It’s quite possible any woman who’s ever suffered a lower body injury has heard of the “Q Angle.” And if you haven’t, it’s time to learn why women are more likely than men to suffer from a myriad of injuries. The “Q” in this term stands for quadriceps, which is the large muscle group on the front of the thigh, and the “angle” is the degree at which the femur (upper leg bone) meets the tibia (lower leg bone). Check out how professionals measure the Q Angle with this YouTube video.
Ever heard of someone being “knocked kneed”? The condition is an extreme example of the Q Angle where the knees bend in at such a sharp degree that the feet cannot touch each other. “Knock knee” is often seen in young children who usually outgrow the condition, but it can also be acquired as a result of certain diseases, such as rickets or obesity.
Another underlying cause of significant Q Angle could also be overpronation of the foot. Normal pronation occurs when your body weight rolls fairly evenly off all your toes when walking. Overpronation occurs when the foot rolls in and your push-off is from primarily the big and second toes.
How does the Q Angle affect women?
Numerous studies have shown the Q Angle in women to be greater than that in men, causing increased pressure on women’s hips, knees and back. This pressure can lead to discomfort, pain and even injury. Merrell, a brand synonymous with helping people get outdoors, created QForm® technology to address the anatomical and biomechanical differences in women. Its midsole is designed to provide unique support, cushioning and corrective positioning to help women “go farther in exceptional comfort and performance.” And, ultimately, to get outdoors!
Alleviate pain with QForm® technology
This video details how Merrell’s insoles feature special cushioning to target problem areas. The color blocking in the cushion, as demonstrated in the video, highlights how the QForm® technology conforms to a woman’s unique structure.
In addition to orthotics, women can help alleviate issues caused by excessive Q Angle measurements through exercises specifically targeting problem areas. A rehabilitation program designed by an orthopedic physician or physical therapist will likely focus on increased flexibility to tight muscles, such as calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. This can be achieved through yoga, stretching or even use of a foam roller and additional treatments from a trained physical therapist. Step two includes strengthening weaker muscles, creating a balance in your lower body to help alleviate any further pain and injuries.
Merrell has created a full line of women’s shoes featuring the QForm® technology. There are fashionable yet comfortable shoes in both cold and warm-weather styles, so you can enjoy healthy support all year long!