Why do ballet dancers have a higher risk of being diagnosed with Scoliosis than others?

scoliosis causes in ballet dancers

Did you know that ballet dancers are 14 times more likely than the general population to be diagnosed with Scoliosis?

Only six in every 1000 people will be diagnosed with Scoliosis, so why is this medical condition more prevalent in dancers?

There are a couple theories – one of them has to do with body weight.

Leptin is a hormone that inhibits hunger and reduces the body’s fat stores. Typically ballerinas have lower levels of leptin present in their bodies, which is linked to decreased bone density, overall body mass index (BMI) and a lower metabolism.

Another theory is that straightening and holding the spine in that position, as one might do in the early stages of ballet training, may also flatten the natural curve of the spine between the shoulder blades. This destabilises the spine, allowing it to rotate and bend sideways unnaturally (Scoliosis).

If you are a dancer, there is no cause for alarm. You may wish to be mindful of some habits though. Pay attention to any back pain and monitor some of the possible signs of scoliosis such as uneven hips or shoulders or a protruding shoulder blade or rib cage.