“Knock knees” is a knee alignment condition that causes a wide gap in between the ankles while the knees are continually touching. It is also known as genu valgum.
As you can imagine, this type of condition can cause a lot of pain in the knees due to the constant “knocking” against each other while you’re standing, walking, or running. To help alleviate the discomfort, find out more below, including causes and possible treatment methods to correct knock knees, including two yoga moves.
Who is most likely to get knock knees?
Anyone can develop knock knees but it is slightly more common in girls. Interestingly, this knee alignment problem is often a normal part of a child’s growth process. In fact, the My Knock Knee Fix reports that many children under the age of 4 have knock knees.
By the time a child reaches 7 or 8, they should have outgrown their knock knees phase. By this age, the inward curve around their knees will begin to straighten up on its own.
In some cases, though, a child’s knock knees doesn’t straighten out by the time they reach their adolescent years. Also, adults may develop knocked knees. These scenarios might be due to an underlying condition.
What causes knock knees?
As already explained, knock knees are part of a child’s normal growth process and tend to straighten out on their own by the time the child reaches the age of 7 or 8. However, if the genu valgum is caused by an underlying problem (pathological knock knees), it will require some form of treatment to correct the misalignment.
A few of the most obvious signs that knock knees are due to an underlying condition include:
- Knock knees appear later on in your adult life.
- Only one of your legs appears to be affected by knock knees.
- The genu valgum doesn’t improve after the age of 8 and even worsens over time.
Some of the most common underlying causes of knock knees include:
- Rickets – A bone disease that affects mainly small children who don’t get enough daily vitamin D.
- Injuries – Certain injuries that affect the growth area around the tibia or femur can cause at least one of your legs to begin turning inward.
- Genetics – Conditions like skeletal dysplasias that are due to genetics can lead to the development of knock knees.
Even being overweight or obese can indirectly cause knock knees in some people.
When is it time to treat knock knees?
It may be time to seek knock knees treatment if you notice one or more of these symptoms below:
- Knock knees become worse instead of improving.
- You have pain in your hips or knees whenever you stand or walk.
- You begin to develop a limp in your walk.
- The main symptom that will let you know it’s time to start treating your knocked knees is chronic pain.
When it comes to treatments there’s a lot of different options out there to choose from. Things like braces, insoles, and surgery can all help in their own way.
Many people have also had success realigning their knees correctly by performing certain yoga moves. This activity may help strengthen and stretch the muscles in their legs and hips.
Best yoga exercises to fix knock knees
The following two yoga exercises might help correct knock knees by loosening tight muscles hips that prevent your legs from straightening fully. The poses are Half Pigeon and Reclined Big Toe.
1. Half Pigeon Pose
This yoga pose is a very effective hip-opener that increases flexibility in the muscles around the hips. Opening these hip muscles can increase the chances of straightening out your knock knees.
To do Half Pigeon Pose properly, do the following steps:
- Begin in a Downward-Facing Dog position, and then place your right ankle towards your left hand.
- Now, drop your hips down to the ground until it’s resting on your right leg.
- Next, go ahead and stretch out your left leg behind you, keeping your left leg as straight as possible.
- Then, square your hips while balancing your weight by pushing your hands down in front of you.
- Relax in this position and breathe. Hold this stretched position for at least a minute, making sure you’re breathing in and out slowly.
- Return to the starting position, and repeat on the other side.
If you want to get a deeper stretch with this yoga pose, just bend your hips more and bring your torso downward until it reaches the ground.
2. Reclined Big Toe Pose
Also known as Supta Padangusthasana, the Reclined Big Toe Pose is one of the best yoga exercises for knock knees. The reason this yoga pose is so effective at correcting knock knees is that it loosens tight hamstrings and hips. That could help realign the inward curvature around the knees.
To do the Reclined Big Toe yoga pose properly, follow these steps:
- Start off on your back and then stretch out your legs.
- Now, bend one of your knees and bring your leg toward your chest.
- Next, place a resistance band around the bottom of your foot. If you don’t have a resistance band, you can use a belt instead.
- Hold the resistance band with both hands and push your leg upwards to the ceiling while you’re the rest of your body remains on the floor, especially your other leg.
- As you push your leg upwards to the ceiling, go ahead and point your toes upwards too for an even better stretch.
- Hold this stretched-out position for about 10 breaths, then release it back to the starting position.
- Finally, switch sides by placing the resistance band or belt around your other leg and repeating the six steps above.
Remember to keep the rest of your body, especially your hips, on the ground as you perform this yoga exercise. Also, your leg stays on the ground; it should never rise off the ground or rotate outwards.
These two yoga exercises may help provide relief from symptoms due to knock knees, such as chronic pain. Some people practice these yoga poses every day, after getting the permission of their doctor. Always seek the approval of your doctor before starting a new exercise routine and follow their medical advice.