Scoliosis affects roughly 4% of the population – that’s 1 in every 25 people, or just under 300 million people worldwide.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise to discover that many celebrities and public figures are affected by this condition. We’ve even treated some of them here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, including EastEnders actress Rita Simons:
Here are 4 other people you’ve probably heard of who suffer (or used to suffer) from scoliosis:
Jamaican sprinter Usain St. Leo Bolt has won six Olympic gold medals to date, and with the 2016 Games taking place in Brazil this summer, one suspects he’ll be adding to that tally very soon. Bolt has said that his curved spine “really hampered” his early career, but obviously the condition has done very little to slow him down more recently!
Here’s what Bolt had to say when asked about his scoliosis in a 2011 interview with ESPN
“When I was younger it wasn’t really a problem. But you grow and it gets worse. My spine’s really curved bad…but if I keep my core and back strong, the scoliosis doesn’t really bother me. So I don’t have to worry about it as long as I work hard.”
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Sarah Michelle Gellar – best known for her leading role in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer
TV series – grew up with scoliosis, and she still has trouble with the condition today. According to this Daily Mail article
, Gellar finds that “working out on the treadmill and Pilates” both help her to deal with her spinal curvature.
Kurt Cobain was the guitarist and lead singer of grunge band Nirvana, who formed in 1987 and achieved international fame in the years leading up to Cobain’s tragic death by suicide in 1994. Cobain seemingly suffered from pain throughout his lifetime – here is an excerpt from an interview that the troubled frontman gave in 1993 (the interview can be read in its entirety here
“I had mild scoliosis in junior high, and since I’ve been playing guitar ever since, the weight of the guitar has made my back grow in this curvature. So when I stand, everything is sideways, it’s weird.
“I go to a chiropractor every once in a while…most people have a small curvature in their spine anyhow, though some people have it really bad and have to wear metal braces. It gives me back pain all the time. That really adds the pain to our music. It really does.”
Liza Minnelli is the daughter of Hollywood star Judy Garland, and she has had a hugely successful acting career in her own right, appearing in films like Cabaret
(for which she won an Oscar) and TV shows like Arrested Development
. Here, in her own words
, is how Minelli found out about her scoliosis:
“I didn’t realise I had anything wrong with my back until…I guess it was around the time of [1969 movie] The Sterile Cuckoo that Fred [Karlin, composer] said, ‘Come on, somebody’s imitating you. Let’s go see her.’ So we go down to one of those places that used to be in the Village and we sit down and I’m all excited and this girl comes on and she goes like this: [walks with twisted, uneven shoulders]
“I was so indignant. I said, ‘I don’t do that.’ And he said, ‘Yes, you do.’ I found out that because of the scoliosis, if I lean back one way, it hurts.”
If you suffer from scoliosis, attending a four-week course at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic may help you to overcome your condition and significantly improve your quality of life. Click here to get in touch and book an initial consultation.