Truth Behind Leg Length Asymmetries
Do you ever feel like one of your legs is longer than the other? Has it always been like that? Is this something that you have just noticed recently?
In order to answer these questions, it is important to understand the 2 different types of leg length discrepancies:
Anatomical - structural limb inequality; usually caused by congenital birth defects or developmental diseases at childhood. Can also be a result of an unfortunate accident
Functional - non-structural shortening; usually caused by change in lower limb mechanics due to some of the following reasons:
Chronic muscle weakness and tightness in the lower extremity
Abnormal movement of joints in the lumbar spine, pelvis, hip, knee, and ankle
Most often, leg length discrepancies (LLD) are characterized as “functional” due to improper posture and mechanics of movement overtime. If left unaddressed, LLD can cause other musculoskeletal issues such as low back pain, hip/knee pain, and muscle imbalances.
Physical therapists are trained to look at LLD and to identify the cause of the asymmetry. If you believe you have a form of LLD, consider undergoing a movement screen.
Disclaimer: If you continue to experience unbearable, reoccurring pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with your physician or join our physical therapy family and allow us to help you regain function.
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