This is an all too common occurrence I see in my clinic. We can have what is called an apparent short leg or an actual short leg.
An apparent short leg is where the muscles have tightening or lengthened usually around the pelvis and gives the appearance of a short leg. When we get out our tape measure, the limbs are the same length.
An actual short leg is where the bones are different sizes whether that’s the tibia of the shin or the femur and the legs are different lengths. When we measure with a tape, the limbs are a different length.
This condition is hard to diagnose without someone who is qualified to do so.
A short leg length discrepancy can cause ankle, knee, hip, back and shoulder issues. I have seen chronic back pain eased tremendously by simply sorting out this leg length difference.
When we understand what is causing the leg length issue, we can sort it. If it is an actual leg length issue where the bones are different lengths, the patient simply needs a heel insert for their short leg and this will level the pelvis.
If the patient has an apparent leg length issue, we can find the shortened muscles by doing certain tests and lengthening these. There will also be weakened muscles so we can strengthen them. We may provide exercises to keep these muscles in their correct position.