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Effective Solutions For Valgus Knees

Effective Solutions For Valgus Knees - SelectFlex

Valgus knees, characterized by a inward deviation of the knees when standing, can cause discomfort and impact daily activities (Hospital for Special Surgery).  Whether you're an athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or someone dealing with the challenges of valgus knees, finding effective solutions is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the causes and symptoms of valgus knees and delve into actionable solutions to alleviate pain, improve alignment, and enhance overall knee health. From exercises to lifestyle adjustments, we've got your knees covered. 

Understanding Valgus Knees:  Before delving into solutions, it's essential to understand what valgus knees are and what causes them:

  1. Anatomical Factors: Valgus knees may be influenced by genetic factors, where the shape of the bones predisposes an individual to knee misalignment.
  2. Muscle Imbalances: Weakness or tightness in certain muscle groups, such as the quadriceps or inner thigh muscles, can contribute to valgus knees.
  3. Injury History: Previous injuries, especially to the knee or hip, can affect joint alignment and contribute to valgus knees.
  4. Improper Footwear: Wearing shoes with inadequate arch support or high heels can exacerbate the problem.

Strengthening Exercises: Building strength in specific muscle groups can help correct valgus knee alignment. Incorporate the following exercises into your routine:

  1. Quadriceps Strengthening: Leg extensions, squats, and lunges can target the quadriceps, providing better knee stability.
  2. Inner Thigh Exercises: Adductor squeezes and leg raises can help strengthen the inner thigh muscles, supporting proper knee alignment.
  3. Hamstring Exercises: Strengthening the hamstrings, through exercises like leg curls, aids in overall knee stability.
  4. Glute Strengthening: Hip bridges and clamshells target the glutes, contributing to improved hip and knee alignment.

Stretching and Flexibility: Enhancing flexibility can alleviate tension and correct imbalances associated with valgus knees (National Institute of Health).

  1. IT Band Stretching: Stretch the iliotibial (IT) band to reduce tightness on the outer part of the knee.
  2. Calf Stretches: Stretching the calf muscles can indirectly impact knee alignment.
  3. Quadriceps and Hip Flexor Stretches: Maintain flexibility in the quadriceps and hip flexors to support proper knee function.
  4. Inner Thigh Stretches: Open up the inner thigh muscles to counteract tightness contributing to valgus knees.

Orthotic Solutions: Orthotic devices can provide additional support and alignment correction:

  1. Custom Insoles: Consult with a podiatrist to get custom-made insoles that address foot issues contributing to valgus knees or consider customizeable arch-support with SelectFlex insoles.
  2. Knee Braces: Some individuals may benefit from knee braces that provide external support and help maintain proper alignment during movement.

Footwear Considerations: Choosing the right footwear is crucial for individuals with valgus knees:

  1. Arch Support: Opt for shoes with proper arch support to promote healthy foot and knee alignment.
  2. Stability Shoes: Consider stability shoes that provide additional support for overpronation, a common contributor to valgus knees.

Lifestyle Adjustments: Making small changes in your daily routine can contribute to long-term knee health:

  1. Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight reduces stress on the knees.
  2. Proper Posture: Be mindful of your posture, as poor posture can contribute to knee misalignment. 

Professional Guidance: If you're experiencing persistent pain or discomfort due to valgus knees, seek professional guidance from a physical therapist, orthopedic specialist, or podiatrist. They can provide personalized advice and interventions based on your specific condition.

Conclusion: Valgus knees can be managed effectively through a combination of targeted exercises, stretching, orthotic solutions, proper footwear, and lifestyle adjustments. By incorporating these solutions into your routine, you can alleviate pain, improve alignment, and enhance overall knee health. Remember, consistency is key, and it's always advisable to seek professional guidance for a tailored approach to your unique situation. Step into a pain-free future with these actionable solutions for valgus knees.

Consider Wearing SelectFlex Adjustable Orthotics to Help Relieve Your Valgus Knee Condition. 

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The Silent Saboteur: How Valgus Knee Can Affect Your Health and How to Prevent It

The Silent Saboteur: How Valgus Knee Can Affect Your Health and How to Prevent It - SelectFlex

Valgus knee, a condition where the knees turn inward when standing or walking, is more than just a cosmetic concern. While it may seem harmless, this misalignment can have a significant impact on your health if left unaddressed (Hospital for Special Surgeries). In this blog, we will delve into the various ways valgus knee can affect your overall well-being and discuss essential strategies to prevent and manage this condition.

Understanding Valgus Knee: Valgus knee, also known as knock knees, is a condition where the knees angle inward towards each other when standing with the feet together. This misalignment can occur due to various factors, including genetics, age, and injury. While it's common in children, it can persist or develop in adulthood, causing discomfort and health issues (National Library of Medicine).

How Valgus Knee Affects Health:

  1. Joint Strain: Valgus knee places excessive stress on the knee joint. Over time, this can lead to wear and tear, increasing the risk of conditions like osteoarthritis.
  2. Pain and Discomfort: Knock knees often cause pain and discomfort in the knees, hips, and lower back. The misalignment disrupts the body's natural biomechanics, leading to muscle imbalances and pain.
  3. Reduced Mobility: Individuals with valgus knee may experience reduced mobility, making it challenging to engage in physical activities. This sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain and associated health problems.
  4. Increased Risk of Injury: The abnormal knee alignment makes individuals more susceptible to injuries, particularly during physical activities and sports.
  5. Aesthetic Concerns: Apart from the health issues, valgus knee can lead to self-esteem and body image concerns, affecting mental health.

Preventing and Managing Valgus Knee:

  1. Physical Therapy: Consult a physical therapist who can create a customized exercise program to strengthen the muscles around the knees and improve alignment (Boston Children's Hospital).
  2. Orthotic Inserts: Orthotic shoe inserts can help correct the misalignment and provide support to the arches, reducing discomfort.
  3. Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the strain on your knees, making valgus knee less problematic.
  4. Surgery: In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to correct valgus knee. Consult an orthopedic specialist to discuss surgical options.
  5. Proper Footwear: Wearing shoes with proper arch support and cushioning can help alleviate discomfort and improve alignment.
  6. Stretching and Range of Motion Exercises: Incorporate regular stretching exercises into your routine to improve flexibility and joint mobility.

Conclusion: Valgus knee is not just a cosmetic concern; it can significantly impact your health and overall well-being. Understanding how this condition affects your body is the first step towards prevention and management. Whether through physical therapy, orthotic inserts, weight management, or surgical intervention, there are ways to address valgus knee and mitigate its health effects. By taking proactive steps to improve knee alignment and reduce strain, you can maintain a healthier, more active lifestyle, free from the limitations of this condition.

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The Hip Joint is a Big Deal!

The Importance of the Hip Joint to the Human Body is much the same as the Importance of the "Grand Central Terminal" to the City of New York. You may have heard the term "Everything flows through the hips" - and it is said for good reason!

Major nerves and arteries extending into the lower body pass through the hips, and pinch points for these major nerves are often found in the lower back or the hip. Pinched nerves can happen for many reasons, but soft tissue inflammation due to muscle imbalance, gait issues, and/or overcompensation is one of the major causes.

Hip Pain: Causes and Treatment

The hip joint can withstand repeated motion and a fair amount of wear and tear. This ball-and-socket joint--the body's largest-- fits together in a way that allows for fluid movement.

Whenever you use the hip (for example, by going for a run), a cushion of cartilage helps prevent friction as the hip bone moves in its socket.

Despite its durability, the hip joint isn't indestructible. With age and use, the cartilage can wear down or become damaged. Muscles and tendons in the hip can get overused. Bones in the hip can break during a fall or other injury. Any of these conditions can lead to hip pain. 

If your hips are sore, here is a rundown of what might be causing your discomfort and how to get hip pain relief.

  • Arthritis.Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are among the most common causes of hip pain, especially in older adults. Arthritis leads to inflammation of the hip joint and the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions your hip bones. The pain gradually gets worse. People with arthritis also feel stiffness and have reduced range of motion in the hip. Learn more about hip osteoarthritis.
  • Hip fractures. With age, the bones can become weak and brittle. Weakened bones are more likely to break during a fall.
  • Bursitis. Bursae are sacs of liquid found between tissues such as bone, muscles, and tendons. They ease the friction from these tissues rubbing together. When bursae get inflamed, they can cause pain. Inflammation of bursae is usually due to repetitive activities that overwork or irritate the hip joint. Learn more about bursitis of the hip.
  • Tendinitis. Tendons are the thick bands of tissue that attach bones to muscles. Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of the tendons. It's usually caused by repetitive stress from overuse. Learn more about tendinitis symptoms.
  • Muscle or tendon strain. Repeated activities can put strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the hips. When they become inflamed due to overuse, they can cause pain and prevent the hip from working normally.
  • Misalignment of Lower Body - Be Aware of Your Posture.  A key factor for preventing hip pain is maintaining good posture throughout the day. Your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles should make a straight line. Having proper alignment goes beyond maintaining a good posture — it can also help prevent long-term pain. Misalignment may impair your range of motion, and severe issues can affect your quality of life (Healthline).  Observing your profile picture will tell you if you are letting your head, shoulders, and hips lean forward. This misalignment is the foundation of many health problems including hip pain.

Hip Pain Relief

If your hip pain is caused by a muscle or tendon strain, osteoarthritis, or tendinitis, you can usually relieve it with an over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatments also include prescription anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) like methotrexate and sulfasalazine, and biologics, which target the immune system.

If you have arthritis, exercising the hip joint with low-impact exercises, stretching, and resistance training can reduce pain and improve joint mobility. For example, swimming is a good non-impact exercise for arthritis. Physical therapy can also help increase your range of motion.

There is another crucial variable that most people don’t take into account when considering how best to achieve proper alignment and posture in turn relieving Hip pain.  That is the footwear and arch support that your foot receives.  When your feet and arches are supported properly than the rest of your body will be in a better position to be properly aligned and in turn achieving lower body alignment.

Most shoes do not provide proper arch support, and most insoles provide what we like to refer to as static support vs. Dynamic.  By static, we mean there is no fluid support through the gait cycle in support of the arch.  Static support is primarily the type of support that all orthotic insoles provide, whether they are custom or over-the-counter.  To be able to provide Dynamic Arch support would mean providing support underneath the arch throughout the gait cycle, and effectively maintaining alignment throughout the gait cycle.   

There is now such an insole called SelectFlex that provides the Dynamic Arch Support. SelectFlex is an entirely new type of dynamic energy returning insole that just won the ISHN Best Protective Footwear category for 2020.  SelectFlex insoles use a patented energy returning arch lifting technology called the PowerLift Arch.  The PowerLift Arch provides the wearer with 3 energy return levels to support the arch with dynamic alignment with every step.  A byproduct of proper alignment will be good posture.