Bad posture can be devastating for your self-esteem and bow legs are one of the worst things that can happen to your body because not only is there a small chance for them to go away, but throughout the time after you have them, you will become more and more conscious of yourself. Therefore, your life will always be affected as it will downgrade even more overtime.
What are Bow Legs
Bow legs, also known as genu varum, are a condition where the legs curve outwards at the knees. This results in an “O” shape when looking at a person with bow legs from the side. This curve can be mild to severe, and it can affect just one leg or both.
What are the causes of Bow Legs?
The causes of bow legs vary, depending on how old the patient is. In children, bow legs are often a normal part of growth as the bones develop and change shape as the child grows older. When a doctor determines that bow legs are not a normal part of development, they may be caused by a lack of vitamin D or calcium, rickets, or Blount’s disease.
Adults who have bow legs may have developed them from arthritis or osteoarthritis, which may cause the cartilage to wear away over time and give the bones less support than they need. Other causes include trauma to the leg or hip or previous surgery on the leg or hip.
What are the symptoms of bow legs?
The primary symptom of bow legs is a curved appearance in the legs as they bend at the knee. Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty walking
- Pain in the knees, hips, or lower back
- Uneven hip height
How to correct bow legs?
Bow legs are a condition in which the knees remain wide apart, even when the feet are placed together. Bow legs can be corrected in several ways.
First of all, it is important to determine why the bow legs have developed. Bow legs can be caused by a number of conditions, including knock-knees, Blount’s disease, and rickets. If the condition is caused by knock-knees or Blount’s disease, it will usually correct itself as the child grows older and the bones solidify. Rickets can also be treated with vitamin D supplements and calcium.
Bow legs that do not correct themselves naturally can be treated with surgery. In this procedure, one or both of the tibias are cut and then reshaped to correct the angle of the knee joint. The surgery typically takes between four and six hours and recovery time is around 10 weeks.
Bowed legs can be a condition from birth or acquired through trauma or injury. In rare cases, bowed legs can also be caused by bone abnormalities or tumors. If your bowed legs are caused by bone abnormalities or tumors, you need to see a doctor immediately.
If you were born with bowed legs, there is nothing you can do about it once you grow up. You may have had treatment as a child if your condition was severe enough to warrant it.
The BEST exercises to correct bow legs
There are many exercises and different techniques that can help you straighten your bow leg. However, which exercises you decide to do will depend on what caused your bow legs in the first place. The type of exercise that is most effective for a specific cause will vary based on the cause. So you need to understand what exercises are best for your own specific case in order to fix this problem once and for all.
Stretching and exercise are the most effective ways to treat bow legs. Focus on exercises that strengthen the muscles that surround your upper thighs (quadriceps) and knees, the hip adductors, and stretching and exercise techniques like Yoga and Pilates.
Note that any exercises involving your knees should be done with care to avoid injury or strain.
1. Bodyweight Squats
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointed slightly outward. Put your hands on your hips or cross them across your chest. Bend at the knees and slowly lower your body down into a squat.
Keep your back straight and head up. Pause briefly at the lowest point and then slowly stand. Do NOT drop into your squat position, slow and controlled without bouncing.
You are squatting to strengthen the muscles and tissues surrounding your knee and attempting to re-align the path of your kneecap.
2. Isometric Hip Adductor
The muscles that pull your legs together (add) are often weak in people with bow legs. Use this simple isometric hip adductor exercise any time you are seated. Bring your feet together until they touch, now focus on bringing your ankles and then your knees together. Without using your hands, concentrate on holding your legs together for as long as you possibly can to strengthen these muscles.
3. Side Leg Raise:
This exercise works your hip abductors, the muscles that pull your legs apart or away from your midline (abduct).
Lay down on your side, put one hand in front of you and support your head with the other. In this position, one leg will be on top of the other, keeping the leg straight, slowly raise that top leg as high as you can. Pause briefly at the top and then slowly lower back to the start and repeat.
Perform 10-12 reps and then turn over and repeat for the opposite leg.
4. Calf Raises:
To stretch, strengthen and realign your ankles, face a stair step or sturdy platform about 8-10 inches high.
Place the ball of one foot on the step and raise your body up on this foot. Slowly go as high as possible, pause and feel the squeeze and then slowly lower your body as you stretch your calf while your heel is lower than your foot. Alternate feet.
5. Lateral band walks
Lateral band walks are great for targeting your glutes and lateral hip muscles, making them a fantastic warm-up or accessory exercise. Here is how to do them:
Start by placing a light resistance band just above the ankle on both legs.
Next, you’re going to step laterally into the band, where you’ll push your hips back and squat down slightly so that your knees are bent 90 degrees in your squat stance.
Now step sideways out of the squat stance and immediately step back into it with the other leg. If you’re doing this correctly, it should look like you’re walking sideways in a squat position.
Repeat this movement for 2-3 sets of 20 on each side, or until you feel the burn!
The exercises that we have listed will help improve your posture, overall flexibility, and strength. You should not experience any pain from them, just a lot of soreness.
You can do these with or without the assistance of a training partner. While some of the exercises are difficult, you should give yourself a chance to master them as soon as possible because they’re vital to your health