Among all sports, running is often practiced at an amateur level by anyone who owns a pair of sneakers. We tend to believe that there are no restrictions on running, not even if nature has provided us with “crooked” legs, that is to say X-shaped legs or legs shaped like brackets. Is it true or false? Dr. Luca Usai from the Operative Unit of Orthopedics and Traumatology and from the orthopedic cartilage and sports clinic at Humanitas Gavazzeni Bergamo, responds.
“False. If the legs are “crooked” it may be due to the knee that has an axial deviation – explains the expert – called knee launch causing the brackets-shape of the legs, or a valgus deviation, if the legs have an X shape. Running is one of those sports that cause repeated stress to the knee and this can contribute towards various types of injury, especially in the presence of deviations, depending on the joint area that is overloaded. The same applies to the hip: when there is an irregular trim, or there is a difference in the length of the lower limbs or dysmetria, as well as starting to run without an evaluation of a specialist may increase the risk of knee or hip injury. This does not mean that having “crooked legs” is an impediment to running: if in fact the conditions assessed by the specialist do not point out any contraindication to sports practice, the patient can receive the go-ahead for running, provided that the runner prepares the muscles properly. In fact, during the run, it is the muscles that will have to protect the joints affected by axial deviation by suppressing the joint stresses at the track”.