The length of your legs can be a source of worry if there is a measurable difference between them. The ratio of people having such a discrepancy can be quite large, say 1 out of 4. The level of “significance” varies from case to case. In some cases, people afflicted with it generally lead a normal life, while others suffers with significant back, hips, knees, and ankle pain. Among athletes, it is one of the major causes of sports injuries and can happen due to structural or functional abnormalities.
The structural and functional discrepancies can be a source of acute discomfort. These can put an additional pressure on the spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet. The symptoms can range from being mild to severe.
- Dropping of shoulders and head affecting the gait
- Asymmetry in pelvis
- Stress on the shorter leg side
- Pain in the back, ankle, foot, knee and hip
The structural difference is related to a distinct difference in the length of both the legs, notably between the femur and the tibia. This can result in a limp as the person walks. Such a condition can be due to an anatomical bone shortening on account of an injury, genetic factors or conditions that have impaired bone growth. A functional difference, on the other hand, is related to the difference in the pelvic alignment or rolling of the feet on both sides.
The asymmetry can result in the centre of gravity shifting to the side of the short leg and the pelvic region compensating for it by tilting to one side. This can cause a searing pain along the entire spine matrix, the waist, hips, knee and ankle. The list of health conditions arising out of such a discrepancy can range from psoasitis, arthritis of the hip and knee, patellar tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and medial tibial stress syndrome among others.
In addition to the structural and functional reasons, there can be environmental factors as well. For example, if the road or pavement surface is banked, you would be forced to walk with a slight slouch on the banked side. Also, if one of the shoes you wear regularly is worn off then it can result in putting a strain on the other leg, back, ankle and knee. No matter what may be the reason for suffering from a leg length discrepancy, it can be remedied by a Podiatrist like the one at the Podiatry clinic at Mandurah.
The remedy from leg length discrepancy
The remedy for such a debilitating pain can be achieved through orthotics services. The treatment involves correcting the arch of both the feet by using orthotic devices such as shoe arches. The treatment includes performing a gait analysis to find out the level of tilt in various parts of the body such as the head and neck, shoulders, and spine.
Leg length discrepancy can be pretty bothersome and painful for an individual. So, instead of going for costly surgeries that may or may not yield the right results, availing Orthotics services from the Peel Podiatry clinic at Mandurah can work wonders.