Chiropractic adjustment can resolve the problem of unevenness in leg length by realigning the spine, re-balancing the hips and reducing soft tissue discomfort, for better function. Treatment is designed to relieve the stress on physical structures that can lead to pain, poor balance and abnormal gait.
Discrepancies in the length of both legs are a common problem that can result from injuries or disease. A leg discrepancy can also occur due to the way you use your body when walking, standing or doing usual tasks. The difference between the leg lengths can be very slight, but can still cause significant dysfunction in how you move and the wear and tear on body structures.
How a Chiropractor Can Help With Leg Length Discrepancy?
Treat Leg Length Discrepancy Without Surgery
Treatments for leg length discrepancy range from the very conservative to invasive surgical techniques. Non-surgical treatments include exercise, physical therapy, massage and chiropractic treatment. These treatments can often be highly effective for minor leg discrepancy problems.
Spinal Adjustment to Realign Pelvis and Spine
Using the hands, chiropractors manipulate the spine to provide more natural alignment, so that the vertebrae and related structures work together efficiently. This can help to even out leg length to provide better function and comfort.
Muscle Release Techniques to Reduce Tensions
Injuries can cause hard, tight areas in the muscles, ligaments and tendons that lead to pain and problems with normal movement. Chiropractors also use a variety of muscle release techniques that break down scar tissue that cause areas of the body to feel tight and inflexible.
Custom Orthotics To Support Arches and Alignment
Orthotics are devices you put inside your shoe to correct foot, leg or back problems. A study on leg length discrepancy at the Library of Medicine site notes that shoe inserts can be an effective way of dealing with leg length discrepancy.
Exercises To Stretch Tight Muscles and Strengthen Core
Your chiropractor can also provide corrective exercises that are designed to stretch important muscle groups and help strengthen the core of the body. These exercises help to relieve discomfort and provide better movement.
What Is Leg Length Discrepancy?
Leg length discrepancy is a condition in which the two legs are of uneven length. The unevenness can be caused by a number of factors, and may result in symptoms such as limping, pain when walking, spinal curvature and fatigue.
Functional vs. Structural Leg Length Difference
Leg length discrepancy can be either functional or structural. Structural problems occur from genetic predisposition, accident or from degenerative conditions. Functional problems are caused by joint problems, muscle weakness or other physical problem with the way a person uses their body.
Causes of Leg Length Discrepancy
Birth Defects or Injuries
In some cases, patients may have leg length discrepancies that have been present from birth. In these cases, the chiropractor can help to relieve the compression and discomfort that can result from years of abnormal movement. Some people have sustained injuries to the back or pelvis that cause leg unevenness. In these cases, the chiropractor will carefully treat all aspects of the injury to provide better movement and relief from pain.
Poor Posture and Repetitive Motions
Your mother was right when she told you to stand up straight and don’t slouch. Over time, bad posture puts pressure on the spine, hips and pelvis, which can result in uneven leg length.
Uneven Shoulder Heights
If you have a noticeable difference in the height of your shoulders, it could be because of a spinal disorder called scoliosis. Scoliosis is a curvature in the spine that tends to run in families. The curvature can also cause discrepancy in leg lengths. Treatment of scoliosis is one of the many spinal issues that chiropractors treat on a regular basis.
Aging can cause degeneration of the structures in the spine and pelvis that can lead to leg length discrepancy. Osteoarthritis can deteriorate the cartilage and supporting structures in the body, which can lead to abnormalities and discomfort.
Medical Conditions and Treatments
Bone infections can cause discrepancies in leg length. According to the OrthoInfo web site, bone disorders, such as neurological conditions and cancer can lead to unevenness in leg length. Diseases that cause inflammation of the joints, such as arthritis, can also cause deterioration of structures and uneven leg length.
Effects of Leg Length Discrepancy
Pain in Upper Body, Neck and Back
Problems with leg length can cause dysfunction all along the spinal column, which can lead to discomfort in the upper body, neck, back, shoulders and other parts of the body.
Reduced Range of Motion in Joints
Leg length discrepancy can cause dysfunction in muscles, tendons and ligaments that may begin to limit range of motion in the body. Realigning the spine and ensuring the body can move efficiently helps to improve range of motion.
Reduced Quality of Life
Dysfunction related to leg length discrepancy can cause individuals to limit their social and recreational activities, due to pain, poor range of motion and balance problems. This can result in reduced quality of life.
Diagnosis of Leg Length Discrepancy
Measurement Using a Tape Measure or Digital Scanner Technology
Your chiropractor may use different types of equipment to detect differences in leg length, such as a tape measure, blocks or digital scanner.
X-Ray Imaging for Visualization and Identification of Actual Differences Between Legs
If a discrepancy is severe, the chiropractor may take x-rays to identify the exact amount of difference between the two legs.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Leg Length Discrepancy
Reduced Pain and Discomfort
Correcting leg length discrepancy can help to reduce discomfort from pressure on skeletal structures, nerve compression and dysfunction in muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Improved Posture and Balance
Uneven leg length can cause problems with balance and posture. Treating the discrepancy helps to restore normal balance, which can help patients to avoid injury from accidents.
Restored Range of Motion and Flexibility
When the legs are in balance, normal range of motion is restored, and the patient can engage in their usual activities without limitation.
Prevented Future Degeneration and Dysfunction
Chiropractors can help to restore normal function and balanced movement, which prevents abnormal wear and tear on body structures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can A Chiropractor Adjust Leg Length?
Yes, a chiropractor is trained in a number of techniques that can help to even out leg length and manage discomfort that can occur as a result of the patient compensating for the unevenness with abnormal body positioning.
Why Do Chiropractors Look at Leg Length?
Leg length unevenness can be a sign of poor alignment in the skeletal system. This problem may be a result of structural problems or it can be the natural outcome of poor posture and repetitive movement.
Why Do Chiropractors Always Say One Leg is Longer Than the Other?
Chiropractors know that people tend to favor one side of the body more than the other, and their training allows them to detect the small changes that indicate abnormalities in movement and posture.
How Many Inches Can You Grow From Chiropractor?
Spinal adjustment cannot actually make you grow taller. However, it can align your spinal structures and improve your posture so that you hold your body in a more upright position. You may experience greater comfort that allows you to stand straighter and hold yourself with greater confidence.
How Do You Fix Uneven Leg Length?
A number of different techniques can be used to correct uneven leg length. A chiropractor can use traction or manual adjustment to even out the legs. Exercises are generally recommended for leg length problems. Soft tissue manipulation may also be necessary to reduce swelling and scarring to improve leg discrepancies.
How Do You Correct Leg Length?
Individuals who feel they may have leg length discrepancy should see a qualified health professional to determine if the problem is severe enough to warrant treatment, either non-surgically or surgically to prevent further damage and dysfunction. In some cases, exercises may be sufficient to correct the problem.
What Do Chiropractors Do For Legs?
Chiropractors are experts in the spine and how the body moves, so legs are naturally part of their professional interest. Spinal misalignment often affects how people hold their bodies, which can lead to nerve compression and problems with gait. Correcting spinal issues helps individuals to move more freely and efficiently, when they bend, twist, sit and walk.
What Influences Leg Length?
A number of factors influence leg length and how the legs function. Genetics is one factor. You may also have poor alignment in the spine that causes you to favor one side over the other. Your normal activities may cause you to use one side of the body more than the other. Degeneration of structures in the pelvis or hips can also lead to unevenness in the legs.
What Type of Doctor Fixes Leg Length Discrepancy?
A number of different medical specialties can help with leg length discrepancy. An orthopedist deals with disorders of the bones, joints and spine, which would include the bones of the legs. Chiropractors also specialize in spine and joint problems and routinely deal with problems such as leg length discrepancy.
Do Chiropractors Adjust Feet?
Chiropractic methods can be used for any joint in the human body, including the ankles and feet. As with other parts of the body, the techniques help to realign structures, reduce swelling and stiffness and improve circulation in affected areas.
Can A Chiropractor Fix Uneven Hips?
Chiropractors are highly trained in the anatomy of the human body and the functional mechanics of movement. They use a variety of modalities to realign the hips and reduce tightness, stiffness and problems with soft tissues that can affect mobility. Re-balancing the hips to provide efficient movement is part of their practice.
What Happens When Chiropractor Pulls Leg?
The leg pull adjustment, also called the long axis distraction, is done to restore the natural gap in the joints to allow free blood circulation and reduce nerve compression.
Can Chiropractors Feel Misalignment?
Chiropractors are highly trained in the mechanics of the human body. Over time, they become very experienced in detecting the subtle changes that indicate misalignment in joints or the spine. They can also feel masses of tightness in muscles and ligaments that indicate scar tissue that is cause problems with pain and poor mobility.
Are Chiropractor Results Permanent?
Chiropractic treatment can help you to move more efficiently in your everyday life and can improve your posture, which can have lasting effects on your physical comfort. However, both gravity and your daily habits can undermine these results, and you may need periodic adjustment to continue to be pain-free and functioning well.
Why Am I Taller After Chiropractor?
A spinal adjustment helps to separate the vertebrae of the spine, so that you are able to hold your body more upright. Chiropractic treatments can also loosen muscles, so you that you can move your body more easily, which can help you to stand taller.
Chiropractor Leg Length Trick
One trick chiropractors use to help even out leg length discrepancies is to have the patient lie down on the padded table and turn their head from left to right or up and down. The chiropractor then carefully observes any slight movement in the legs that could indicate a leg length discrepancy.
Leg Length Discrepancy Exercises
The WebMD website offers several exercises to even out leg length discrepancy. The hamstring stretch has the patient lie on the floor, putting the shorter leg against a wall and stretching the longer leg out naturally. Hold the stretch in the back of the leg for 30 seconds. Do this exercise 3 days each week, 3 times a day.
The side kick exercise has the patient stand with feet shoulder-breadth apart. Bend the arms and hold them close to the body. Lean onto the longer leg and lift the shorter leg, bending the knee to the front of the body. Then, kick the bend leg out and to the side. Repeat several times each day.
Symptoms of One Leg Shorter Than the Other
Leg length discrepancy can be very subtle and may have no symptoms. However, the difference in length may eventually cause back pain, hip pain and other problems. You may also notice loss of muscle tone in one leg or “waddling” from side to side as you walk. Leg length discrepancy can also affect your overall posture and sense of balance.