Types of leg length discrepancy;
- Structural ~ The thigh (femur) and/or shin (tibia) bone is actually shorter than the one in the other leg.
- Functional ~ The leg lengths are equal and something else such as pelvis alignment causes the leg to appear shorter. As an example Developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH) can lead to a functional discrepancy. In this case the top of the femur is not properly positioned in the hip socket may hang lower than the one on the opposite side giving the appearance of leg length discrepancy. I frequently find individuals who have this issue.
- An injury, (fracture) damages the cells responsible for growth of the bone on one side while the other grows normally. Overgrowth can also occur.
- Some children are born with legs that are of unequal length or bowed tibias.
- Leg length discrepancies can be congenital (present at birth) such problems that alter alignment of the hips like coxa vara and the previously mentioned developmental dislocation of the hip.
- Neuromuscular problems can also causes problems with alignment and posture.
- Most importantly we should remember birth is incredibly traumatic for both mother and child, especially with modern birthing techniques designed to speed up delivery rather than letting nature take its course. Cranial malformations to atlas subluxation
- One leg appears shorter, although this is not always obvious.
- Problems with posture, scoliosis, you may just see one shoulder thats higher. Have a look at people when your following them and you'll be amazed at what you see when you open your eyes
- Limping, toe-walking, a hyperextended knee on the short side and flexed on the long side and other gait issues.
- Pain in the neck, back, hip, knee, and/or ankle.
- One of the "real" length of the leg from the pelvic landmark called the anterior superior iliac spine (asis) down to the ankle.If they don't take it from this bony landmark they are effectively guessing.
- "Apparent" length, is measured from the naval area. The discrepancy determined by these two measurements might be different if the "apparent" length is affected by hip position, suggesting a functional discrepancy.
I use various therapeutic methods to stretch muscles and maintain the posture of my clients. To do this I have to know the root cause, as such I need to know the position of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or jaw as it is more commonly known. I also need to look at cranial structure, pelvis position, overall posture and consider the atlas. Late last year I referred a client to the fabulous Dr Hedi Grant to confirm my measurements and findings were correct. She was able to make the subtle adjustments needed to eradicate the root cause.
Do not jump to conclusions that the symptom you have found is the start of the puzzle.