There are various alterations in the alignment of our body segments that can injure us. One of these changes is the valgus knee , also called genu valgum or knees X . This video describes what knee valgus is and a stretch is proposed to correct it or at least to slow it down.
What is knee valgus?
The knee valgus is an alteration of the alignment of the knees in which the legs are closer in the knees, that is, they will not be able to align the two legs together, the ankles are separated . To be a true knee valgus, the kneecaps should be oriented towards the center , inwards; otherwise we speak of a false knee valgus, unstructured. The alteration of the opposite position to the knee valgus is the varus , in which the knees are displaced outwards in such a way that if you try to join the legs, the knees will be separated, also called knees in parentheses
The knee varus is normal in young children . Over the years the knee varus is corrected , until puberty or adolescence is corrected. In women it is normal to have up to 5 degrees of deviation in valgus or knees in X. In men, especially in boys who have practiced a lot of sport during their childhood and adolescence, it is usual for the varus of the knee or knees in parentheses to be maintained.
Consequences of knee valgus
This alteration of the alignment of the knees will not generate great problems or difficulties ; but it can be related to the development of osteoarthritis or wear of the knee , since in the valgus of knees the burden of loads on the tibial plateaus (the tibial plateaus are the upper part of the tibial bone) is not uniform : it is loaded more weight on the external tibial plateau, where the joint interline is diminished, which will generate premature wear of the bone.
The major problem of valgus knee will occur when there is only valgus in one of the two knees ; the difference between the length of the legs produces alterations like a false scoliosis (lateral deviation of the spine) that is not structured at first, it is flexible. With time it can become structured and there is no turning back. Scoliosis will generate back pain (low back pain or lumbago, dorsalgia, cervicalgia or cervicobrachialgia …) mainly of muscular origin (Since the muscles of the concavity will relax, lengthen or give of themselves, and the muscles of the convexity will shorten, they will lose their flexibility.
The deviation of the knees will lead to deviation of the other joints of the leg to maintain the verticality of the person. These deviations are:
- Hip in adduction , creating more support on the inside of the head of the femur.
- Ankle in valgus , with a deviation towards the center.
Another alteration that is related to the knee valgus is the lack of muscle tone in the vastus quadriceps external, which together with the internal deviation of the patella can produce subluxation of the patella , especially in the case of knee extension efforts or forced flexions. knee, that is, when we bend the knee to the fullest.
The physiotherapy treatment will be based on two techniques mainly: RPG (global postural reprogramming) and muscle chains . In addition, specific stretches of the shortened muscles and strengthening of the muscles that are weak.
Stretches for knee valgus correction
The 2 exercises that you can perform to decrease knee valgus are the ballerina posture and the modified ballerina posture.
This exercise is ideal for people who, in addition to valgus knees, have flat feet . You will need a support like the armrests of a chair to perform this stretch.
With the trunk leaning forward and your hands resting on the armrest of the chair you will slightly bend your knees. While we keep the knees out and increase the arches of the foot we will try to increase the arch of the back.
Modified ballerina posture
This exercise is ideal for people who have digging feet in addition to valgus knees . In addition to needing the armrests of a chair as a support, you will need 2 corks, which will be placed on the outside of your feet.
The trunk leans forward and the hands rest on the armrests of the chair, also slightly tilting the knees. While keeping the knees out we try to support the inner arch of the foot while trying to increase the arch of the back.
These exercises do not completely correct the knee valgus , because it seeks to completely change the shape of the legs and the total correction is a long and continuous work with a specialized physiotherapist. But the practice of this exercise can make the wear less , balance the tension in your knees and give a little health to your knees .
Strengthen your bones and avoid injuries
Fishman concluded, after conducting a study , that those who practice 10 minutes yoga a day have the bones more stronger than those who do not.
They not only stopped the loss of bone but regained 0.5 points bone mineral density of the hip and 0.12 the spine , “says the specialist .
These are some postures that you can perform to strengthen your bones. Be careful when doing them.
This position allows stretching and strengthening the thighs, hips, knees , ankles and spine. Separate the feet at shoulder height. All to the left side. Open the foot with the arm parallel to the floor. Bend the torso and touch the foot with your hand. Keep your right arm up, in line with your left arm. Look towards the right hand. Remember to take deep breaths .
Dog looking up
Excellent for strengthening the bones of the shoulders, wrist and back ; as well as expanding the chest and abdominal cavity. Lying face down, support the palms of the hands on the floor. Keep your elbows close to your body and your feet separated at hip height. Breathe and lift the body slightly; stretch the arms keep the chest in front. Make sure your legs are stretched and in tension. Place the shoulders back, as well as the head facing the sky.
It helps to stretch the chest, neck and spine . Face up and with firm feet on the floor, raise with the action of the buttocks and the support of the arms in the lumbar, to relax the lower back. It is about supporting the weight of the body on the head, shoulders, arms. The spine remains in extension and the neck relaxed
It allows to strengthen the muscles that stimulate the most vulnerable parts of the spine . Sitting on the floor with your back straight, raise your legs and raise your arms at shoulder level and stretch them forward. Look straight ahead without pressing your chin down your throat. Stay for 30 seconds. Inhale and exhale deeply.