Short Right Leg Syndrome Assessment - Two Signature Traits
The two Signature Traits of SRLS are an elevated left hip and elevated right shoulder. It was considering the advantages and disadvantages of these Traits that led me to realise evolutionary adaptation of prehistoric hominid species is responsible for the genetic dominance of a short right leg we have today. That is, it gave mother and child in prehistoric times a greater chance of survival with baby secure on the elevated left hip, bag of provisions over the elevated right shoulder, and dominant right arm free for defence and work. This was the most successful model. These two Signature Traits are the first sign of a short right leg.
It takes little imagination to see that where a leg length difference exists, one hip will be elevated over the other. It may not be readily visible but, viewed from the front in a standing position, close examination of relative ASIS heights will typically reveal a 5mm to 10mm difference. I do so placing a finger tip on each ASIS and eyeballing it. It is a fine judgement and many will not be sure but it is a simple thing to employ a 600mm level with eyeglass and bubble to ensure accuracy. The height difference sighted does not necessarily reflect the actual Leg Length Discrepancy (LLD) owing to compensating movement and distortion through the pelvis which is the body’s natural mechanism to cope with a LLD. I estimate it is less than the actual LLD.
The resulting right leaning tilt through the pelvis in the Frontal plane puts the foundation of the spine at the sacrum on a tilt. The vertical axis of the lumbar vertebrae is forced to tilt causing a mild right leaning scoliosis which in the majority of cases leads to right convexity through the thoracic and elevation of the right shoulder giving more secure purchase of a shoulder bag. Clients confirm their left bra straps are always falling off…similarly, the off the shoulder look is to the left. We carry shoulder bags on the right shoulder. Put it on the left and we struggle to keep it there.
The mild right leaning scoliosis also contributes to enhancing baby carrying ability. Balancing the right lean in the upper torso the left hip thrusts laterally. So the left hip is elevated and juts out presenting a larger area on which to seat baby. Put baby on the right hip and, again, we struggle to hold it there securely.
If I had access to X-Ray equipment, I could make a more definitive statement about leg length differences and I do discuss other observations and tests that can be carryout under "Structural Leg Length Tests". It is not necessary to determine a completely accurate LLD in order to treat the condition. If it comes to choosing and using a correcting heel lift, the adjusting amount or height of the heel lift is not a function of LLD. The adjustment amount is more dependent on the question of how much will the body accept. It is less than the actual LLD. After many decades walking on the planet, the musculo-skeletal structure has made much compensation for the condition. Mild scoliosis in the spine physically distorting the shape of vertebrae. It is not possible to realign the body into perfect symmetry. This is not going to happen. The aim in treatment is to incrementally reduce the structural leg length difference so that compensating distortions through the pelvis and spine are normalised to a degree relieving stress and strain through the joints and soft tissue of the hips, pelvis and spine to enable energy/Qi flow to resume.