This is one of the most unhelpful MYTHS that I hear about in clinic at least once or twice a week. In my career to date, I have seen two people who have had an actual leg length discrepancy. Both were as a result of direct trauma to boney structures.
The problem with “leg length discrepancies” is that most of them are not actually a true structural leg length issue in which one bone has grown more than the other. Most leg length discrepancies in my experience are functional in nature.
So how can this be? First off, a pelvis that is hiked up or shifted to one side is going to look like one leg is longer than the other. A hip/knee/ankle joint that has compressed to increase stability can also appear to look like a long or short leg. A change in alignment may actually be present in any of the planes of motion of the body, and may contribute to the appearance of a long or short leg.
The problem with using the standard test of measuring leg length is that most people don’t consider any of the above AS WELL.
LLD offers a pathway to trap people into a complex set of beliefs and ideas that their alignment is permanently out of whack, that all problems & pain in their bodies are as a result of faulty alignment and that they cannot ever change this because “they grew this way”.
If you have been told that you have a leg length discrepancy and you have not suffered any direct trauma to the growth plates in bones, or the bones themselves, it is extremely unlikely that you will have developed a true leg length discrepancy.
My experience is that Structural changes to the body like this can sometimes be contributing to a persons pain experience, but more often than not it doesn’t. Being told it is the sole reason for your problems is likely due to a lack of understanding of the many contributing factors that relate to a pain experience.
If you have been told that a LLD is the sole reason for why you are experiencing symptoms, please get in touch to explore further.
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