Leg Length Difference And Hip Pain _ Leg Length Difference And Back Pain

Leg Length Difference & Hip Pain

Thank you for joining us for today’s livestream where we talked about how if you have a leg length discrepancy, i.e. the lengths of both legs differ slightly, this can over time have a big effect on whether you have back pain or not. We’ll also explain why some methods of measuring leg length discrepancies are superior to others.

A lot of people can be told through their osteopath or physiotherapist that they have one leg longer than the other. We do a lot of screenings here in the clinic so we’ll explain how we analyse leg length accurately, compared to others that are really not. Generally speaking, leg length can be measured commonly with you lying on a bench, using bone markers. The accuracy of this method can be poor as you’re going to be using bony landmarks in the hips down to the ankles. The average deviation in these methods can be up to ⅔ of an inch – which is a huge inaccuracy to make.

We recommend measuring the leg length using imaging, performed with the legs together. The deviation on this method is around 1mm, so it’s much more accurate.

Rotation in the hip can have an effect on whether you have one leg longer than the other. Adjustments can be done in the hip to help even them out. Using imaging we can actually see this so we know exactly what’s causing the leg length so we can address it. Essentially, you can take away much more knowledge by looking at it on an X-ray rather than any kind of physical examination.

Leg length discrepancy can cause uneven loading onto the discs. This can compound further if you already have an injury there. Likewise is true on the facet joints as well.

If you’ve been told you have a leg length discrepancy, the first port of call for you would be to get it accurately measured using imaging – so go see someone who can do this for you. You’ll want to improve your core stability, your posture (make sure that you’re sitting and standing evenly, not crossing one leg over the other). If you have it accurately measured and there is a difference, heel raises can be put into your shoes to even this out.

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