Scoliosis may be a lot more prevalent than you think! This disease occurs when the spine curves in an abnormal way to the side, rather than straight and vertically downward. This can cause a rounded back that is hard to support while sitting or standing, and can lead to back pain and mild to severe discomfort. There are varying levels of scoliosis and some people are born with the condition while others develop it over time.
Here is our list of 20 Famous People You Probably Don’t Know Have Scoliosis. These celebs have been diagnosed with the disease and have either received enough help to combat it or are still taking steps to keep it in check. You wouldn’t know it from looking at these successful and healthy-looking stars, but being famous does not make you immune to developing health issues. We all know that too well!
From athletes and singers to actors and dancers, these entertainers have been doing stretches, exercising, and wearing back braces to help with their scoliosis. Their reasons for getting it are varied: trauma to the bones, an unknown cause, or diagnosis at birth. Only 2-3% of the adolescents in the United States have scoliosis, but here are 20 celebs that you may never have suspected.
20 Sarah Michelle Gellar
Sure, Sarah Michelle Gellar is absolutely gorgeous, not to mention totally kick-ass! Yet she too gets down about her body sometimes. One of the reasons for this is her bout with scoliosis. The actress has realized that being a parent means that you put your own priorities on the backburner, and that does help with focusing less on scrutinizing your body and more on providing for your child. She combats her scoliosis by using the treadmill on a regular basis and doing Pilates. Not only is Pilates great for helping with posture, but it tones up and provides a great workout!
19 Usain Bolt
Who would have thought that the fastest man on earth would have a problem with his spine? Certainly not us! Yet it turns out that Olympian and super-human Usain Bolt was born with the spinal defect. Some have even speculated that the scoliosis may have been to his benefit while sprinting and running on the track. The shorter bends on one side of the back may make leaning forward for more momentum a bit easier, but scoliosis is a disease and can be a painful one at that. Depending on the severity of it, surgery may even be required to fix it.
18 Rebecca Romijn
Actress Rebecca Romijn is currently most known for her work on the sitcom Ugly Betty and she is one gorgeous woman. Yet she is also another one of the celebs on our list who suffers from scoliosis. She spoke out on a talk show and discussed her body a bit. She was 13 years old when she was first diagnosed with the disease. At that young age, she had a growth spurt and grew to be 6 feet tall! She had a lot of pain and discomfort during that time. She wishes that she did more sports and activity during her adolescence, but now she makes up for it with Pilates.
17 Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor was like a damsel in distress. She had a laundry list of health woes during her lifetime, and one of those ills was scoliosis. The actress and iconic beauty was born with scoliosis and suffered from loads of pain from the disease as her spine curves abnormally. Her entire life became riddled with back problems and she ended up having to twist and bend sideways. She also became quite saddened by her condition and felt somewhat ashamed of her body. She underwent several operations for her back pain, yet she still felt the back discomfort until she died.
16 Kurt Cobain
If you thought that Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain was twisted, then you have no idea. He too had scoliosis, as well as pretty bad stomach pain. He said in an interview that his pain was where he got a lot of the screaming from, and that the irritation and burning down there was reproduced in his singing. In middle school he was plagued with a mild form of scoliosis, which carried over into his adult life. He said that holding and playing a heavy guitar didn’t help his scoliosis at all and that when he stood up regularly, everything was twisted sideways.
15 Shailene Woodley
She is gorgeous and a great actress, whether she is playing a pregnant teenager or a crime-fighting young woman. Yet Shailene Woodley fights her own battle: one against scoliosis. She was first diagnosed with the disease when she was 15. Actually, her best friend spotted something strange about her spine and then Shailene donned a back brace for two years in order to correct the damage. She had a 38-degree curve in her spine, which did not require an operation, but did necessitate a brace. It was annoying, but after two years she was able to strap it off for good!
14 Chloe Sevigny
Chloe Sevigny always seems to look intriguing and pretty, but she is another celeb that battled with scoliosis. She even worked as a model, but the curvature of her spine was always there. Sevigny said that she never got treatment for her back disease, perhaps because it didn’t require an operation and a back brace was just too expensive when she first went to the doctor. She battled a lot of feelings of hopelessness surrounding her scoliosis and decided to take action against it, so she tried yoga and found that the postures and stretches really helped with her curvy spine.
13 Daryl Hannah
Daryl Hannah is an actress who most of us know from the movie Kill Bill. She is also a film producer and an activist for the environment. Hannah also suffers from scoliosis, and the curvature in her spine is hard for us to believe considering all of the awesomeness that just oozes out of her. She is yet another famous person who is riddled with back problem associated with scoliosis. On the other hand, she is a great example that this back disease does not have to take you out! You can overcome and continue working on what you love.
12 Liza Minnelli
Would you believe that Liza Minnelli suffers from scoliosis? The woman is seemingly unstoppable! She performs and looks absolutely stunning pretty much all the time. Yet there was a period when Liza had to undergo an operation that involved two false hips as a result of her back disease. Ouch! That did not seem to stop Liza though, and she continued singing, dancing, and acting her way into the hearts of America and other places around the globe. Good on her for powering through the tough times. And those must be some pretty durable false hips to keep up with her swing!
11 Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma is such an accomplished musician, and his music just speaks to us and the depths of our souls. It seems that his musical compositions are so soothing and full of emotion and power. Hey, training at Julliard will do that, huh? When Yo-Yo Ma was 25 years old, he underwent an operation to correct the curvature in his spine that was the cause of scoliosis. It is a bit different for corrective surgery to be performed in someone’s twenties, but we are glad that he recovered and can continue rocking that cello! He definitely showed scoliosis who’s boss!
10 Laura Dern
We know Laura Dern from countless films. She is not just an actress, but works as a screenwriter, film director, and television producer too! Oh, and she is one hot lady, and she gets more gorgeous and radiant as she matures. So we were shocked to learn that she has been battling scoliosis. She actually has reversed the debilitating back disease! How? She used many alternative treatments. Doing stretches, postures, and certain exercises can really help. Herbs and other medicinal plants can help to ease the pain and discomfort as well. It looks as though nothing can stop Laura Dern!
9 Rene Russo
Rene Russo is a great actress and she too struggled with the painful back condition. She discovered that she was afflicted with the disease when she was in middle school. Better to catch it as early as possible, right? So she took measures to combat the scoliosis and she wore a back brace, much like Shailene Woodley. Fortunately, that did the trick, and she did not need to undergo any invasive and painful surgeries to undo the curvature in her spine. Now just look at the impressive career she has had without being defeated by her curvy spine!
8 Vanessa Williams
Vanessa Williams always looks like she is in control, right? She is just one of those women who commands a room’s attention, no matter where she is. She stands tall and proud. So it is interesting to find out that she is a famous face who has struggled with scoliosis. It was so bad that she underwent a spinal fusion operation to fix the damage caused by the back disease! Ouch! We would never suspect that though, given her stunning allure, radiant beauty, and her acting chops. Yes, she is definitely the one who came out on top and defeated her scoliosis!
7 Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur was a famed officer in the United States Army. He was around at the turn of the 20th century, a time when scoliosis was not as curable and treatable as it is now. After all, we certainly would not want to have undergone an operation in the early 1900s! Yet this man was able to combat the back disease and still serve his country in the Armed Forces. How did he fight the scoliosis? He used a combination of physical activities to remedy the curvature in his spine. He focused on exercises and stretches that helped ease the pain and discomfort.
6 Lourdes Leon
Lourdes is the daughter of Madonna, so naturally, she is going to look pretty darn good! Yet she was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was a cute little 12-year-old. She was photographed wearing a back brace, which was used for corrective posture so that her spine would stop curving so much to one side. The brace was complete with belts and straps. And just look at how much Lourdes is kicking butt today! She is battling the scoliosis and she even dances as a backup performer for her mom! That has got to be a bit weird, but hey, whatever works for her and Madge!
5 Isabella Rossellini
Star Isabella Rossellini is so beautiful, yet she too was born with the scoliosis back disease. When she was 13, it was diagnosed and she had to take corrective action as soon as possible in order to avoid prolonged pain and even more curving of her spine. So she went through a grueling year and a half of stretching herself beyond her limits – quite literally. She had to do stretches, wear body casts, and she even underwent an operation in which pieces of her shin bone where used on her spine. It must have been difficult and frightening for Isabella to give birth to a daughter and find out that she had scoliosis too.
4 John Lydon
Models sometimes pose in a hunched position and it is supposed to be high fashion. But what about the times when it is not fashionable and chic? What about the times when it is due to a debilitating back disease such as scoliosis? That is what happened to John Lydon, who is known as the famous front man of the rock band Sex Pistols. He had such a bad case of pain from scoliosis that his back developed a hunch and kept him bent over. If left untreated, scoliosis can continue to get worse and worse. Not only does it hurt, but it greatly misshapes the curves of the vertebrae.
3 Ashley Argota
Actress Ashley Argota may have taken a cue from Lourdes Leon, because she too sported the same brand of spinal back brace. In a cutesy video, the Nickelodeon star thanked her doctors and told the world that she has scoliosis, but she used her back brace to help her get her spine back into proper form. And now she is able to enjoy her life to the fullest without all of the pain of the harsh back disease. The young starlet has many happy years ahead of her, so we are glad to see that she took corrective action now!
2 Jessica Andrews
Jessica Andrews is a singer and actress who did not let her career get destroyed by the scoliosis she suffered from. She did, however, need to take some invasive and extreme measures to fix the problem. She underwent an intensive operation in order to correct the curvature in her spine. Fortunately, everything worked out all right and she was able to continue on with her life. It may have been painful and a long and arduous journey, but life is worth so much more than being in pain and bent over all the time! And just look at her! She turned out gorgeous and talented; a double threat.
1 Michael McCary
Michael McCary was one of the guys who was part of Boyz II Men. He actually had to leave the group because he just could not handle the moving around and dancing anymore. It was all because of his scoliosis, which led to debilitating back pain and chronic discomfort. When his symptoms would not ease up, he had no choice but to exit Boyz II Men and get more help for his back pain. You just never know who is going to be afflicted with scoliosis next, and it really can take a huge chunk out of your time, your craft, and your relationships. Even celebs get taken out sometimes, but they keep fighting, like Michael McCary!