Learn How to Fix Bow Legs and Knock Knees Without the Need of Surgery
Have you had enough of crooked wonky legs?
If so, fixing them will be one of your up most priorities.
I’m going to show you what causes bow legs and what causes knock knees while also showing you some of the best ways in which you can improve them both.
Although having bow legs or knock knees is not necessarily a postural problem, I feel both have enough significance to include when it comes down to correct postural alignment.
Both are an incorrect alignment in your legs and cause your knees to take on added pressure, which can lead to decreased movement capabilities, arthritis and potentially even pain.
As you know, your legs carry whatever is above them, they support everything, the lower down your leg means more weight is carried on that part of your body.
If you have either bow legs or knock knees, both of which cause added pressure on your knees, you should look to take steps to improve them in order to release this added pressure and prevent further damage being done.
While bow legs and knock knees are most common in young children, older children or adults can be affect by them too.
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Surgery is usually only necessary in severe cases, fortunately, in the cases where it is not severe, there are things you can do to help straighten these issues out.
What is bow legs?
Bow legs, or by it’s medical name Genu Varum, is a condition where, if when you stand with your feet and ankles together, there is a wide gap between your knees. It may be that only one leg is bowed or it could be both.
The majority of babies are born with bow legs simply because of how they are positioned within their mothers womb.
It is most noticeable when the child is around twelve months old or by the time they are standing and walking but, by the time the child is around two to three years old and fully mobile, the problem tends to sort itself out.
If the problem persists beyond three years of age, treatment may be necessary such as leg braces, these will be used until the bones in the legs have straightened through growth.
Braces won’t be of much help fixing bow legs in adults with, for example, a bent tibia, because our bones have already fully grown, so don’t be tempted to go out and buy such thing unless recommended by your GP.
It might be that you are born with bow legs, if it didn’t improve and you have never had treatment, still have it as a teenager or adult, or it may be that the condition is the result of an injury.
If left, your knees will continue to take increased pressure. This added pressure can eventually lead to arthritis in the knees which, in turn, leads to pain and even decreased movement capabilities.
What causes bow legs?
As previously stated, most new born children have bow legs, this is caused by how they are positioned within the mother’s womb. This form of bow legs should resolve itself by the time the child is around three.
If you’re adult then it could be the result of an injury, that didn’t heal correctly, which has caused this condition or it could be an underlying health condition such as rickets, a vitamin D deficiency. Below are the top causes of bow legs:
- Injury – It may be that you have suffered a bad injury, such as a fractured tibia. If the tibia (lower leg) has at some point suffered with a fracture and not healed correctly it could give the appearance of bow legs.
- Unnatural bone development – It could be that bow legs was caused by an unnatural bone development. If, for example, the tibia doesn’t grow as straight as it should, this can lead to developing bow legs.
- Blount’s Disease – This disease affects the growth of the tibia bone, typically the upper portion below the knee. This causes unnatural development in the bone which leads to the tibia growing with a curve.
- Rickets – This is mainly caused by a Vitamin D deficiency but can also be caused by lack of Calcium intake. While adults can be affected, it is most common in young children.
- Lead or Fluoride poisoning – Lead and Fluoride poisoning can even cause bow legs too, particularly fluoride poisoning, which can be responsible for causing arthritis.
What is knock knees?
Knock knees, or medically, Genu Valgum, is a condition where if standing with legs together and feet pointing forwards, the knees touch and ankles do not touch then you have knock knees.
Like bow legs, it could be that just one leg is affected or it could be both, if it does seem to be occurring in just one leg you should consider consulting your GP for advice.
It is very common for children to have knock knees and is most noticeable at around the age of four.
This is very much a normal part of a child’s growth and the legs will typically straighten up by around the age of six or seven. While knock knees is most common is young children, it can continue into adulthood, even if only slight.
If someone with knock knees stands with their knees together, they could have a gap of up to 8cm between their ankles or even larger. If you have a gap that is larger than 8cm, then medical advice from your GP is advised.
If you have knock knees and you ignore it then the issue could worsen, placing added pressure on your knees, causing pain and can potentially lead to arthritis. See below for what causes knock knees and what you can do to help fix it.
What causes knock knees?
As has previously been mentioned, it is very common for children over the age of three and under the age of seven to have knock knees and is considered very much a normal part of a child’s growth and should resolve itself without any future problems.
If knock knees continues into adulthood it could be because of an underlying medical condition such as rickets (a deficiency in vitamin D) or it could be caused by an injury, in which case only one leg should be affected.
See below the most common causes of knock knees:
- Injury – If you happen to have knock knees in just one leg it could be from an injury to the affected legs tibia bone (shin bone), which hasn’t healed correctly, that has caused it.
- Bone infection – A bone infection such as Osteomyelitis could be responsible for the condition. The infection can enter the bone via the bloodstream, potentially from infected tissue or open wounds which germs could enter.
- Rickets – Rickets is a condition caused by a vitamin D deficiency and much like how it can cause bow legs it can also cause knock knees too.
- Pressure on knees – Having increased amounts of pressure on the knees can cause knock knees, this could be the result of being overweight or obesity.
Fixing bow legs and knock knees
Believe it or not, both of these conditions could possibly be treated at home, naturally and without surgery.
You might think that all cases of bow legs and knock knees require surgery on your legs to fix but this isn’t always the case. Surgery is usually only necessary in severe cases but, where the condition is not so severe, there are things you can do to improve them.
Below you can find some exercises to perform for each of these conditions although, ultimately, the aim and process is the same, the goal is to straighten your legs.
Permanent Remedy for Bow Legs and Knock Knees Without Surgery
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Exercises to fix bow legs
Exercise 1 – Leg Strengthening
- Lay flat, face down, on your bench (if you don’t have a bench you can use a table or even the floor, go grab some pillows to lay down on the floor with, make sure to place one under your knees for comfort).
- Bend at the knees to place a 10 pound weight between your feet or, have someone do it for you. If you’re on a bench you may have a bar at the bottom to put weights on and use instead.
- With the weight in place, bend at your knees until your feet (or the weight) touches your butt and then extend your legs back into the starting position.
- Repeat this process 10 times before having a slight break (30 seconds to a minute) and repeat again twice more.
- Perform this process 3 to 4 times a week, when the exercise becomes easy and you don’t need breaks, then increase weight.
While this exercise may not be very effective in severe cases it can be great for slight cases and has been shown to improve slight cases of bow legs to near perfection. This exercise works by strengthening the muscles around your knee, this in turn reduces the stress on your joints and tendons.
Once again this exercise is not very effective for severe cases and is mostly effective for fixing slight cases of bow legs but saying that, if your condition is severe, you may gain better stability performing this exercise so it does have some benefits.
Exercise 2 – The Pilates Roll Up
- Lay flat on your back on the floor or on your mat with your legs together. Keeping your arms and fingers straight, point your arms straight up to the ceiling, with arms up inhale to prepare.
- Now while exhaling, bring your chin towards your chest and slowly ‘roll’ your upper body off of the floor/mat, almost as if doing a sit up, make sure your arms stay pointing straight.
- Keep rolling forwards as far as you can, your head should be looking towards your legs with your arms reaching out parallel to your legs.
- In the forwards position inhale once again and while slowly rolling your body back down to the floor/mat, exhale, your arms should be back to pointing towards the ceiling.
- Make sure to keep your legs together and straight during the whole process, toes pointing up. Imagine having your feet pressed against a wall.
- Repeat this exercise 10 times and perform daily if you can.
Pilates is actually a great way to improve your bodies flexibility and is a great way to strengthen your core. This particular exercise works your abdominal muscles and helps to extend your spine and while keeping your legs straight will help to rid yourself of bow legs.
Exercises to fix knock knees
Exercise 1 – Side Leg Raises
- Start by laying on either side of your body, supporting your head with your floor side hand and stabilizing your body with your other hand.
- Your legs should be out as straight as possible with one of your legs resting on top of the other.
- Keeping your legs as straight as possible slowly raise the top leg as much as you can manage.
- Lower your leg slowly back down to starting position and repeat for a total of 10 times.
- Turn to your other side and repeat for your other leg a further 10 times following the above method.
- Repeat this method on a daily basis, even twice a day, for best results.
Having unstable hips can be an underlying cause for your knock knees, this exercise is aimed at strengthening your gluteus medius which helps to stabilize your hips, this in turn helps to correct knock knees.
Exercise 2 – Hip Extensions
- Go down onto your hands and knees. You should have your arms straight with your hands directly under your shoulders, also make sure to keep your back straight and knees bent at a roughly 90° angle.
- Choose one leg and raise the leg behind you, making sure to keep it at a 90° angle.
- Once the sole of your chosen foot is parallel to the ceiling, imagine a straight line running from your foot straight up to the ceiling and lift your foot up that line as far as you comfortably can.
- Lower your raised leg back down to starting position and repeat this exercise with the other leg.
- Repeat this exercise a total of 10 times on each leg, and perform daily, even twice a day.
This exercise, like the previous exercise, helps to strengthen your glutes which, in turn, helps stabilize your hips. This helps your upper legs get back into their correct alignment which helps to alleviate knock knees. This exercise also works your hamstrings, this set of muscles go from the backs of your knees all the way up to your pelvis and are responsible for hip extension when walking and bending your knees.
Exercise 3 – Straight Leg Raises
- Sit down on a chair, with a 90° angle at the knee, feet flat on the floor.
- Choose one leg and then raise your leg to straighten it out in front of you.
- Hold your leg straight out for around 10 seconds before releasing back to the ground.
- Repeat this process over 15 to 20 times on each leg.
- This will become rather easy eventually, when this happens you could try adding weights to the process.
This exercise will help to strengthen the muscles at the front of your thigh, your quads.
This set of muscles along with your hamstrings are responsible for bending and straightening your leg at the knee.
Strengthening these muscles helps to keep your legs in their correct position by realigning and stabilizing your knees.
So there you have it, you now know that there are in fact ways to correct bow legs and knock knees and that you can actually do something about it without necessarily needing to have risky surgery that might not even fix the problem anyway!
If you’re looking for more, then I suggest you check out Bow Legs No More, it’s an appropriate system for both bow legs and knock knees and is a sure fire way to help you improve on these issues.
Remember, if you have had this issue since childhood or have developed sever cases of either of these issues then you should consult your GP for proper medical advice.
Did you try the exercises listed above, how did you get on? Let me know in the comments section below.