Knock-knee is a structural deformity, caused by certain muscles being overactive (tight) while other muscles staying underactive (weak) resulting in poor knee alignment. The problem is not limited to the knee but affects the upper leg area including the femur and tibia leg bones plus related tissues. Knock-knees tend to put increased pressure on the lateral compartment cartilage and strain the soft tissue of the medial, or inner, knee. This problem is more common in our society, and is associated, with arthritis in the lateral compartment.
Knock knees problems basically starts from childhood and gets cured by its own with growth, but improper development of bones can lead to knock-knees. This problem won’t let one walk or run freely.
By loosening up the muscles with hip opening and hamstring stretches, one can help to improve the condition. Yoga asanas for the same are:
- Place a mat against a wall. Sit in Dandasana ( staff pose ) facing the wall. Keep a yoga belt beside you. The soles of your feet should touch the wall comfortably, with your toes pointing upward. Press both your palms down on the mat.
- Lower your back onto the mat, supporting your torso on your palms until your head rests on the mat. Bend your right knee, and bring it to your chest. Keep your left sole pressed against the wall. Loop the belt around the sole of your right foot. Hold one end of the belt in each hand. Make sure that you hold the yoga belt as close to your foot as possible. This opens your chest, and keeps your breathing regular and even. Keep your extended leg pressed down on the mat.
- Inhale, and raise your right leg until it is perpendicular to the floor. Hold both ends of the belt with the right hand. Place your left arm beside your left arm beside your left hip. Press the left foot against the wall, and the left thigh on the mat. Stretch your right leg up further, simultaneously pulling your toes toward you with the belt. Feel the stretch in your right calf. Keep your left leg firmly pressed to the floor. Do not bend either knee or allow the left leg to tilt out. Initially, stay in this position for 20 -30 seconds. With practice, increase the time to 1 minute. Repeat the pose on the other side.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana I (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose I)
- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) against a wall.
- Lift the right foot up and grab hold of the big toe with the first two fingers and thumb of the right hand. Bring the left hand to the hip.
- Exhale and stretch the leg out and up in front of you, pulling the toes back.
- Hold the position for several breaths.
- Exhale, return to Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and repeat on the second side.
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I)
This asana or pose focus and targets your neck, shoulders, lungs, chest, stomach, groin, thighs, knees, calves and ankles stretching and strengthening them.
- Support your right buttock and most of your right thigh along the very edge of a chair or support. Your right foot should be directly under your knee. Kneel with your left knee on the floor or supported by a block if needed. If necessary, tall people can pad the seat with a blanket or mat to get more height. Visualize an imaginary line running vertically down the centre of your body.
- Your left buttock is off the chair, with your inner thigh pressed into the edge of the seat. If necessary for balance, rest your hand on the back of a second chair. If possible, raise one arm, then the other. Repeat on the other side.
Ardha Chandrasana (Half moon pose)
In sanskrit, ardha means “half”, while Chandra translates as “moon”. In this asana, your body takes the shape of a half moon. Regular practice enhances your span of concentration. It also improves co-ordination and motor reflexes. The intense stretch it gives to the spine, strengthens the paraspinal muscles, keeping the spine supple and well-aligned.
- Stand in Tadasana. Place a block on its short side against the wall. Inhale, spread your feet 1m (3.5ft) apart. Raise your arms to shoulder-level.
- Turn your right foot out to the right, parallel to the wall, and turn your left foot in, slightly to the right. Bend your right knee, and place the right palm on the block. Raise your left arm.
- Straighten your right leg. Raise your left leg, until it is parallel to the floor. Keep your left arm stretched up, in line with the right arm. The back of your left hand should touch the wall.
- Look up at your left thumb. Keep your weight on the right foot, thigh, and hip, not on your right palm. Hold the pose for 20 seconds. Repeat the pose on the other side.
Trikonasan (lateral bending pose)
This asana or pose stretches and strengthens your leg muscles and knees. It relieves the tension from your muscles and is helpful in improving the condition of knock knees.
- Stand straight, feet apart and arms on the sides, palms facing and touching the thighs.
- While inhaling, raise your right arm slowly up to shoulder level, palm facing down with the elbow straight.
- Now turn the palm upwards and raise the hand so that it is in a straight line, touching the ear.
- While exhaling, bend as far as possible to the left. This is the final position of Trikonasana.
- Maintain it for a few seconds and return to normal position gradually.
- The same is to be done on the other side. This completes the process. The lateral stretch should be felt.
Benefits & Precautions:
This asana makes the spine flexible and gives good exercise to the lateral area. It also vitalizes the liver, pancreas and kidneys, exercises the side muscles and increases the flexibility of the hip joints and waist.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
- Get your yoga mat fully unfolded and then lie just flat on your back. Legs would be straight and together but not touching each other. The position of the arms would be also straight with palms facing the ceiling.
- Do relax all the facial muscles and start taking breaths slowly and deeply. The closed eyes help in concentrating on the posture.
- Relaxation is the prime goal of Savasana. So start relaxing your body. When we pay attention to any of our limb, that limb feels some rest. So start relaxing from the head area and then travel through the whole body downward.
- Once you are aware of whole of your body, you would be in Corpse Pose in full. Remaining in this posture for five to ten minutes would be better. You can prolong this posture as long as you wish, as this asanas would never give your fatigue.
Do not expect to see the results overnight. Practice regularly and correctly and you will see a great difference in not just your knees but also the entire posture.