Usain Bolt is one of the greatest track and field athletes. He is said to be "the fastest man alive" was surprisingly born with scoliosis. However, he doesn't let his lower back pain stop him from achieving his goals and constantly pushing his running to the limit! Usain seeks care on a regular basis and strengthens his lower back muscles to help minimize the discomfort.
You might recognize this actress from Divergent, Fault In Our Stars or the many other movies she starred in. Not many people know that this movie star is diagnosed with scoliosis and discovered it at 15 years-old, when her friend said that her spine "looked funny." Her doctor immediately put her into a back brace that she wore 18 hours per day for two years straight. Surgery wasn't required to improve her curve and never will be. To this day, she swims and pursues other back strengthening activities. Her positive mindset on scoliosis has helped her through this journey, it is, "Some people have crooked teeth, some people have broken fingers, and I've got a back that has my initial on it."
Alongside from modeling for Victoria's Secret and Free People, Martha has struggled with scoliosis since she was 13 years-old. After her long days of modeling, her back would ache with pain and needed the support of a pillow. At 17 years-old, the unevenness in her body was extremely visible in her shoulders and hips. Surgery was required for her situation and afterwards, she was able to recover slowly. It took her almost a year to return to her daily activities, but when she did, yoga and Pilates became her niche. Her journey has inspired her to keep a strong core, mind, and body overall. Read her full inspiring scoliosis story here.
Elizabeth Taylor is one of the greatest movie stars who has ever lived, However, she had scoliosis since she was born and her condition eventually put her into a wheelchair. Also, she had to deal with several other illnesses which caused her suffering. In 2011, she passed away from congestive heart failure. Her story inspires us all to be grateful for what we have and to stay strong when life tries to tear us down. She referred to herself as, “a living example of what people can go through and survive.”
Duchess of York, 7th in line to throne, had a very extreme case of scoliosis. It was so bad, that she would've had a complete hunched back by 18 years-old, if it wasn't for the spinal fusion surgery.
Even though it is more common for females to be diagnosed, scoliosis does affect all genders, ethnicities, and races. James Blake did not let his condition stop him from pursuing his dreams and becoming a very successful tennis player. He wore a brace and kept a positive attitude. He dreaded wearing one at the time, but the good results lasted a life time.
Brooke Lyons is an American actress and a ballet dancer. You might recognize her from the CBS sitcom, 2 Broke Girls and her other movies/tv shows. In high school, she was diagnosed with scoliosis and couldn't dance for a year afterwards. Once she did, she trained with The American Mall, and states it was an amazing way for her to get back into shape.
Sophia Falkner is an Australian television host who has presented entertainment news on Confidential featured on Fox8, The Great Outdoors, and the Wheel of Fortune. She was diagnosed at 14 years-old and had to wear a back brace for two-and-a-half years for 23 hours a day. Falkner admits that this was extremely uncomfortable and difficult for her, especially because she had to wear it during an age where you are insecure about your appearance. Unfortunately, the back brace didn't make any improvements, therefore, she had her scoliosis surgery at 21 years-old. Currently, she excersises a lot for results and for fun. Her favorite form is pilates to tone and strengthen, and she also likes to meditate.
Writer, director and actress, Sarah Polley, was born in Canada into to a show business family. She took a variety of significant roles in short films, movies, and television series. For example, The Claim (2000), Straight up (1996), Love Come Down (2000), and the lead in No Such Thing. When she was 15 years-old, she had major spinal fusion surgery to correct her scoliosis and spent several months recovering.
Stacy Lewis is a professional American golf player/LPGA Tour star, who won two major championships throughout her career; the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship and the Women's British Open in 2013. Despite her success, she was only 11 years-old when she was diagnosed with scoliosis at a school examination. She had to wear a back brace for 7 1/2 years for 18 hours a day. Once she stopped wearing the back brace, her curve progressed to the point where surgery was needed. This news devastated her because it interfered with her golf scholarship to the University of Arkansas. Her surgeon chose to perform a surgery that addressed the curvature from the "front" of the spine and fuse fewer bones of the lumbar spine. The surgeon ended up fusing 5 screws of the medal rod into her spine, fusing less levels lead to Stacy being able to have more mobility in her back (which is seen in her golf performances today). After her recovery, Stacy slowly became apart of the 2004 golf team of University of Arkansas. She overcame her scoliosis and built her successful golf career today.
Isabella Rossellini is an Italian-American actress, filmmaker, and model, who was born back in 1952. Many women aspired to her elegance and beauty, even though she was not a fan of being patronized. When she was only 13 years-old, she was diagnosed with scoliosis and spent the next year and a half working towards preventing it; doing several stretches and wearing body casts. She went through an 18 month ordeal and ended up getting the spinal fusion surgery, using pieces of her shin bone on her spine. Her daughter was born with scoliosis, too.
Kurt Cobain suffered severe back pain during his teenage years and while he was touring from scoliosis.“I’ve always had a pain I wasn’t imagining, I was in pain all the time. Probably psychologically decided to trade off my spine pain for my stomach pain..." he said in Kurt Cobain About A Son. Kurt was the main singer of the band, Nirvana, and touring with the band was a dream come true, but also a horror because of the pain that scoliosis had caused him. This shows us pain variation in scoliosis.
Yo-Yo Ma is a cellist and his music speaks to the deepest parts of our emotions. He had scoliosis surgery when he was 25 years-old to correct his curvature. The surgery performed was a little more difficult, because he was in his twenties and the bones were more developed. Yo-Yo recovered exceptionally and continued to perform amazing music by the cello for all of our enjoyment.
Vanessa L. Williams
Celebrities and Athletes with Scoliosis
Vanessa L. Williams is one of the most respected women in the entertainment, music, and fashion industries. She's received seventeen Grammy Award nominations and won a Golden Globe, a Grammy, an Academy Award, and the Mary Pickford Award. She also won Miss America in 1984, being the first African-American woman to win this title. Her powerful performances and stunning looks demands the full attention of every room she walks into. However, her career of becoming a professional dancer at Joffrey Ballet was put on hold when spinal fusion surgery was required as a young girl.
Many watchers of the television show, 90210, couldn't help but notice the scar on Gillian Zinser's back, who plays Ivy Sullivan. Her character is extremely kind, loving, independent, athletic and has no problem exposing her scar while she is surfing or in many of her everyday clothes. Gillian Zinser has never really talked about her scoliosis story herself, but it is confirmed that she had the surgery and enjoys being active everyday with no back issues.