Jessica Ashwood Scoliosis

Jessica Ashwood – Australian Olympic Swimmer

Jessica Ashwood currently holds the Australian record for both the 400m and 800m freestyle. Jessica was diagnosed in her early teens with a severe S-shaped scoliosis. She has forgone both scoliosis surgery and scoliosis bracing because both treatments would end her career.

Her S-curve creates a challenge as it affects her balance both in and out of water and weakens one of her arms. This causes Ashwood to swim crooked so she has developed a unique stroke technique to compensate for the uneven strength and position in the water.

Jessica Ashwood (right) competing against USA’s Leah Smith (left) in 400 m freestyle at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ashwood suffers from significant neck and back pain and must have two physiotherapy sessions a week after training to realign her spine.

You CAN be an Olympic Swimmer with a Twisted Spine


Posted in Athletes with Scoliosis, Famous People with Scoliosis
4 comments on “Jessica Ashwood Scoliosis
  1. Carolyn says:

    Is it better to go to physio or a chiropractor for scoliosis?

    • I don’t think the profession is important…
      It is the expertise of that specific professional.
      Ask them what percentage of their practice is scoliosis?

      Either PT or Chiro could be your best professional.

  2. inge de Kock says:

    Thank you so much for the inspiring story. My son will love it. He loves swimming and surgery will not be an option for us.

    • The research is conclusive that staying fit is very important for people with scoliosis.. The joke is, “What is the best exercise?”
      The one the person actually does! Ha!
      If your son loves swimming… even though there is a very small amount of data describing a higher incidence of scoliosis amongst swimmer…
      Unless your athlete is swimming over 5-6 hours per week, there is absolutely no problem!
      and YES! I agree, surgery should be reserved for only the most severe cases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *