When you have a leg that is shorter than the other, it is usually an indication of a structural or functional problem. This means, you may either have a leg that is actually shorter in length (structural), or the length of both legs only appears different because of problems elsewhere in the body (functional).
This type of unevenness in the length of the legs not only affects your overall posture, but increases your chances of developing common health complaints such as low back pain and knee pain.
Before trying out any form of treatment, it is useful to know how a short leg develops and some methods you can take to prevent this disorder from becoming worse. If you suspect you have a case of unequal leg length, then it would be worth visiting a posture specialist who can confirm this for you.
Since the body is not properly aligned, there is excess stress placed on the knee structure while walking which makes people with uneven legs vulnerable to knee pain as well as overuse injuries of the knee.
Differences in leg length can sometimes be observed following surgery such as a hip replacement procedure. Proper preventive measures are often taken by surgeons to avoid this situation.It’s true that sometimes the cause may be unknown especially in cases that involve insufficient growth or overgrowth of one side of the body at the time of birth. It may be difficult to spot this early on but with age, imbalances in leg length become noticeable.
For example, your hip abductor muscles help in rotating the leg at the hip joint and are necessary for movements such as walking or running. Exercises targeted at these muscles can help in bringing improvement in their functioning while also improving walking patterns.
MASS4D® custom insoles can be combined with heel lifts and/or shoe modifications to make up for differences in leg length and to enhance the strength of the arches.
When your leg is structurally short, the true short leg causes extra stress on the medial arch that flattens the foot and causes the toes to point outwards.
In case of a poor posture causing an apparent unevenness in leg length, foot insoles help promote proper alignment of the lower body by supporting the foot in its most optimal position during movement.
This is because a flatfoot condition may be associated with misalignment of the hips and low back. The imbalance created by flat feet can cause the hips to tilt forward which produces an exaggerated curve in the spine.
With your feet properly supported, your walking patterns will improve which reduces your chances of developing pain in the lower body, especially in the knees, hips or lower back.
There is a marked reduction in the rotation of the shin and thigh bones, which in turn minimises misalignment in the hips and low back. The reduction of stress on the lower body allows patients to perform sports activities with fewer injury concerns.
When your posture improves, you’ll start to feel the changes in your body from the feet up. Your spine will feel more aligned and your movements will feel more relaxed.
For those who are recovering from low back pain, MASS4D® can also be used in rehabilitation plans with the aim of preventing foot posture problems from stressing the spine during the healing process.
People often wonder if there’s a cure for flat feet. While it is tempting to seek out a permanent solution for the condition, it helps to know which treatment is the most effective in getting results.
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