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Selective Focus on Grass

HELP FOR LEG LENGTH DISCREPANCY IN LINCOLNSHIRE

Leg length discrepancy - where one leg is longer than the other - is extremely common. Many people get told that they have a leg length discrepancy, and that this is the cause of their back, hip or leg pain. 

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DO YOU HAVE ONE LEG LONGER THAN THE OTHER? IS LEG LENGTH DISCREPANCY THE CAUSE OF YOUR BACK, HIP OR LEG PAIN?

Content written by Greg Pritchard, RAPID NeuroFascial Reset Specialist, BTEC L5 Soft Tissue Therapy (CSSM), MFHT

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Many people are told that they have one leg longer than the other, and that this is the cause of their back, leg or foot pain.
 

There has been a resurgence in therapists telling clients that one of their legs is longer than the other, and that this is the cause of their pain, especially hip, knee or back pain.

Many people become very worried by this idea that they are somehow disabled or deformed because their legs are not equal length. Sometimes people even consider limb lengthening surgery to lengthen the shorter leg.

COULD ONE OF YOUR LEGS BE LONGER THAN THE OTHER?

It's estimated that anywhere between 40% to 70% of people have Leg Length Discrepancy - the medical term for "one leg longer than the other".

Other sources estimate that only 10% of people have legs that are the same length.

Perhaps the most famous person with a leg length discrepancy is Usain Bolt (the fastest sprinter in history); his leg length discrepancy is a result of scoliosis; he has a leg length discrepancy of 13mm (that's 1.3 cm). Given Mr Bolt's athletic achievements, it's safe to say that his leg length discrepancy isn't causing him any issues!

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THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF LEG LENGTH DISCREPANCY

The first type is anatomical leg length discrepancy. This type of leg length discrepancy is to do with actual bone length, and is either present at birth (a developmental abnormality) or occurs at some point in life, perhaps due to a traumatic injury, joint replacement or degenerative condition. In these cases, a specialist will be the person telling you that you have a leg length discrepancy. It is very unlikely that you would have a leg length discrepancy that causes you any issues but not know about it until some kind of therapist tells you in your forties!

 

Anatomical leg length discrepancy is difficult to diagnose outside of a specialist medical environment. Some therapists will attempt to use a tape measure, but this is notoriously unreliable (and open to abuse by unscrupulous therapists). Other ways of measuring anatomical leg length discrepancy is by locating bony areas on the pelvis by hand and seeing if they are "level". This again can be very unreliable as hands are not that accurate!

 

The second type of leg length discrepancy is known as functional leg length discrepancy. This type of leg length discrepancy occurs when both legs are the same length, but the person holds themselves in a way to mean that the legs are no longer symmetrical. An obvious example of this would be if someone positions themselves when they stand in such a way to move their hips or roll their ankle in order to make one leg functionally longer (or shorter!) than the other.

 

Functional leg length discrepancy could be thought of as a posture based issue, and is generally caused by either habitual issues or an injury. Resolving this issue will generally resolve the functional leg length discrepancy.

CAN A LEG LENGTH DISCREPANCY CAUSE PAIN?

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Although it can seem "obvious" to suggest that having one leg longer than the other would lead to pain, this is not actually known to be the case. Most people have one leg longer than the other, but are not in pain, and when people have back pain, it is not constant, whilst their leg length remains the same.
 

Studies into leg length discrepancy and back pain are inconclusive, and don't show whether leg length discrepancy causes back pain, or whether people with back pain have leg length discrepancy anyway.

 

In short, there is no real evidence for leg length discrepancy being the cause of back or leg pain, and any claims that leg length discrepancy is the cause of your issues (and that you just need 10, 20 or 40 appointments to fix it) should be treated with scepticism (unless you've been told by a medical specialist, rather than Charlie the Chiropractor).

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Natasha says:

After somehow pulling a muscle in my neck and not being able to move my head at all, I popped to see Greg and he sorted it out. I was in so much pain and he really did look after me and made me feel so comfortable, even after leaving he has answered any messages I have sent him quickly and professionally. Thank you so much.

Philip says:

Greg is brilliant at what he does. I’ve been twice now and both times left amazed at what he’s managed to do in less than an hour, from diagnosing a problem I’ve had for 10 years in 10 seconds to solving that problem in 10 minutes!

Can’t rate him highly enough!

Helen says:

Our “go to “ service for all aches and pains and sporting injuries. Really helpful, informative and effective treatment. Highly recommended. Thanks Greg!

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