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one leg shorter than other

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hi, im almost 18 years old and i'm just about as tall as i will get (5'10"). Two years ago i began to experience lower back pain on the right side. I had been weightlifting and exercising. After about a year of diagnostics and therapy, the doctors gave me a heel lift for my right leg which apparantly was shorter than the other. As time passed i began to heal again and the pain went away. The doctors concluded that the shorter leg had been tilting my hip to one side putting my lower back in an abnormal position, therefore causing pain on the right side. It has been about a year since i have been painless; playing football and lifting heavy weights. A few weeks ago, i began to experience lower back pain again but this time on the left side. A posibility that i came up with was that my heel lift had been warn down but the opposing argument is that if that was the cause of the reoccuring pain, the pain would be on the right side like before. I have not gone to the doctor yet. If there are any explanations anyone knows or any supporting advise, i would be appreciative.
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replied February 2nd, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
You need to see a spine specialist, either an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in spines or a neurosurgeon that specializes in spines only.

Many things could be going on, and if the lift is off balance now you could be pulling on the opposite side as well.

It could have caused a disc problem as well.

The only way to be sure is to get a full evaluation from a spine specialist and no doubt an MRI to rule in or out any direct spinal issues.

In the mean time, you could try icing the area that hurts. If that doesn't help then try some moist heat.

I posted a thread on an easy way to get moist heat. you can give that a try as well.

Also you could try some ibuprofen and see if that will decrease some of the inflammation.

Good luck

Fran
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Users who thank littleonefb for this post: alex2391 

replied February 2nd, 2009
Active User, very eHealthy
One thing about back problems is that you can get pain just about anywhere from them. The location, severity, and type of pain often changes over time. Also treatment will often alleviate the pain, but will not heal, or correct the underlying problem, and in time symptoms will reoccour. I don't want to sound like i am being critical of your doctors, for all i know they are doing a fine job. But i have learned from reading on the net, that there are two types of leg length differences, (LLD) one is when the bones of one leg are actually shorter than the other, in this case a heel lift or a shoe rise is recommended as it is the only way to level the hips, and keep the posture and function of the spine symmetrical. The other type is when the two pelvic bones become rotated in the opposite directions, one goes forward the other goes backward, this has the affect of making one hip higher, and the leg on that side appear shorter. While on the opposite side of the body the hip will be lower, and the leg will appear longer, in these cases some practitioners like podiatrists argue that putting a heel lift under the short leg will simply support the body in its uneven position, and although inserting a heel lift may help alleviate symptoms its possible that they may return at some stage, as the condition has not really been corrected. One way this problem is treated is with some type of manual therapy from an osteopath a chiropractor or a physical therapist with a diploma in manual therapy the first thing you probably need to know is which type of LLD you have. This might not be very easy as there is a lot of disagreement among practitioners and researchers as to the most accurate way of doing this. I often hesitate to recommend a type of treatment as the quality of medical practitioners is inconsistent and only the good ones are likely to be able to diagnose, and treat your problems correctly so its vital that you find good ones.


Good luck alex2391
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Users who thank rollar64 for this post: alex2391