Knock knees, also known as genu valgum, is a condition in which the feet are wider apart than the knees, with the knees pointed inwards. This condition is common in children, but can also be found in adults.
Slight knock knees may continue into adulthood and should be examined by a health care professional to determine if the knee alignment is adding stress on the joints. In some cases, knock knees may be a sign of an underlying condition which needs to be treated, especially if developed in adulthood.
While a small distance between the ankles is normal when standing, in some people, this gap can be 8cm or more. This can stress the knees which may gradually develop into knee pain, and in severe cases, affect the walking stride of a person.
As mentioned earlier, knock knees can be a sign of an underlying condition such as:
Having a weak foot posture, such as flat feet, may either contribute to the development of knock knees or worsen it further. This is because flat feet can affect the postural alignment of the lower body.
As the foot arch flattens onto the ground, it causes the shinbone and thighbone to twist inwards. This places stress on the knees and affects their alignment, which may either cause or contribute to knock knees.
In addition, knock knees caused by flat feet may produce pain and affect the walking stride of a person. In such cases, physical activity can become difficult and the risk of injury may increase because of the added stressed on the lower body, especially the knees.
Knock knees are typically not treated during childhood. However, if the condition is caused by an underlying condition and continues into adulthood, then treatment becomes necessary.
Full body posture and walking stride of a person are examined to understand the causes and impact of knock knees. X-ray examinations may be required for proper diagnosis. Foot posture will also be assessed to find out if it is causing or contributing to knock knees.
If knock knees are caused by arthritis and/or weak foot posture, a health care provider can recommend foot insoles such as MASS4D® to reduce strain on the knees.
MASS4D® foot insoles support the feet in their optimal posture to promote postural alignment. This reduces stress on the knees and helps correct knock knees caused by flat feet.
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Pilates refers to a series of exercises that target the core – the abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thigh, and so on. The movements involved in pilates also help to improve flexibility and posture while promoting core stability.