Having a leg length discrepancy or a “short leg” is quite common to hear when it comes to postural issues, low back pain or musculoskeletal conditions. However, is having a short leg bad?
A study in 2015 showed that 59% of people are affected by a leg length discrepancy of 5mm or more. However, only 99.9% of cases are classified at mild in severity because it is under 20mm. There is a range of studies that show having a leg length discrepancy is correlated with postural and functional changes in the pelvis, spine and lower limbs.
However, it remains controversial to what degree a leg length discrepancy has to be for it to be clinically significant.
Having a leg length discrepancy is a common condition that involves abnormal loading of the lower extremities and the low back. It can either be due to an anatomical or functional cause. This abnormal loading can be excessive, which can be a predisposing factor to osteoarthritis in the lower extremities and lumbar spinal joints.
The literature has shown a link between a short leg and knee osteoarthritis but less of a link between short leg and hip osteoarthritis. There is little research on the relationship with short leg and osteoarthritis in the lumbar spinal joints or lumbar degeneration. This relationship is still in need of a thorough investigation.
If you feel like you have a short leg or worried that you do, come on down to Sprouting Health Chiropractic. We would love to see if we can help you out!
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