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                        Scoliosis in Elite Athlete Groups

 

 

Some elite athletes in groups such as swimming, ballet and gymnastics are at greater risk of developing scoliosis than the general population. According to one study available on another page 'Case for Early Treatment,' doctors found a prevalence rate of 1.9 % for the overall population but in groups such as swimming and ballet, the prevalence rate  is 16% and 24% respectively (see studies below). 

 

I had a pet theory a few years ago and it had to do with the fact that these children more likely than not have flat feet or pronate and because they're barefoot most of the time would cause the scoliosis to progress even more. It's a laughable theory I know,  but entirely plausible and just as good as any other "theory" as far as I’m concerned.

 

On the other hand, If these children had slight  asymmetries to begin with and performing these activities caused their scoliosis to progress, it's quite possible that these particular activities --- swimming, ballet and gymnastics could be the very best exercise for scoliosis provided the activities are properly harnessed (with the aid of flexible bracing) to guide the spine in the right direction. 

 

 

 

Dr. Vert Mooney's study on Torso Rotation on another page to the website briefly touches on the subject of scoliosis in athletes :

 

Asymmetric strength also is demonstrated in junior Olympic swimmers. In a study of 336 swimmers who were evaluated for scoliosis, 16% had mild curves, all with the convex on the hand dominant side of the body.

 

 

 

If I'm not mistaken, the majority of children with infantile idiopathic scoliosis and some children with Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis have left convex side curves. If your child is right-handed, swimming could possibly be the best exercise to do! Check with your doctor. My daughter's curve is left convex and she's right handed. This would also apply to any child whose dominant hand is opposite to the convex side of the curve.

 

I've attached to this page relevant articles pertaining to scoliosis in rhythmic gymnastics, swimming and ballet. The article: Scoliosis and Fractures in Ballet Dancers" is a fascinating read! 24% of the dancers in that particular study had scoliosis. Here is an excerpt from the study:

 

  

 

The effects of hormonal, hereditary, and nutritional factors on the developing skeleton (particularly in adolescence) deserve further investigation. Long-term effects, such as stress fractures, are particularly important because they predispose to injury, and skeletal problems may reflect osteopenia that is not reversible. Although the relation between postmenopausal estrogen deficiency and osteoporosis is well recognized, osteopenia in young women -particularly in adolescents -with hypoestrogenism has not been studied.

 

 

Confirmation of the role of estrogen in preventing skeletal deformity and osteopenia in adolescents would radically alter attitudes toward the importance of the timing of normal sexual maturation and estrogen replacement.

 

 

 

 

 



    



 

 

 

 

 

Correcting Scoliosis during the AIS

Growth Spurt:

 

 

Free Kindle App. available on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 


Panayot I. Tanchev, MD, Assen D. Dzherov, MD, Anton D. Parushev, MD, et.al.,  Scoliosis in Rhythmic Gymnasts

 

 

 

MICHELLE P. WARREN, M.D., J. BROOKS-GUNN, PH.D., LINDA H. HAMILTON, L. FISKE WARREN, M.D et.al.,  SCOLIOSIS AND FRACTURES IN YOUNG BALLET DANCERS

 

 

Theodore]. Becker, Ph.D" R.P.T., A.T.C'*  Scoliosis in Swimmers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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