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One leg “longer” than the other, or restricted fascia causing a pelvic imbalance?

By April 17, 2019Uncategorized

So many people walk into my office and tell me “One leg is longer than the other, which is causing my pain.”

I often have to lovingly challenge people on this one!

The only way to know for sure if one of your LEGS is longer than the other is to measure your BONES. This can be done via x-ray and comparing bone length from left to right. And in some rare cases, people have one leg that its significantly longer than the other.

This video is about those of you who probably just have a fascial restriction situation going on that is causing a pelvic imbalance.

There is ONE common cause of the appearance of one leg being longer than the other. Before I tell you what that is, it’s important to understand that whoever told you one of your legs was longer probably “measured” (visually) while you were lying down. OR they looked at you while you were standing, and based their assessment off of your hip discrepancy. This is a HIGHLY MISLEADING way to measure an imbalance, because the opposite of what is measured while lying down is visually seen while standing.

Anyway – none of that really matters anyway! What matters is figuring out if you’re prone to this issue due to that one common cause I mentioned.

When your ADDUCTOR fascia gets super restricted on one side, it can pull your inner fascial line tight, causing that hip to appear HIGHER while you are standing.

However if you were to lie down it would be the other way around. Technically, this leg has SHORTENED fascia, so your foot has to work harder to find the ground. Other areas of your body can compensate to make sure you’re walking like a normal human: your IT Band, peroneals or OTHER leg can compensate.

To start unraveling this mystery, use a basketball to “test” your adductor fascia left to right.

DO NOT RELEASE ANY FASCIA YET!

You want to find the TIGHTER side first, because your #1 goal is going to be to balance yourself out left to right.

If you discover that your left adductor is more fascially restricted than your right, then you’ll want to do that leg only for now (until you’re even). Flip this if the right side is tighter.

Ok I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on this! I hear this so often, and I want to assure you the likelihood of a leg actually being longer is small.

Share your takeaway below and I’ll make sure to come say hi, I love hearing from you!

Links for supporting techniques:
IT Band
Hip pain
Low back and SI pain (technique 1)
Low back and SI pain (technique 2)


5 Comments

  • hailey peacock says:

    Hello! I’m so happy you sent this email out! My chiropractor told me my right leg is 9mm shorter than my left and that’s what’s causing a slight curve in my lumbar spine. I also have a straight neck. Im looking forward to learning more!

    • Hey Hailey – first thing I’d recommend for you then is to investigate the fascia in your “shorter” leg. But make sure you watch my video and try to remember if your Chiro “measured” you standing or lying down. Maybe look at your own hips in a mirror standing, to see if you can identify which hip appears higher or lower. Your goal then is to release whatever fascia is causing this hip discrepancy or imbalance. My top 2 places to check are your quads and quad hip flexors, and your adductors. You can use the search function on this site to find both!

  • David Wharton says:

    Yes a tight adductor can contribute to this along with a tight psoas.
    Why is the majority of “short legs” on the left & not
    right?

  • Dena Zimbel says:

    Thank you for this! This is a relevant issue, so many misdiagnosed “leg length discrepancies” that diverts the attention from the proper approach to the pain free process. Love the science and would like to see more research finding sited in your info. Would you agree with progressing upwards and treating the 6 external rotators and the QL?

  • Giles Hinchcliffe says:

    Really helpful – thanks
    I will try with a soft roller – not many basket balls in the UK.
    Do you think pinning the adductors with an elbow (not too hard to avoid pain) for client fascia release is possible?
    Should be straightforward.
    Giles

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