Leg Length: One side of the human body doesn’t necessarily match the other perfectly. In fact, there is almost always a tiny disparity of size and length in a person’s hands, feet, arms, and legs.
Think about it, a ring may fit on one hand but be tight on the other, a shoe may feel loose on one foot but be comfortably worn on the other. Most of the time these slight discrepancies in size are normal and have no bearing on an individual’s well-being.
Leg Length Inequality, Unfortunately, Is The Exception
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.
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.
Unfortunately, the condition often brings about recurring and sometimes intense spells of lower back pain and mobility issues for the patient. The good news is that once it’s diagnosed, the patient who commits to consistent treatment measures can manage the condition and resulting lower back pain.
Patients can choose two vital options that help control and manage Short Leg Syndrome’s symptoms:
Visiting an experienced chiropractor and mapping out a treatment plan for lower back pain caused by Short Leg Syndrome is a smart first step. Leg length inequality results in pain because it puts excess pressure and weight on one side of the body. Over time, this creates misalignment in the spine and stiff muscles and joints.
Chiropractic care including spinal adjustments re-align the spine, loosens up the body’s muscles and joints, and promotes healing. A series of visits helps the body gain its balance, and pain hopefully begins decreasing during this period.
However, depending on the degree of leg length inequality, chiropractic treatment alone may not be enough to manage the symptoms long-term. That’s where the second step presents itself as valuable.
Orthotic Heel Lifts
Chiropractic care does wonders for helping individuals regain their spinal alignment and loosen the joints and muscles affected by leg length inequality, but the underlying issue of Short Leg Syndrome remains. The goal of an orthotic heel lift is to balance out the legs, which in turn balances the hips and pelvis.
An orthotic equals out the weight, helping reduce the condition’s symptoms and resulting pain. A treatment of chiropractic care and orthotics gain great advantages over Short Leg Syndrome, and, when used together consistently, offer less pain and fewer recurrences.
An individual who suffers from recurring lower back pain should visit a chiropractor to pursue a diagnosis. If leg length inequality is the cause, patients must rest assured it is manageable in most cases.
Talk with your chiropractor about the recommended regimen of chiropractic adjustments, and the possibility of utilizing an orthotic heel lift. Together, these two steps can decrease pain and the chances of recurrence, and increase overall mobility.
If you or a loved one is suffering from this condition, please give us a call. Our Doctor of Chiropractic is here to help!