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Leg length discrepancies leg length inequality and back hip and knee pain Do you have one leg longer than the other

A common biomechanical factor associated with lower back, hip or knee pain, which is often overlooked, is anatomical leg length in equality and is the difference in actual bone and joint length of the legs

Leg length plays a significant role in the normal posture of our body as it ensures that our pelvis is level. It is normal to have a small difference in the lengths of each leg, however a difference greater than 5mm (1/4 inch) is considered significant and can be a causation factor of lower back pain.

Causes of difference in leg lengths;

  • One leg is structurally longer than the other (from birth)
  • Poor alignment of the pelvis
  • Short hamstring muscles
  • Can be due to with specific diagnosis such as: scoliosis, lumbar herniated disks, sacrolitis, pelvic obliquity, hip arthritis and foot pronation.
  • Can also be caused by injuries such as; fractures, bone disease, bone tumors or neuromuscular problem.
  • One leg just grows more than the other / genetic

Symptoms associated with leg length discrepancies;

  • An obvious observance of one leg being longer than the other
  • Affected posture
  • Problems with gait (manner of walking)
  • Pain in the lower back, hip, ankle or knee.

If you experience any of the above symptoms or chronic lower back pain, hip, knee or leg pain come and visit our friendly chiropractors at Lakeside chiropractic as we evaluate leg length differences as part of the assessment and diagnostic process (weight bearing postural examination) in your initial consultation. An x-ray may also be sufficient in determining leg length in equality. X-rays are bulk billed.

If the chiropractor assesses the lower back pain is coming from the leg length difference the following options are treatment methods are available;

  • Spinal and tissue manipulation can be used to reduce misalignments and muscular tightness in the lower back and pelvis, which are normal occurrences with leg length inequality.
  • A hell lift can be inserted in shoes under the shorter leg to stabilize and level the pelvis for a level foundation for the spine to rest on. This reduces wedging of the intervertebral discs, sheer stress on the spinal joints, rotational distortions of the vertebrae and normalizes lower back muscular balance.

Please come in to visit our chiropractor’s to have your leg length assessed and corrected if need be. We also work closely with podiatrists.

Lakeside Chiropractic in Joondalup has experience chiropractors that not only treat spinal conditions. We accept all major health insurances and also provide HICAPS with these Private Health care providers BUPA, HBF, Medibank, NIB, GMF, SGIO, SGIC, ADFFH. If yours isn’t listed please ask.

We service the surrounding suburbs of Tapping, Edgewater, Joondalup, Wanneroo, Connolly, Heathridge, Iluka, Currambine, Yanchep, Carramar, Gnangara, Mullaloo, Padbury, Kingsley, Woodvale, Banksia Grove and Duncraig. Please come and see our friendly and experienced chiropractors to help with your symptoms. Either book online at or call us on 9300 0095.

March 22, 2016