You’ve undoubtedly seen bow legs before, but what exactly are they? In the following details, you will learn about the medical definition of bow legs and give a few tips for preventing them. It might not seem like such a big deal to have ” bow legs (genu varum).” Still, if left untreated, it can put you at risk for developing more serious medical conditions like arthritis or patellar tendonitis.
The cause of a bowed leg is a failure of weight-bearing. When the portion is too short, you cannot place enough weight on your foot to straighten your leg fully and build strength. In addition, it causes muscles in the back of your thighs to contract harder than they should and pull on tendons at an angle, causing them to shorten. The tightness can also affect other body parts, such as the hip or knee joint.
Symptoms of Bow Legs –
Your child may complain of pain in the back of their thigh. They may be able to walk but then develop a limp or carry the foot in an odd position. This limp can cause them to lean back, creating more stress on the muscles and tendons.
Check your child’s muscle development on both sides of the body, particularly around the calf and thigh muscles, in case it is uneven. There may be pain in the hip joint. Children with bowlegs tend to have a weakness in their hip muscles, but this is not always the case.
Symptoms of Internal Rotation –
In children, these symptoms include:
- The knee is bent (internal rotation)
- The ankle is turned inward or externally
- Stiffness in the back of the thigh
- Inability to place weight on foot with straight legs
- Lack of flexibility in the hip joint
The soft tissues inside the front part of your thigh that help your knee move smoothly through a full range of motion are called tendons, which are very important to your running style and flexibility. The tendons that aid in knee extension and flexion (the straightening and bending of the knee) will be the ones most affected by your bow leg. These muscles run down your leg underneath the skin and have attachments to the bones of your thigh. The tendons attach to areas called proximal fibula and tibial tubercle.
There are two main things you can do at home. First, immobilize the affected leg. To do this, lie down on your stomach and use a pillow to support the back of your knee. Then place one heel on top of the other to reduce swelling and pain. You can also make an exercise band into a figure-8 shape, with one loop around your thigh and the other around your calf. Loop it securely before tightening it up to support the joint while you move around.
The second thing you can do is strengthen the muscles that can become weak. After you’ve done leg stretches for about 30 seconds to one minute, try the following exercises:
- Walking lunges (feet pointed outward)
- Standing squats
- Knee extension and flexion against resistance (using a weight machine or medicine ball)
- Leg lifts (knees slightly bent with one foot on a chair or a couch)
- Straight-leg raises (keep the leg straight and raise it off the floor as high as possible)
The critical thing to remember about bow legs is that it’s a symptom of another more severe problem. So while you can do some exercises and stretches at home, you’ll want to get professional help if they aren’t working. If you’re still in pain after a few weeks and having trouble doing everyday activities, talk to your doctor or physical therapist to find out what treatment might be proper for you.
Bow legs can be a real hassle for your child, especially if caught early enough before it gets worse. Bow legs are a sign of something wrong with the joints in your child’s leg, which strain muscles and tendons. Unfortunately, there are currently no drugs effective at preventing bow legs, but there are several exercises you can do at home to strengthen the muscles and prevent further damage.