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Evolutionary Adaptation of a Short Right Leg

We would like to think we are perfectly formed to live a long healthy comfortable life if only we can get back to nature, eat and sleep well, avoid stress and be happy. The truth of it is, being bipedal, nature has dealt us an unexpected challenge in the evolutionary journey to ensure survival of the species. When early Hominid species first began to stand and walk on two legs, leg length may have been randomly distributed…some even legged, some short on the left side, some short on the right side. My theory, evolutionary adaptation of comparative leg length has been influenced by our dominant right hand and the question of how to carry baby securely.

Parents carry baby on the left hip. I clearly recall leaving the house with bags in hand and attempting to put the youngest one on my right hip before walking out the front door. I struggled to do so three or four times and gave up. He just would not sit securely on the right hip. Putting everything down, I transferred him to the left side and walked out the door.

I now know this is because my right leg is shorter than the left. The left hip is elevated causing a tilt across the pelvis. The foundation of the spine at the Sacrum is uneven leaning to the right encouraging a mild scoliosis with right convexity. The spine being offset to the right of centre, weight distribution is too and the hips shift to the left to counterbalance. Hence, the left hip elevated and projecting outward is a perfect perch for baby. We hardly have to think about it, left arm casually draped about the baby unlike the right side where we contort our body and have to hang on tight and it still does not feel secure.

Sceptical when first alerted to the concept a short right leg is common, I subsequently assessed every client presenting in clinic. The claim proved to be true. It is controversial but some formal studies do support it. The majority of my clients have a short right leg. It is a dominant genetic trait in Homo Sapiens.

Considering the Two Signature Traits of a short right leg which are an elevated left hip and elevated right shoulder, this gave mother and child in prehistoric times a greater chance of survival. Child on elevated left hip, bag on elevated right shoulder, freeing the strong right arm for work and defence in their hunter gatherer existence in the forest. This was the most successful model.

It is important to understand this evolved purely as a characteristic to aid survival of the species during the child rearing years. There is no other beneficial attribute of a short right leg. To the contrary, the structural asymmetry imposes a constant troublesome strain on our Pelvis and Spine leading to a vast array of mobility and internal health issues.

It is a complex condition that affects us more as we age beyond the life expectancy of our prehistoric ancestors. Becoming more sedentary, gaining weight and losing flexibility, the effects generated largely by blockage to energetic Qi flow become more pronounced. While I encounter the occasional juvenile or young adult affected by the condition, symptoms become most apparent through our 40's, 50's and 60's.

This is little known and only through knowledge of energetic Qi flow learned from long association with a Grand Master martial artist and Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner of high esteem when I was a young man combined with the fundamentals of Physiotherapy imparted through the Remedial Diploma at Swinburne University of Technology have I come to have these insights and understand the condition. This has been validated through considerable personal and clinical experience observing and treating the condition.

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