Leg Length Inequality


1 Jun 2011
Are your legs the same length? Well, they need to be!

Many people who come into my office do not realise that they have one leg longer than the other, usually only by a few mil but occasionally by as much as 10 - 20mm or even more. Close enough often isn't close enough. A discrepancy in leg length can lead to lower back pain, sciatica and joint pain, but worse than that the unnatural movement at the base of the spine nearly always leads to a loss of the lower disc that keeps the bones apart and keeps the bones off the nerves, hence the sciatica or leg pain.

Do I have leg length inequality?

The good news is that it can be quite easily recognized and rectified if you know what you are looking for. If a simple correction is made then life can, in the future, take a much better path. I have had countless patients in the past who unfortunately didn't know these simple facts and their health has been severely affected.

The correction is usually made through heel lifts that fit inside the shoe and it can take a huge amount of strain off the low back and pelvis. These cost virtually nothing and can quite simply change you life.

I check every person that comes into our office to ensure that their legs are equal in length, however, there are also easy ways for you to check yourself or any of your loved ones and friends.

What to look for....

First of all, look at the soles of your shoes. Is one sole more worn out than the other? If so, this can be the result of an uneven gait.

Secondly, look at yourself in a mirror and stand naturally. Are your shoulders equal? Now look at your hips. Are they equal? Now, put your thumbs on the very top of your hips and press. Do they feel level or look level?

Alternatively, ask your partner or friend to check you. It is often easier to spot by getting someone to check the level of your pelvis from behind by observation or placing the hands on either side of the pelvis and checking that they are level.

Finally, do you feel a little out of balance or are you walking unevenly or perhaps your trousers seem longer on one side than the other.

I'm watching your back....are you?

In my office I check every client for this vital aspect including weight distribution and signs of excessive uneven wear and tear in the spine. If we suspect a significant discrepancy, we ask for weight bearing

X-rays and this is the definitive check. By spotting unevenness and making early corrections we have already saved many, many people from certain spinal degeneration. We are determined to spread this information as this is too basic to miss.

A picture can be worth a 1000 words so I thought I'd show you an X-ray from our clinic of a typical leg inequality situation. Here we see the right leg is 10mm longer than the left. This has lifted the pelvis on the right hand pushing the spine over to the left. This, of course, must cause muscle imbalance, spinal misalignment and subsequent accelerated degeneration and aging.....it always does as the laws of the universe will always be adhered to.


Fortunately, this particular person was lucky as we discovered this inbalance early and we are making the correction that will save his lower disc and prevent a life of increasing pain and disfunction.

How important is this?

Unfortunately most leg inequalities go undetected; I know this as I observe good people all the time - terrible posture, lost health, wasted potential and huge shame all spring to mind.