I have an anatomically shorter left leg by about 15 mm. I know, I know, EVERYBODY is asymmetrical you say. And you are right! But if that discrepancy becomes painful or limits ADL (activities of daily living) and something simple can be done about it that requires no surgery ... well why not try it!
As you all know I’ve been refining my homestyle “massage” technique fairly diligently the last eight years. About seven years ago I was able to fully release my spine painlessly. But dagnabbit, the work didn’t stick and I ended up in more pain than before. I couldn’t figure out why that was happening until I started to think about what my spine was ’sitting’ on.
It was time to address my leg length discrepancy (LLD). I had seen an orthopedic surgeon in my late twenties to consult on my chronic knee and back pain. I told the physician that my left leg was much shorter than the right. The doctor sighed and reluctantly pulled out some wood shims. In a cursory fashion bordering on dismissive, he took measurements, all the while chatting on about how we all have a longer leg and shorter leg and that it even if I did have an anatomically short leg it probably had nothing to do with my back pain.
He changed his tune a bit when he realized it was over 1/2 shorter in length (15-16 mm or about 5/8 an inch). And said, “Well you probably want to avoid long-distance running. Your spine has stopped growing and your body has adapted to the short leg so there is really noything to be done.” I asked him, “What about shoe inserts or wearing a thicker sole on my shorter leg?” My doctored shrugged, “You could try it I guess.”
That was all the permission I needed to begin addressing my leg length-induced knee and back pain. I modified my foot wear so that I would have an additional 15 mm added to my left shoe. If any of you are interested in which services I used to customize my shoes, or would like suggestions and specific recommendations shoot me an email! As soon as those shoes arrived, I re-released my spine and stepped into PROPERLY lifted shoes. It wasn’t an instant healing though I can say I felt like my feet were finally both exerting themselves evenly. 48 hours later I woke up and slipped my modified sandals. I felt AMAZING.
Since then I’ve had almost ZERO knee or back pain. The ‘almost’ is me being a stubborn, egoistic, middle-aged man deciding he can move 400 pounds of flagstone by myself. Wheel-barrow be damned! The flagstone won and I had to re-commit to being pain-free and knowing my limits. Choosing to keep my back and body pain-free is a daily practice. Oh, and apparently, no amount of physical therapy can cure my Irish stubbornness.
Getting my footwear modified wasn’t cheap or convenient, but the benefits have been enormous! I’ve added the 15 mm full foot lift into almost all of my shoes: I’ve modified everything from flip-flops to heavy-duty boots and would be happy to share my experiences with you.
Thought I’d include some pics of my short leg shoe wear collection. I’d love to hear from any of you that wear lifts or have leg length issues that triggered low back pain! Happy to answer any questions or provide recommendations for anyone interested in some spine-friendly kicks! Plenty of other pics available! :) Please see my other post on Limb Length Discrepancy or check out this summary for a more technical review.