretty much anyone living with chronic illness, simply because it offers you a chance to laugh it out once in a while. In fact, if you need more of a reason to follow a silly joke account, researchers at Oxford found that laughter actually helps reduce pain.
The study notes that “when laughter is elicited, pain thresholds are significantly increased, whereas when subjects watched something that does not naturally elicit laughter, pain thresholds do not change (and are often lower). These results can best be explained by the action of endorphins released by laughter.”
This account is lovely because, if you can’t tell by the handle, it’s inspiring! As Renata writes, “Learning how to deal with AS is the biggest challenge. When I first got diagnosed I felt like my life has ended! But slowly I realized that it wasn’t that way, We don’t have to stop doing things, we can find a way around… standing still is to me the worse!”
I also follow @thisaslife, a place for people to learn, share, inspire, and discuss their experiences with AS. With helpful infographics and well-researched information, this account helps you feel less alone while navigating the wild world of chronic illness. Their website also has tons of helpful information.
Note: Ankylosing Spondylitis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ankylosing Spondylitis News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ankylosing spondylitis.