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The core causes of bow legs are typically either genetic, as doctors suspect is the case with Blount's Disease, or down to more general malnutrition.
When malnutrition is the cause, it's generally because children aren't being exposed to sufficient sunlight. We all know that children are usually bowlegged when they're newborn- but we also know that most children tend to outgrow the condition. In most cases, a child will naturally grow out of his or her bow legs by the age of around three years or so. In some cases, however, due to various deficiencies or disorders, an individual might continue to have bow legs even past the age of three years.
For those who continue to be affected by bow legs until they reach adulthood, prompt treatment can become an important part of restoring normalcy to their lives. Suffering from bow legs can be quite debilitating, to say the least. An individual with bow legs will typically experience unusually high levels of stress on their knees and even on other joints while their body tries to adapt itself to the condition.
How bow legs manifest
For an overweight person, moving around can become so difficult that bow legs may in themselves actually be a reason why they continue to gain weight. Bow legs also worsen much faster in overweight people due to the increased load that's being forced upon their knees and other joints. This increased joint stress and difficulty moving can, unfortunately, sometimes lead to a vicious relationship between bow legs and obesity. People in these situations may have no choice but to opt for surgical intervention as the only available treatment option.
The ideal situation is when a child does not suffer from any pathological ailments and continues to get the right nutrition during their early years. In the absence of any bone-related disease and with all the nutritional requirements for proper bone development being satisfied, bow legs are typically not an issue. At times, however, less than optimal dietary habits, a failure to monitor nutrition properly, or diseases like Blount's disease, Rickets, or arthritis can cause bow legs to continue into adulthood.
Treating bow legs naturally
The sooner you notice that your child past the age of 4 or 5 has bow legs, the better. This is why routine pediatrician visits during a child's early years can be vital in treating the condition promptly. Typically, a pediatrician treating a child with bow legs will first place the child on their back on a flat, smooth surface. Then, holding their leg slightly above the ankle, they will push one knee towards the chest slowly and carefully. While bringing it back down, they will then repeat the process with the other knee simultaneously. This exercise can be carefully done at home, with a total of about 10 repetitions for each leg, 3 times daily, while ensuring that you don't push the knee to the point of injury.
In adults, there are simple exercises like calf raises and one-legged squats that can often do the trick quite well by strengthening the leg muscles that support the knee. Pilates and yoga are also very useful in helping to maintain correct body posture and balance. This, in turn, contributes towards a healthier knee joint with less stress and damage.
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