Leg Length Discrepancy (LLD) has profound effects on the body’s biomechanics, which can result in back pain and a number of other debilitating conditions.
Also known as Leg length inequality leg length discrepancy affects as many as 60 to 90% of the population.
It is categorized as functional or structural, but both have profound effects on the body’s biomechanics and result in back pain.
Other conditions include:
- Arthritis of the knee
- Arthritis of the hip
- Patellar tendinitis
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
- Medial tibial stress syndrome
- Iliotibial band syndrome
- Lateral knee pain
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Sacroiliac discomfort
- Achilles tendinitis
- Cuboid syndrome
Functional Short Leg: Alignment difference of the supporting structures between the ground and the top of the femur or thigh bone.
This is caused by excessive pronation or the natural rolling in of the foot as someone walks.
Anatomical Short Leg: A difference in the size or length of the thigh bone (femur).
This is most often caused by growth asymmetry that can be inherited/genetic condition but can sometimes come from a fracture or surgery.
- Our body can work with leg inequality for short a period but over time, biomechanical problems throughout the body can begin to happen.
- Our body’s ability to adapt to abnormal stress eventually takes its toll and the surrounding soft tissues can’t take it anymore.
- Even the simplest movements begin to require much more muscular effort and energy, which reduces endurance.
Excessive stress gets transmitted to the ligaments, which then creates:
- Muscle fatigue
- Ligamentous stress
A Chiropractor will use a combination of techniques to help your condition, but treatment is dependent on the cause and symptoms.
The first goal of treatment is to improve alignment and restore symmetry.
This can be accomplished with:
- Spinal adjustments focus on providing better spinal column alignment
- Exercises to help the affected muscles
- Proper orthotics with a pronation wedge under the heel for long-term correction
Sometimes LLI causes a profound gait (walk) disfunction, which means physical therapy might be necessary.
- Keep your bones and tissues strong and healthy with exercise and diet can help.
- Avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol use, which weaken bones and can cause problems with the blood supply in the legs.
- Reduce your risk of injury by adhering to safety measures (like wearing a seatbelt).
- Custom orthotics provide support, stability, and shock absorption.
The body’s foundation can be made level with custom orthotics, but it does take some time to adjust to proper and healthier alignment/posture.
Talk to your doctor or chiropractor to learn more.
- Back pain
- Leg pain
- Pelvic obliquity
- Scoliotic deviations of the lumbar spine
- Increased risk of injury, especially in athletes
Chiropractic care does wonders for helping individuals regain their spinal alignment and loosen the joints and muscles affected by leg length inequality, and the orthotic heel lifts balance out the legs, which balances the hips and pelvis.
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According to the American Chiropractic Association, a study found 75% of subjects who suffered from lower back pain had legs that were slightly different lengths (5 millimeters or more). This condition is called Short Leg Syndrome and causes a variety of issues for its sufferers. The symptoms can be quite severe, depending on the degree of difference in the leg length.
VasyliMedical Limb Length Discrepancy
The premise of this condition is that the leg length inequality disrupts the body’s entire balance, possibly resulting in issues in the knees, hips, and back. The spinal system is designed to bear weight evenly, and, when one leg is shorter than the other, this places additional weight and stress on one side. According to The Back Pain Authority, common causes of Short Leg Syndrome are a past history of fractures, hip or knee issues, or the individual was simply born that way.