The illusion of longer legs . . .
As one of the many options that I offer my patients is orthotics or prescription insoles, I’m often informed by my patients that “they won’t work as I have one leg shorter than the other”. To which I reply as nicely as possible, “I doubt it! Did they check you?”. The answer is No depressingly often.
True leg length discrepancy is rare, but what is common is a tilted pelvis which creates the illusion of one leg being shorter than the other.
Imagine a puppet on a string (yes, I’m singing that song as I type). If you tilt the bar holding the strings one leg will lift up. Now if you’re only looking from the bottom it gives the illusion that one leg is shorter than the other.
But in reality the entire puppet is tilted over, lifting the leg.
In a real human being this same effect happens when the spine and/or muscles get short and tight on one side, lifting the leg and foot or tilting the pelvis.
But the leg isn’t any shorter!
So then you get given a lift in your shoe on one side. This probably makes you feel a little more stable but all it does is support and encourage the muscle imbalance. And long term this can give you more pain in the tight muscles.
So this all comes back to my age old refrain of assessing and examining the WHOLE patient. As I’ve said before, everything is connected and a proper assessment should look to find the real, root cause of the problem and not just look at one small area where there is pain.
You probably don’t have one leg shorter than the other, what you probably have is a practitioner who hasn’t looked at you properly.
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