Does ballet help scoliosis treatment? Or does taking part in the dance grow the risk of scoliosis? There is a growing amount of research that seems to show evidence that dancing might grow your risk of getting the condition.

For those who do not dance this link might look a bit odd however for dancers, you might probably know somebody who has the condition, or maybe you might have the condition yourself. Recently research has shown that taking part in this type of dancing can raise your risk of developing the disease.

Does ballet help scoliosis?

The study was conducted by the Exercise science and physiotherapy at Curtin University based in Perth, in Western Australia. The main goal of the study was to find out the main differences between scoliosis in the dancers compared to people who do not dance. The study also wanted to find out if there were any relations between generalized joint hypermobility, body mass index, age of menarche, and the hours of dance training each week.

30 dancers were asked to take part in the study. The ages of the dancers ranged between 9 and 16. They were all recruited from certified dance schools from Western Australia. Each dancer was assigned a partner who was not a dancer and was the same age as them.

Measurements were taken from both the dancer and the participants who do not dance. A scoliometer(a tool used to measure scoliosis) was used to measure the trunk rotation angle and for the weight and height to make generalized joint hypermobility, they used the Body Mass Index that was adjusted depending on the age and the Beighton criteria. The participants were also asked to fill out a personalized questionnaire concerning their participation in sports and dance and the age of menarche.

The results from the study will probably not surprise anyone from the world of dancing and answer the question: does ballet help scoliosis? 30 percent of the dancers were found to already have the disease while only 3 percent of the participants who do not dance were found to have it. Calculating the odds of the representatives based on those percentages shows that ballet dancing raises the risk of the disease by 12 times.

The dancers also had a higher chance of getting joint hypermobility (70%) while the chances of those who did not dance getting joint hypermobility were noticeably much lower at 3%. Nevertheless, there was no evidence of any statistical relations between joint hypermobility and scoliosis, BMI, age of menarche, or the hours spent dancing each week, we can therefore come to the conclusion that ballet dancing was the main factor responsible for the higher chances of getting the disease.

The authors of the study concluded that adolescent dancers and as well as adult dancers are at a noticeably higher risk of getting the disease compared to those who do not dance. It follows that strict screening and upgrading the education of parents and dance teachers will be beneficial in the early detection and hence the reduction of the risk of necessary surgical intervention and scoliosis treatment.

Why does ballet dancing raise the risk of scoliosis?

It might still be a bit too early to confidently say that we fully comprehend the informal links, though it seems reasonable to hint the way the dancers are taught in their classes to hold their spines could be the main cause, this because they are taught to hold their spines opposite to the natural curve of the spine. Our specialists who have qualifications in chiropractic care are experts at examining and treating pressures on the spine for scoliosis treatment, this puts them perfectly placed to offer treatment. Realizing the problem early enough will allow us to provide a wide range of treatment to solve the problem.

What do I do?

As a dancer or as the parent of a dancer there are preventative steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of getting the disease and the steps to take to put a stop to the condition if it occurs.

  1. Get a physical evaluation from a certified professional as soon as any potential symptoms appear. If it is spotted early enough it is easy to treat, there is a wide range of procedures designed to reduce, prevent, and eliminate the condition.
  2. Monitor your body or if you are a parent, monitor the body of your child for any noticeable changes. Is one of their shoulders higher than the other? Is one of your hips sticking out more than the other? Does your child’s rib cage noticeably protrude forward? These misalignments can indicate the condition and it is important to contact a doctor as soon as possible. Ballet teachers are also advised to make consistent body measurements of their students to help identify the condition early enough. There are tools such as the scoliscreen app that can help you look for the common symptoms of the condition.
  3. While working on your ballet it is also important to work on your core strength. Focus on exercises that will need natural body positions and will help you keep your spine aligned. Exercises with props like a foam roller or an overball work perfectly because they balance your spine with your pelvis. Physiotherapy also works and visits physiotherapists in Singapore to get more advice.
  4. Go and do some research on your family history to find out if any of your relatives suffered from the condition. However the condition can still occur without it affecting anyone in your family history while a family history of the condition might make you vulnerable to developing the condition, this is because the condition can be passed down from one generation to another.
  5. Keep an eye on your BMI. Dancers who have a low body mass index especially teenagers and pre-teens can accidentally hold back their first menstruation. They can make the body vulnerable to the condition, which is a neurological and hormonal condition.