Correcting Leg Length Discrepancies for Runners

Ever been told you have a short leg? Running with functional leg length discrepancies increases the amount of stress placed on our feet, ankles, knees, hip, and back when we run. The more miles we put on with these discrepancies, the higher the chance we face an injury.

1. The Explanation

There are two types of leg length discrepancies. The first is anatomical (meaning there is an actual bone that is longer on one side vs. the other). The second (and more common) is a functional leg length discrepancy.

Functional leg length discrepancies are often caused by misalignment/rotation at our hips (SI Joints). And as Pelvic Blocking is a great way to re-align your pelvis and correct these functional leg length discrepancies.

 
 

2. The Treatment

Rotation of our 'hip' often ocurs at our SI joints. Our SI Joints are ligamentous joints which means they don't respond the same way as spinal joints when it comes to chiropractic manipulation. The ligaments surrounding the joint need to be stretched/mobilized vs. a typical 'cracking' of the spinal joints. Pelvic Blocking is a great technique for correcting hip alignment and hip rotation issues.

In regards to positioning, it's most common to see that the hip on the shorter leg side has rotated posteriorly (or the longer leg has rotated anteriorly). This essentially pulls one leg up (creating the leg length discrepancy). Blocks are placed to rotate the SI Joints and realign the hips.

 
Correcting Leg Length Discrepancies.jpg
 

3. The Results

As always, the best way to make sure we're not full of sh#$ is to recheck. Using the medial malleolus as a reference you can see how the blocks corrected (at least temporarily) the leg length discrepancy.

 
Leg Length Discrepancies.jpg
 

4. Follow Up

Keep in mind that this is no 'fix' to your running issues, but more a factor that can be contributing to the pain your experiencing if the misalignment is present. Every pelvic blocking session should be followed up with some hip and core stabilization exercises to ensure our bodies don't return to the previous misaligned position.


Evolve Performance Healthcare is located in NE Portland and helps our community achieve sustainable pain relief through the combination of full body chiropractic care and therapeutic fitness programming. If you'd like to learn more, please send us a message.

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