8 great job ideas for people living with scoliosis or a spinal disorder

Man stretching to support back pain

Did you know around 28% of Australians with disability also face chronic back issues?

As reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), this is more than 1.2 million people.

Living with a spinal disorder presents its unique set of challenges. 

People with spinal conditions such as scoliosis and ankylosing spondylitis can face barriers in finding work and building their career. This may include non-accessible buildings and unconscious bias.

However, as you well know, your condition doesn't define you, and there are jobs out there that can accommodate your needs and empower you to thrive professionally.

We understand the frustrations and uncertainties that come with searching for employment while managing a spinal disorder. 

It's not just about finding any job - it's about finding the right job that aligns with your abilities, preferences, and aspirations. 

Maegan has scoliosis and found a career that supported her recovery from back surgery

Maegan lives with scoliosis and underwent surgery for her spinal condition before starting a fulfilling job at a prestigious hotel and entertainment venue. See more of Maegan's experience of searching for employment here: Maegan's story.

Here are some things to think about when exploring work with a spinal disorder:

Physical demands
Look for roles that aren't physically demanding, such as those in office environments, to minimise discomfort.

Variety in tasks
Look for jobs that allow you to vary your activities and postures, reducing the strain on your body.

Flexible pace
Seek positions where you can take breaks as needed to manage pain and energy levels if needed.

Adaptable work environment
Employers may offer accommodations like adjustable desks or supportive chairs to enhance comfort.

Supportive workplace culture
A supportive team can make a significant difference in managing your condition while working.

What jobs might be most suitable?

Your journey towards finding meaningful employment is personal with hundreds of roles that could work for you.  
We encourage you to explore these options with an open mind, considering how each aligns with your circumstances and goals. 

Whether you're looking for flexibility, minimal physical strain, or opportunities for self-employment, there might be something here for you.

1. Teacher
Teaching and educator roles often involve a mix of standing and sitting and have time for breaks. School and university teachers also have longer breaks over (term) holidays. 

You may have skills from an earlier career that you can pass onto others as a teacher. For example, a nursing lecturer or an automotive instructor.

2. Self-employed
Being self-employed allows you to set your own pace, turning your passions or skills into a business venture.

You could turn your passion for writing, photography, or floristry into a business. Or you could use your skills to offer services such as tax return preparation, web-design or editing.

3. Fitness instructor
Experts say staying active helps people with spinal conditions manage pain. If you enjoy the benefits of exercise, why not turn it into a career, such as yoga instructor, group fitness instructor or swimming teacher.

Woman stretching in fitness gear to support back health

4. Sales representative
Sales roles offer flexibility, combining desk work with active tasks like meeting clients. Consider the job structure and pressure of the role to see if it works for you.

5. Reseller
Start a business buying and selling items online, working from the comfort of your home at your own pace. You could resell anything from antique furniture and vintage clothing to collectables and books.

6. Mindfulness coach
Mindfulness practices have been shown to help people manage pain. If you find mindfulness helpful, you could help others experience the benefits as a mindfulness coach.

7. Administrative assistant
Many administrative roles involve a mix of desk work and errands, providing a balanced workload.

8. Project manager
You can find project managers in almost every industry. If you have skills and knowledge from earlier careers, you could put these to use helping projects go successfully.

When considering these roles, it's important to prioritize jobs that offer flexibility, the possibility of remote work, and the ability to customize the work environment to meet ergonomic needs.

Ready to take the next step towards finding a job that works for you? 

Reach out to us today to learn more about our Disability Employment Services program and how we can assist you in your job search journey. 

Remember, you're not alone, and together, we can help you find your path to fulfilling employment.



APM supports people with disability, injury, or health conditions through various programs and services across its businesses, including Disability Employment Services in Australia.
When discussing disability, APM’s copy style is to use person-first language and the social model of disability in the first instance. Some articles may use identity-first language or refer to the medical model of disability for clarity or to better suit a specific audience.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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