Short Leg, Long Leg?

Ever wondered if you have one leg shorter than the other?  If you do, you’re not alone.  Virtually everyone has at least a slight difference in leg lengths. The bigger the difference, the more likely you are to have a problem because of it.  Leg length discrepancy will often appear as a limp or sway in a person’s walk. An actor may look like he’s strutting his tough-guy image on screen when in actuality he simply has a short leg. Tough on the outside, he may be getting hip arthritis on the inside. If you’re lucky, your legs are so close to an equal length that you don’t experience any deleterious effects. Cedar City short leg folks, this information is for you.

Because of gravity, walking and running with a short leg puts more stress on that leg all the way up to the pelvis and spine. Even the torsion forces from walking forward while gravity and inertia are trying to stop you can add to the stress on the joints. So, the knee, hip, sacroiliac joints, and lumbar spine can receive a disproportionate amount of pressure. This stress on joints promotes osteoarthritis, the dreaded wear-and-tear of joints that occur as we age. The problem is our joints age faster when our legs are uneven.

The wear and tear from imbalanced walking is made worse by obesity. Gravity, again, is a two-edged sword. We need it, but it breaks us down. Staying small is a great way to reduce the effects of gravity on our joints, though people who were thin at youth are more at risk for developing osteoporosis. Wait, that’s another article.

A Cedar City short leg – long leg is often corrected by seeing a chiropractor. That’s right. A chiropractor, like the ones at Cedar City Chiropractic, can adjust the sacro-iliac (SI) joints, where the sides of your pelvis connect to the sacrum, which is your middle “butt bone.” Adjusting the pelvis’ SI joints pulls up or pushes down (depending on the direction of the adjustment) on the hip joint, changing the length of the leg. The large leg bone in your thigh, the femur, is connected to the pelvis at the hip, so adjusting the pelvis can lift or lower the femur, which changes leg length.  

When the SI joints are misaligned, you might feel low back pain, pain in the front inguinal area, or even hip pain. This is very common after sitting for hours, like in traveling or couching. It also occurs a lot when giving birth. The hormones that flow during labor will open the SI joints to make room for the baby’s head to come through. Then, when the pelvis tries to return to its normal joint alignment, it often ends up a little off its ideal, happy position.

A mother may go for months or years after delivery, taking pain pills for the low back pain, before discovering the simple solution of chiropractic adjustments. Oh, the power of information!

Now, if your Cedar City short leg, long leg situation is purely anatomical from development, adjusting the pelvis may not help much.  In such cases, a heel lift can be placed in your shoe to compensate for the short leg. The wedge now under your heel essentially lengthens your short leg to match the longer one. It’s a good idea to start with a thin heel wedge. For example, if your left leg is a quarter of an inch shorter than the right, buy a heel lift that is one-eighth of an inch thick and see how you do (the cork ones cost just a few dollars). If you tolerate it well, you can go to a thicker one as you feel necessary.

A doctor of chiropractic can carefully check your leg length while you lie face down on the chiro table; or you can stand on a split, posture scale to determine which foot is pressing with more psi on the scale.

Cedar City short leg


Short Leg, Long Leg?

Cedar City Short Leg

Article by Clear Content Marketing