Bow legs is a condition where the feet and ankles are close to each other whilst the knees are far wide apart. The condition is typical among toddlers/children; however, the deformity may also extend to the later years in case it’s left untreated. In patients with bow legs, the shin bone (tibia), and at times the thigh bone (femur), are bent.
Bow legs are usually a normal development stage among children who are under 3 years of age. Infants are usually born bow legged due to their folded position while in their mother’s womb.
As a matter of fact, it is rather common for children to look mildly bow legged. Toddlers often have bow legs which might even interfere with their walking. Most bowed legs cases in toddlers normally result from what’s known as physiologic genu varum; a term which doctors use to refer to the variation in the normal appearance which makes a toddler appear bow legged.
A toddler with the variation in the normal appearance of the legs, basically starts improving at around the ages of 12 months to 19 months. As i noted earlier, by the age of 3 years, the issue will have generally resolved itself without the need for any type treatment. However, if bow legs happen to be still present in the older kids or adults, a treatment will be required.
Bowed legs can cause pain in the knees and movement limitations, especially in the older kids. Some people may be born with bow legs, while others might develop the condition in one leg due to an injury. However, the main issue with bow legs is that the osteoarthritis condition might develop in the medial (inner area of your knee), causing swelling, pain and eventually, problems when it comes to engaging in the normal day to day activities. The condition can be worsened by obesity or over use of knee joints, and can become quite a serious issue if the cartilage (medial meniscus) is removed.
Causes of Bow Legs
There are some medical conditions which are responsible for bow legs. For instance, blount’s disease is one such medical condition which affects the bone growth, which results in the abnormal growth of shin bone or upper portion of tibia, leading to bow legs. Both adults and toddlers can develop the condition.
However, blount’s disease is actually a treatable condition. If it’s discovered early in children, leg braces may be used so as to correct it. If the bowing of legs increases or persists despite use braces, a surgery might be necessary.
There are other rare conditions which might also result in bow legs in children. For instance, metabolism disorders such as rickets (which is a vitamin D deficiency), may also lead to bow legs. Below are some of the main causes of bow legs:
- A fracture, trauma or injury, that hasn’t healed correctly.
- An abnormal bone development may cause bow legs to occur.
- Fluoride and lead poisoning can also be responsible for bow legs.
- Certain cases of bow legs may be caused by rickets; which is caused by lack of the vitamin D.
- Blount’s disease can also be responsible for the development of bow legs.
How To Fix Bow Legs
Pilates can be quite effective when it comes to improving the vital muscles, realigning your body, and correcting your posture and bow legs. Some exercises such as ballerina arms’ and roll up, may give you power to tone the legs and develop the muscles in the abdomen; You can lift your legs up and then lay down on your back. Then, you can keep the legs near one another while moving them upwards and downwards quickly.
You can then lift your upper torso off the floor surface and tighten your abdominal muscles. Doing Pilates is one great way of fixing bow legs.
Massage Therapy Exercises
During the massage therapy exercise, a therapist will move your legs back and forth repeatedly for an extended period of time. The massage therapy will help correct the bow legs in due time. The process will be repeated a number of times before you see noticeable results.
This type of exercise is mainly aimed at strengthening the muscles around your knees; it will reduce the strain exerted on your joints and tendons, and will improve your bowed legs. However, the leg exercises can only be truly effective if the bowed legs condition is slight.
1 of the leg exercises which can be performed easily is; lying flat on the bench, bending at the knees and then placing a 10 pound weight in between your feet. You should bend your legs til you touch your butt/rear, and then extend them. The process should be repeated multiple times.
Stretching is one other important way of improving the legs, the posture and also the rest of the body. Some exercises such as yoga will help lengthen your body’s muscles and strengthen the center and the core of these muscles. Stretching will also help in realigning your muscular and skeletal systems, thus enabling better support for your body.
Bow legs may also be as a result of vitamin D deficiency. For instance, rickets (which is basically caused by vitamin D deficiency), can cause bow legs to develop. Hence, increasing vitamin D levels can help in preventing rickets from developing, and in turn might help in correcting bow legs.
Some special shoes, casts and leg braces, can be used to help treat bow legs in young children. Medical braces are usually used if the bow legs condition is rather severe in a child, and/or they have another disease in addition to bow legs. The child should wear the braces til the leg bones straighten.
In adults who have severe cases of bow legs, surgery is normally the only option. The surgery will basically shift the way the bones rest on the knees; and it will correct your bow legs whilst reducing the strain exerted on the cartilage. Surgery is actually considered as an ideal method in regards to correcting bow legs in adults with severe cases of bow legs.
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