Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for people to seek care from a sports injury specialist. Unfortunately, despite all our advances in knowledge, most health care researchers admit that we still don’t know what causes many cases of back pain.
At Yorkshire sports podiatry we have noted that biomechanical dysfunction in the lumbopelvic region is a frequent culprit. One of the major biomechanical factors that causes low back pain is a leg length discrepancy (LLD).
There are two types of LLD, structural and functional. A structural LLD also is called a true leg length discrepancy and is considered a true or structural discrepancy because the cause is an actual length difference in the lower extremity bones (femur or tibia).
A functional LLD is more common than the structural-discrepancy type, however its cause can be hard to determine. Functional LLDs occur when it appears that one leg may be longer than the other, but there is no significant difference in the length of the lower extremity bones. Instead, a postural distortion has caused one lower extremity to appear longer or shorter than the other.
LLD, whether structural or functional, is an important contributor to lumbopelvic pain.