Active Care Chiropractic & Acupuncture
10680 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030
My Right Leg Is Shorter…
When seeing your chiropractor they may tell you that one of your legs is shorter than the other and could lead to symptomatic problems later. Some may hear this and assume that their shorter leg is the root cause of issues later on in life. This may be true, but you must also look at other factors that could contribute to symptomatic issues.
A middle-aged woman may find out that she has a leg that is 0.5 cm shorter than the other and believes it is the cause of her recent chronic lower back pain. When seeing her chiropractor she found out that it was her right lower core muscles that were strained with right lumbar spinal facet joint sprain caused by over-twisted spinal movements while she was doing yoga. Her shorter leg was one of her symptoms but not the root cause.
Another patient, a 30 year old male, has been experiencing right sciatica chronically since he was a teenager. As the symptoms recently worsened he sought help from a chiropractor. Under further examination it was revealed that his right leg was shorter by 3 cm. He also stated that he suffered a bone fracture three years prior and was recovering from surgery.
The final diagnosis was that his lumbar spine and pelvis had been twisted due to his shorter leg and thus was pinching his nerve. When he was prescribed an orthotic for leg balance his symptoms remarkably improved.
This leg length difference can be a problem for your body and we have probably heard this from our chiropractor before but you may be wondering when you should actually worry. Does it really ruin my body balance and can it pinch my nerves?
If your shorter leg exceeds a difference than the other leg of more than 1 inch, it is very possible that it would cause the nerve to be pinched, sciatica, an unbalanced body or other issues. However, you will most likely be fine if your shorter leg has less than a 10 mm difference.
More than 50 people would have one leg shorter than the other with less than a 5 mm difference if we were to randomly exanimate 100 people who have no symptoms. This leg length difference would be just one of many considering factors in the examination of the body. It would not be a main decision-making tool, unless it is more than a 1 inch difference.
Examinations will include many other factors including scoliosis, dominant body side, previous injury, poor posture, degenerative changes by age, and others.
Before getting worried or making any assumptions about the root cause of your problems, contact your chiropractor and discuss your symptoms and history thoroughly. They will guide you along the way.