Bow legs, otherwise known as genu varum, is a medical condition in which the knees stay wide apart when the feet and ankles are touching each other. This is a common condition in toddlers under the age of 18 months however the problem usually right’s itself once the infant starts to walk. If by the age of three the knees are still wide apart when standing straight, bow legs is often diagnosed. Usually no treatment will be performed on young children but as they grow older they may want to perform some bow legs exercises or opt for alternative treatments such as surgery.
Braces and Surgery
A number of things can cause bow legs including rickets and Blount’s disease. It is vitally important to ensure your child receives enough Vitamin D from sunlight in order to lower their risk of suffering from this condition. Depending on the age that bow legs is diagnosed, some children may be able to receive braces which are said to encourage the bones to grow straight. In more severe cases or in older children and adults bow legs surgery may be advised which involves breaking the bone and realigning it.
The price of bow legs surgery depends on where you live in the world. It can be obtained free in the UK on the NHS and elsewhere in the world the costs will depend on how bowed the legs are. Most people who have had the surgery have said they found it more than worth it although the recovery time can be anywhere from six to ten weeks. If surgery and braces aren’t however an option you may want to look into bow legs correction exercises.
Bow Legs Exercises
While most of the following bow legs exercises won’t completely cure bow legs, they will improve your posture which should strengthen your legs and reduce the severity of the condition. Some of the following exercises can have quite good results when performed by children so they are definitely worth trying.
- Yoga – Although yoga isn’t the easiest exercise to perform if you have bow legs you can bind your legs together using a yoga strap in order to make things easier. Yoga helps to improve flexibility and body alignment and the moves are known to improve the condition.
- Pilates – Pilates is similar to yoga in as such that it helps to improve posture and body alignment. Exercises like ballerina arms and roll-up in particular can help to strengthen and tone the leg muscles.
- Massage Therapy – This is usually performed on children and has been known to alleviate the severity of bow legs when performed regularly. Massage therapy involves having the legs moved around by a trained therapist in order to encourage the legs to straighten as they grow. One method that you might want to try is straightening the leg and then bending it up to your chest. You must repeat this action multiple times to see the benefits.
- Leg Strengthening – By performing leg strengthening exercises you can help to strengthen the muscles surrounding your knees and hence alleviate some of the pressure that is being placed on your bow legs. These are most effective in people who only have a slight bow in their legs and generally involve placing a weight between the feet and bending and re-straightening the legs. You have to bend your legs until you touch your buttocks. Do as many reps as you can. Start with a light weight, could be a pillow and gradually increase it (dumbbell) as you progress.
Once you become an adult bow legs can be corrected only through surgery. However, the condition can be improved through exercising. Bow leg exercises also help in preventing any further aggravation of your condition. Bow legs can get worse if the patient gains weight or loses muscle mass. This is why leg strengthening exercises definitely help bow legs sufferers.
Fact: Bow legs (genu varum) is the opposite condition of knock knees (genu valgum)!