Lifestyle

Thiel: Leg length inequity can impact lower back

As a doctor of chiropractic, I see many patients presenting with chronic low back pain.

I have suffered from chronic low back pain since I was 14-years-old.

I had tried many different therapies over the years and saw a number of different practitioners with negligible results.

The statistics state that low back pain will affect 89 per cent of us on a debilitating level at some point in our life.

Chronic low back pain can be profoundly disabling, it can affect your relationships, work, energy, sleep and concentration.

Needless to say, it is a very hard thing to ignore.

It was not until I saw a chiropractor that the genesis of my chronic low back pain was realized.

He found that I had a significantly shorter leg on my right side than my left.

This is what is considered a leg length inequality.

He said I didn’t need a lot of chiropractic adjustments, just a small latex wedge, which I placed inside my right shoe. It was only seven millimetres in height.

I found it unusual that as soon as I put this minute wedge in my shoe, I felt off balance.

In fact, I was standing perfectly straight for the first time in many years.

I felt that I was leaning to my left side.

He showed me the postural analysis pictures that he took in his clinic before and after the lift was inserted.

Prior to the lift, my right shoulder was low and my head was off center, positioned to my left.  With the lift, everything was perfectly midline.

There is a phenomenon called a closed kinetic chain.

In this phenomenon, the ankle will directly affect the knee, in turn affecting the hip, translating that asymmetry throughout your spine, finally ending at your skull.

The analogy I like to use is this: If the foundation of the house is crooked, the house will be crooked too.

Within two days, my back pain was entirely gone for the first time in decades.

Not only was this logical, but it was extremely effective.

I would conservatively estimate that at least 40 per cent of my low back pain patients have a significant leg length inequality, measuring at least six millimetres.

Oddly enough, in at least 90 per cent of those cases, it seems to be the right leg that is the shorter than the left.

There is a very easy way to tell whether you have a leg length inequality.

Go to your closet and find an old pair of shoes.  Runners are best. Flip them over and examine the soles of shoes. Take a close look at the wear pattern of your shoes, paying close attention to the heel and the front of the foot.

If you have a distinctly different wear pattern from one shoe to the next, you have a leg length inequality .

In the past, I have corrected not only low back pain, I’ve also been able to correct knee pain and spinal pain and, in a very few instances, temporomandibular joint problems.

This is an example of the far-reaching effects of a dysymmetrical or uneven leg lengths and their effects throughout your body.

Symmetry directly affects function.

The pain you are experiencing secondary to the leg length inequality is not because of the short leg, rather, it is the manner in which your body is trying to compensate for the short leg. Simple to find, easy to fix.

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