Bow legs are quite normal in a child in the early formative months. This is mainly because when a baby starts walking at the age of about a year, its musculoskeletal system isn’t fully developed. The bones are weak and the joints are unstable. Moreover, the muscle mass isn’t also fully formed and strong enough to support an erect posture. Naturally, when they try to walk, the legs make a bow-shape formation, with the knees far apart from each other while the ankles are close or together.
Thus, most young kids are seen walking with bow legs and this isn’t much of a concern unless the condition persists even when the child grows. Normally, the problem goes away by the time when the child is about 3 – 3 ½ years old, but in certain cases, it has been seen that the condition doesn’t improve even with age. Most children outgrow this problem by the age of 4 and the legs become straight and they can hold themselves in a straight posture while walking or standing.
But many a time, even after a child has attained the age of 4, the bow shape of the legs doesn’t go away and it is then that this becomes a matter of concern. It is then that you should consult a pediatrician and start looking at the various treatment options. This must be done as early as possible so that the problem may be totally cured by the time the child reaches adolescence. This is necessary because, after the onset of puberty, it becomes very difficult to correct bow legs.
What Muscles Cause Bow Legs?
Before you start the treatment of bow legs in your child, it is important to understand why the problem was actually caused. There may be different factors that impede the normal growth of the musculoskeletal system, thereby, causing the bow legs to persist. Poor diet, infections, injuries, unnecessary bone growth, trauma, lead poisoning, etc. could trigger the condition. However, these are not the only causes.
Bow-leggedness can also occur due to weak muscles. If you aren’t quite aware, then it is important to understand that the pelvic muscles play an important role in our body posture as well as the alignment of the lower limbs. In fact, an imbalance of the pelvic muscles in the hip region can affect the alignment of the entire body, including the legs.
And this imbalance mainly occurs due to present day lifestyle that is mostly sedentary and involves a lot of sitting around and very less movement. It is due to this reason that the pelvic muscles develop two different ailments, each as serious as the other – Anterior pelvic tilt and Posterior pelvic tilt.
It has been seen that in people suffering from posterior pelvic tilt, the frontal portion of the pelvis rises, while the rear portion drops. The result of this change is that the gluteal muscles become too tight and the hip flexors become too weak, which in turn rotate the hips backward. With the shortening of the gluteus maximus and the extension of the hip flexors, the legs start getting pulled far apart, thus giving a bow-shape to the legs.
Why You Should Fix Your Bow Legs?
While doctors mostly suggest that there is nothing to be worried about bow legs in a child, the same cannot be said for adolescents and adults. While very young kids gradually gain the neutral limb alignment as they grow, for adults and adolescents, there is little hope that it will go away automatically. The legs need to be corrected via different nor-surgical and surgical methods or they will continue being bow-shaped for the rest of your life. So, if you are still wondering why you should fix your bow legs, then here a few reasons that will make you understand, Why bow leg correction is important for adults.
It hampers your stature
Whatever may the cause of the defect be, the society doesn’t make life easy for you if you have a deformity. Bow legs are considered as a deformity in teens and adults and you will have to bear the scorch of the society unless you get the legs fixed quickly. People may sympathize with your condition, but for many, it will be just another way of getting at you. So, it is better that you nip the problem in the bud.
It may affect your child
Though people often ask are bow legs genetic, yet most aren’t quite sure of what the truth is. Well, genes from both the parents make way to the child and if having bow legs is a dominant trait in your family as well as relatives, there are chances that your child, too, may have bow legs. However, there is no surety about whether that condition will persist for long enough or will gradually go away as the child grows.
It affects your height
If your legs are severely bow-shaped, then your height may be affected as well. Statistics show that people lose about 2-5 inches of their height due to bow-leggedness and this may vary with the severity of the problem.
It can make your life a hell
Not only will the bow legs affect the way people look at you, it will also make your health conditions far worse than you can believe, especially as you age. In fact, the answer to the question that do bow legs get worse with age is a big YES. It’s not just worse, it becomes a nightmare. Imbalance leads to unnecessary pressure at different points of the body, including the knees which become inflamed and stiff, thus causing unbearable pain. Osteoarthritis sets in early and you may have no other option than moving in a wheelchair.
Also, since the alignment of the body is improper, your posture will be greatly affected and you may feel back pain all through the day. You will stoop down very quickly and the pain will escalate with time unless the problem is treated and fixed as soon as possible.
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