Leg Length and Pain

A common cause of low back, knee and ankle pain.

Leg length inequalities, when one leg appears to be longer than the other, mostly affect pelvic tilt in the coronal plane. (The coronal plane divides the front part of the body from the rear part.)

PribbleImage1Pelvic tilt increases the Lordotic curvature of the spine, thus   causing low back pain.

PribbleImageClinically, I have also found that the knee on the short leg rotates inward and the inner most arch of the same affected foot drops.

This is called eversion.

PribbleImage3The lateral curves of the spine (think scoliosis) tend to not be significantly affected.

Clinical Prognosis:  Typically, Ankle/Knee/Low Back pain diminishes nearly as soon as the length deficiency is addressed.  The challenge is to initiate a long term correction.  I find recovery requires two, sometimes three, office visits about a week apart.  In cases when the symptoms return, they often return in about four to six weeks and another corrective office visit make be required.

Reference: Kwon YJ, Song M, Baek IH, Lee T. The effect of simulating a leg-length discrepancy on pelvic position and spinal posture. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Mar;27(3):689-91. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.689. Epub 2015 Mar 31

Link to Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25931709

Synopsis of Research Readings:  Dr. Gary Pribble, AdvanTech Chiropractic, 1000 23rd Street Bettendorf, Iowa (563) 355-2378

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