Have you ever been told that you have a leg length discrepancy and that this is the cause of your pain? A common remedy for many has been to put a lift in one’s shoe to even out the legs.

Difference in leg length is more common than most people realize. Some experts say that between 40-70% of the population has a leg length discrepancy (LDD). There are two different kinds of LDD

  1. Anatomical (or structural) – the result of polio, an accident, or a fracture
  2. Functional – when the legs are anatomically the same leg, yet they appear different

In Clinical Somatics we look for tension in the center of the body (the back, front, or sides) that affects the periphery (the legs, feet, shoulders, neck, arms). When there is a habituation of the Trauma Reflex – the reflex of compensation due to one-sided injury, pain, or repetitive action – a common result is leg length discrepancy.

This occurs when the waist muscles on one side of the body tilt or rotate the pelvis unevenly. When the pelvis is out of balance one leg may appear shorter or longer than the other. The legs themselves haven’t changed; the Imbalance in the center of our bodies has changed the way in which our legs function.

This changes the way we stand and walk and this imbalance can contribute to plantarfasciitis, sciatica, sacroiliac pain, hip, knee, or low back pain.

One of the most powerful movements you can do to recalibrate the muscles of the waist and restore even leg length and function is the Side Bend. Remember to do several repetitions of Arch and Flatten first to release any tension in the back and front of your body before exploring this movement.