Leg Length Discrepancies

There are two kinds of discrepancies:  an structural discrepancy and a functional discrepancy (see Low Back Pain).  A Structural discrepancy is one where one leg is physically shorter than the other one.  A functional discrepancy is where one leg ends up being shorter via a functional cause.  This cause is usually overpronation of the foot more severe on one side or other unilateral biomechanics.

A shortened leg will obviously cause a lateral pelvic tilt therefore setting the foundation of the spine off line.  The muscles of the low back will try to pull the back and pelvis back into normal alignment but to no avail.  This in time will cause low back pain.

In the case of a structural condition, an orthotic with the correct amount of heel lift added is indicated.  A heel lift alone will not suffice since it will allow the foot to pronate even further.  Correction to the arch of the foot and its biomechanics is equally essential.  A functional discrepancy is corrected with custom orthotics to equalize and maintain proper biomechanics bilaterally.