Morphological characteristics of the young scoliotic dancer

Nili Steinberg, Israel Hershkovitz, Smadar Peleg, Gali Dar, Youssef Masharawi, Aviva Zeev, Itzhak Siev-Ner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The literature lacks important data about the relationship between scoliosis and growth process, scoliosis and intensive exercise, scoliosis and morphological characteristics, and scoliosis and injuries, among young dancers. Objective: The aims of the present study were to determine the extent to which dance experience, body structure, anatomical anomalies and injuries are associated with scoliosis, and to identify variables able to discriminate between scoliotic and non-scoliotic female dancers at time of screening. Design: Cross-sectional cohort study. Methods: One thousand two hundred and eighty-eight non-professional female dancers, aged 8-16 years, were screened for the current study. We determined their morphometrical profile (height, weight, BMI), dance discipline (as hours of practice per week), manifestation of anatomical anomalies, and existing injuries. All dancers were clinically examined for presence of scoliosis. Results: Three hundred and seven of the 1288 dancers (23.8%) were diagnosed as having scoliosis. Dance experience and body structure were similar for dancers with or without scoliosis. Scoliotic dancers presented a significantly higher prevalence of anatomical anomalies (such as genu varum, and hallux valgus). Back injuries were more common among scoliotic dancers compared to non-scoliotic dancers. Conclusion: Screening and identifying the young scoliotic dancers prior to their advancing to higher levels of exercise is recommended. The scoliotic dancers should realize that there might be a connection between the presence of scoliosis and increased incidence of anatomical anomalies and back pain, hence, it should be suggested they seek help with an adequate assessment and exercise rehabilitation program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Therapy in Sport
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Anatomical anomalies
  • Dancers
  • Injuries
  • Scoliosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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