As a general rule, bow-leggedness does not cause back pain in and of itself. However, certain things associated with bow legs, and its causes, may result in uneven strain being put on the hips and spine.
All people begin life extremely bow-legged, as a result of being curled up in the mother’s womb.
By the time they begin walking, the bow-leggedness has become less pronounced, though still noticeable in children who have only just begun to walk.
Fairly soon after they begin walking, the child’s bones and joints harden up, and the knee joints straighten, and the blow legs disappear.
Of course, there is the condition known as rickets, when the bones fail to harden (usually from a poor diet), and the bow-leggedness persists.
Uneven Leg Bowing
If one leg is more or less bowed than the other, this is when pain is more likely. This is because the hips and the hip joints will be held persistently out of alignment when the person is standing.
This can lead to problems with the hips.
Since the spinal column rises out of the hips and supports the rest of the frame, these problems can lead to back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and so on.
In adulthood, bow legs is only likely to occur from repetitive strain on the knees, such as from horse-riding, or from an actual injury to the knee or knees.
If this strain is for some reason uneven, or only one knee is injured, then uneven bow-leggedness can result, with all its associated problems.
Of course, it is more likely for you to injure one knee in such a way, and accidents being what they are, even if both knees are injured it is unlikely to result in even trauma to each knee.
Bow-Legs in Adults are Often Uneven Which Can Cause Pain
So, in adulthood, bow-leggedness is often uneven, and thus very likely to cause back pain and postural issues if left untreated.
Although the effects of diet in adulthood are often poorly understood and difficult to study in depth, because peoples’ diets tend to be quite diverse, it is clear that both Vitamin D and Calcium are vital to the maintenance of healthy joints.
Adults rarely develop rickets, but a diet that is low in calcium and vitamin D (also obtained from sunshine), will obviously make the development of bow legs and associated problems much more likely, whether there is a repetitive strain or not.
Similarly, recovery from injury may result in bow-leggedness, if the recovery is hampered by a diet that is lacking in Calcium and Vitamin D.
Of course, the site most associated with pain from bow legs is the knees themselves.
The knee joint is designed to bear the weight from standing while in a vertical alignment.
Any deviation to the side will put strain on the knee joint and can lead to early arthritis.
A slightly bent knee or knees will also put a strain on the ankles since they also are designed to work best when the shinbone is completely upright when standing at rest.
Thus this early onset of arthritis can potentially affect the knees, the ankles, the hips, the spine the neck and the shoulders.
Some people may find that the postural compensation they have to make from a bow leg produces headaches due to the extra stress being put on the neck and spine, and thus on the nerves of the spinal column, which amongst other things, carry messages of pain for the body.
For anyone experiencing back pain, here are some simple exercises to help: