Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums Back Anatomical Leg Length Discrepancy

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    • #70796

      Hi All,

      Does anyone know what the current mWOD take is on anatomical leg length discrepancy in terms of the following:
      1. Diagnosis – Is the Xray the best method?

      2. Orthotics insoles to correct arches – I know that these aren’t recommended and I agree as to the reasons why. My arches are OK (not perfect) but the bio-mechanics specialist recommends them.

      3. Heel/foot raises – Normally these come built into an Orthotic insole, but I would rather have them without and build on strengthening feet. Any thoughts?

      My mobility isn’t that bad, my left leg/ankle doesn’t get as close to the ass as my right in the squat, and I lack IR on my left leg. I have had mis-alignment lock-ups in the past @ both HIP and T-spine. Muscle tightness also moves all around my body.

      I do Oly-lifting, Parkour and Gymnastics. The reason for the post is that I don’t want Orthotics to ruin what i currently have.

      Any thoughts much appreciated – thanks in advance.

    • #74137

      1. Diagnosis – X-ray is the best method (I had one done myself)

      2. Orthotics – Not recommended. I even spoke to a prominent clinical bio-mechanics who does extensive research on orthotics, gait analysis and foot mechanics. He says its only recommended for more severe problems. Then he used this analogy: If you wear a brace in your arm for the rest of your life.  Your muscle will eventually atrophy and you will get more problems. Its the same with your arches and feet.
      Basically I am stuck in a dilemma as well. Their is controversy of whether or not to wear a heel wedge. Its generally accepted that if you have an anatomical leg length discrepancy of greater than 2cm than it is advised to wear a heel wedge. If its less than 0.5cm than it is not advised to wear a heel wedge (a large portion of the population has a leg length discrepency of less than 0.5 cm). Theirs some controversy tho on what to do if a person has a length discrepency between 0.6cm and 2cm. On the lower end of this spectrum you might not be adviced to wear a heel wedge, However on the higher end, it might be advised to wear one. My dilemma is that I have an anatomical leg length discrepency of 1.1 cm, so it lies right in the middle of this spectrum. 
      Honoustly, I think you shouldn’t worry about orthotics. It will just lead to more problems and injuries. You seem to be doing fine without them.
    • #74141
      AvatarNathan Richer

      have you lain down on the ground and had a PT or someone look at your leg lengths? you can get that done before going for Xray. 

      and if you find you have leg length discrepancy, i would also see if it is fixable by adjustment of the spine or pelvis.  readjusting your pelvis can also fix leg length problems. see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INBY84sqrR0
      if it is fixable via manipulation, then your leg length discrepancy is thankfully not structural. if it is structural, then you should see a PT about that. check out what Kefu said previously.
    • #74143

      Hi Kefu, 

      Thanks I did read your post before posting this, but as you state – I couldn’t draw a definitive conclusion from it. It has been estimated (as no XRAY taken yet) that my left leg is between 1.1-1.3 CM shorter.
      I hope you have had some success with the advice here, sounds like you were in a lot of pain bro.
      Hi David, 

      -I have three independent physios mention that I have an anatomical LLD, without me bringing it up first. I am yet to have an XRAY although I will push for it.

      -That mobility video and the subsequent variations e.f Pelvic tweak reset + gut smash + QL LAX ball in one session I use when ever I really lock up my hips – Its a life saver, I’m back moving within 48 hours. This process removes some of the difference but I can still my hips slightly higher on one side.

      I’ll keep posting on this, as I progress or have more info to share.



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