Leg Length Inequality

A slight difference in leg length, even as small as 3 mm, can lead to gradual pain in various body parts. The solution could be as simple as using foot inserts, which can significantly impact how the body handles the forces from walking and running.

Leg length discrepancy, also known as anisomelia, might be due to a twisted pelvis or a true difference in leg lengths. This true difference could be due to a shorter tibia or femur, or a combination of both. Sometimes, a leg appears shorter because of an overpronated foot, which can be effectively corrected with custom orthotics. Identifying the exact cause is crucial since the treatment methods differ greatly. A skilled chiropractor can discern these differences, which is more challenging than it might seem. Often, it’s a mix of both a twisted pelvis and an actual anatomical discrepancy.

We recommend scheduling an appointment or consultation for a personalized assessment.

  • perpetual trigger points
  • neck pain
  • low back pain
  • TMJ disorder
  • headaches
  • facet tropism
  • facet arthropathy
  • herniated discs
  • scoliosis
  • hip joint arthropathy
  • knee joint arthropathy
  • patellofemoral syndrome
  • torqued pelvis

Leg Length Inequality

There are several orthopedic tests that are used, but they are rudimentary and have some degree of error. Even using a tape measure with specific anatomic landmarks has its errors. Most leg length differences can be seen with a well trained eye, but I always recommend what is called a scanagram, or a x-ray bone length study (see picture above). This test will give a precise measurement in millimeters of the length difference.

The picture shown above measured out to be a 5 mm difference. The patient had chronic pain for 10 years in her left gluteal area. We started lift therapy and with in 6 months her pain disappeared. We have a special product that is a full foot insert (seen below) that comes in 1 mm increments that is placed underneath the existing insole. We initially started with 1 mm and waited 2 weeks before adding another millimeter insert. Even though it is just 1 mm, the body needs time to adapt as the muscles and joints will have a slightly different stress exerted on them. With this specific patient, we went up to 4 mm and backed off to 3 mm, as the patient did not cope very well with the 4 inserts. The patient is now pain free and utilizes a 3 mm lift inside her shoe. Chiropractic adjustments are must during the transition period to help the body adapt appropriately to the change in leg lengths. Be cautious if someone is recommending a heel lift and not a full foot lift as this can have its own detrimental effects. If you suspect that you have a leg length difference, please call our clinic, as we would love to help you.